As a student, professional, and advocate for the fields of exercise science and public health, I am always looking for new ways to make living healthier better. This Christmas, I found one of the best new devices yet: The Fitbit Flex. Not only is it a convenient bracelet to wear around your wrist, it provides a plethora of knowledge and feedback to encourage and change behavior. Below are my top 5 reasons for getting a FitBit!
Documentation: Time and time again through my course of studying at GW, I have heard throughout my social and behavioral theory courses that tracking behaviors can lead to behavior change such as keeping a food diary to lose weight. In a randomized controlled environment this is great news, however, none of us live in that world. And how many of us actually know the true quantity of our daily physical activity? Speaking from experience, I cannot tell you how many random little notebooks I have lying around with about 4 days of workouts and food logged in them, followed by empty pages. Another thing I have learned in school, people have a tendency to over estimate their physical activity. I think this trend speaks for itself.
The FitBit flex takes the guesswork and estimation out of it all! Strap on this cute bracelet in the morning, and let it do the rest. Once you set up your FitBit, you have a portal all to yourself that keeps a record of your daily activity including steps, miles walked, a graph of intensity of your activity, and calories burned based on your height and weight. Because it has the ability to sync up wirelessly with your computer, it takes the nuisance out of writing everything down. Simply log in, and you can find out the deets. Not only this but you can look back at previous days and weeks to compare.
Customization: The tiny device is your personal assistant for health and fitness. It comes preset to 10,000 steps a day as a goal, but you can change this according to your personal goals. As mentioned above, the FitBit tracks how many calories you have burned, but if you are interested in taking tracking a step further, it has a food log function where you can also account for calories consumed. One of my favorite features of the FitBit is the ability to use it as an alarm clock. Monday through Friday, my wrist vibrates at six in the morning, waking me up for the day! As cheesy as this sounds, it actually motivates me at that point! It’s not some annoying alarm clock saying get up, but instead it’s a soft vibration that reminds me, “Kel! It’s time to move J”
Don’t forget the fashion sense too J. You can switch out your band colors to match your wardrobe! My next purchase is going to be the pink and black bands!
Gratification: Who doesn’t love positive feedback? And we all know that exercising and eating clean one day will not allow us to physically see the results. However, FitBit does! Through out the day, as you get closer to your goal, more dots light up on your bracelet screen. Once you reach your goal, your bracelet will vibrate letting you know that you’ve reached it! I remember one day during my first week of wearing it, I was stressed because I didn’t make it to the gym. However, working in DC provides a lot of walking. Knowing that I wouldn’t have time to get to the gym, I created a standing desk at work, with hopes of getting in more steps that day. Lone behold, by 6pm my wrist was vibrating! Despite not getting in a sweat session, I realized how little changes can make a big difference throughout a day, and over a long span of time (similar to fat loss, physique transformation, mindset shifts etc.)
Motivation: It is pretty amazing, the power of those little dots! Last week I was traveling from DC to Indianapolis. Lugging around two bags in the snowy weather is a workout on it’s own. To add in a little bit more of one, I refused to stand on the escalators. I didn’t care how heavy my bags were I wanted those dots to light up J! The dots get me excited to take the stairs, they are like bonus points right there! I don’t mind running errands at work, they equate with more steps, which means more dots!
Competition: FitBit allows you to have fun with tracking. You can link your FitBit profile to others for a friendly competition and some motivation. This is a great way to help friends and family members get active!
FitBit can also serve as a little competition with yourself. Every week I open an email from FitBit congratulating or encouraging me on my performance. It also lets me know what my highest and lowest days are for the week. My eyes are always drawn to the low day, I usually try to figure out what happen and make up my mind to beat it.
If you haven’t already, take a look at www.fitbit.com , it will be one of the best devices you can have to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Find me on fitbit firstname.lastname@example.org and we can workout together!
Until later, shoot me a tweet with your fitbit name www.twitter.com/kelleyvargo ,