Friday, January 09, 2015

Fitbit Flex {Review}

This year, one of my goals is to work on my fitness.  I tackled the 18 lbs I wanted to lose in 2014 and now it's just maintaining that while becoming leaner, stronger, and faster.   I was not sure what kind of fitness tracker to get as they all seem so similar to me.  My sister in law recommended the Fitbit so I went for it.  The Fitbit Flex is about $99.95 and is on the cheaper end of the Fitbits.  It has so many things that it can do but I mostly just use it for keeping track of my activity and sleep.

{You can see the black band on my wrist.  Each one comes with two size bands and I use the thinner, smaller one.  The downfall is that I have to wear the band with a watch which is a bit much.  If you bought a different one, like the Fitbit Charge, it comes with a watch.  And no, going without a watch is not an option for me!}

So, what do I like about it?

It tracks how active I am throughout the day. When I hover above a bar, it tells me how far I went in 15 minute increments.  Therefore, I know my jog at 8 pm was 3.4 km.  You can also see that I watched TV from 9-10:30 as there is very little activity.  This is a screen shot so you can't hover to see what I mean.  I believe the way it measures distance is from moving your arms because when I rode my stationary bike, it said I had very little activity.   You can enter it manually if you wish but I don't wish to.

You can set goals for how many steps you would like to achieve per day.  Mine is 10,000.  It syncs on my phone and computer throughout the day (there is a dongle attached to my computer) and let's me know where I'm at.  Once you hit 10,000 steps, the band vibrates and indicates that you are a champ.  I seriously love that vibration as I feel a tad bit awesome.

On your dashboard, you can track your weight, food and water.  I don't track any food. You just tap to add a drink when you have one.  It really makes me see that I never drink enough.  And really, only 1.5 of those cups is water, the other two are a coffee and a smoothie.  Oops. 

Another part I was very interested in was my sleep.  Nya has been sleeping through the night for almost a year now.  Also, since we've eliminated sugar, I sleep so much better.  You can definitely see it in the sleep log!  The frustrating part about the Fitbit Flex is that you have to tap it to set when you are going to sleep and then tap it again when you wake up.  Other Fitbits are able to track sleep automatically.  

I noticed a few issues with the sleep tracker but then realized I can edit out the mistake (which was saying that I went back to sleep after I got up for the day!) on my dashboard.  I don't love that but hopefully I can figure out the appropriate `tap' to get it to stop tracking my sleep. Also, just know that it takes about an hour in the morning for all the sleep information to sync.

It took me 16 minutes to fall asleep, I woke up 4 times and from 3:00-3:05 I was awake and took about 12 steps (I brought Nya her puffer).  Another very tool is that I can set my alarm on my computer dashboard and my Fitbit will wake me up with a gentle vibration on my wrist.  It was a very pleasant way to wake up!

I love that the results are also on my phone and I can sync it any time.  This is a screen shot of it.  It does track your calories burned because it has your stats (height, weight, age, sex) and knows your activity level to some degree.

The battery does need to be recharged every 5 days or so.  It comes with a battery and charger and takes about 2-3 hours to fully charge.  It is water resistant and I just don't take it off.

So, would I recommend it?  If you feel committed to a fitness plan, then yes, it's something to keep you accountable.    Would I recommend getting one a step above?  Yes.  That way you can have it with the watch and the automatic sleep tracker.  I give it a 7.5/10 for it's value and ease of use.

I'd love to hear the pros and cons of fitness trackers that you  might have.  If you don't have one, would you get one?  

Have a great weekend everyone!


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  1. Chad got me a Jawbone Up for Christmas, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Your post has inspired me to get it set up this weekend! Apparently the one that I have tracks your sleep cycles and wakes you up at the right part of the sleep cycle (maybe you set a range for when you need to be awake? I am not sure yet.), so that was something that I was interested in.

    1. Lana, I've heard good things about the Jawbone! Let me know. I LOVE the idea of being woken up in the optimal part of your sleep cycle. I thought my fitbit was supposed to as well but haven't quite figured that out yet. Maybe my model isn't the one that does that. Thanks for the comments, friend!

  2. You blogged about it! Thanks! This is very helpful. If I decide to get one (and I really should...) I will look at getting one step up from this. (Also, I will have a harder time than you with the steps taken and calories burned, but I am going to KILL IT when it comes to water drinking.)

  3. I'm jealous of your water drinking skills, Jac!! On my fitbit phone app it shows a picture of a person and with each cup of water, it fills up the person's body. I never get past the knees!