Two weeks after I started back to Weight Watchers getting activity into my life was a challenge even though I’ve written about all the benefits on this blog. (Can you say hypocrite?)
The bottom line is that I really don’t like exercise unless it’s a side benefit of fun and was afraid of re-injuring myself. I thought an activity tracker might help.
Activity Tracker Options
I evaluated three different options for tracking my activity. The first one is the traditional pedometer. It’s great at tracking steps, but not much else. I’ve never kept it up past a couple of weeks because of the limited information and feedback.
Weight Watchers has their own activity tracker that calculates points earned by movement in addition to steps. I like that it automatically adds them to users’ online account. Additionally, it includes coaching and plans for improvement. The tracker costs about $40 but also comes with a $5 monthly fee.
The last option I considered was Fitbit. I got to learn about this activity tracker at BlogHer last summer and was intrigued. There is a model, Fitbit Zip, that is similar to a pedometer except it can sync wirelessly to a smartphone and track calories burned. It retails for $59. The higher end model, the Fitbit One does this plus track stairs and sleep quality for $99.
My Choice and Experience
As you can tell from the title I selected the Fitbit. I went with the more expensive Fitbit One because sleep is sometimes an issue for me. I wore it for a few days without making any changes to my routine and learned that my daily step count was consistently around 3,200. I then set a goal to get 4,000 steps daily for the next week. Every week I consistently have met my goals and am now up to 6,500 daily steps.
Additionally, I monitored my sleep for a week and found how I feel in the morning is a good indicator of how well I slept. The mornings I still felt tired were after the nights where I had more interruptions and less sleeping time. But overall, I’m getting 8 hours of good sleep a night. Can’t complain about that!
Three of my favorite features of the Fitbit are:
1. Smart Phone App – I love syncing with my Fitbit several times a day and can do that with the Fitbit iPhone app. Without this capability, I would only sync with my account whenever I get near the computer that has the doggle attached. Other apps that it works with include MyFitnessPal, Loseit! and SparkPeople although I have no direct experience.
2. Awards and Motivation – I love getting emails and notifications that I’ve made some milestone like the one for climbing 25 floors in one day or a lifetime tracking of 50 miles! You can tweet your stats out or share on Facebook.
I even like the encouraging messages that display when I put the Fitbit on each morning. An option to have a flower icon in the display is available. So far, I rarely get to see my flower grow, but it’s exciting to see the icon bloom based on my activity level.
3. Community – In addition to being able to share stats with social media, there’s an online community at the Fitbit website. You can compare your progress to friends and get motivated in your choice of hundreds of groups.
The Fitbit was what I needed to get moving and keep progressing each week. Is there one piece of equipment or person that motivates you?
Note: I bought my own Fitbit and loved it so much I wanted to share this tool with you. There are affiliate links for Amazon in the post.