It seems these days that if there’s a goal to be reached, there’s a gadget to help you get there. Pedometers, electronic calorie counters, even video games are getting in on the act. With the growing popularity of fitness gadgets of all kinds, the available choices can be overwhelming, both in their variety and complexity of use.
Enter into the crowded scene the Fitbit. Just another gadget? Users say it’s so much more. This little unit contains a triaxial accelerometer, the same technology contained in the wii remote, that tracks movement on a 3D plane. What does that mean to us non-geeks who wouldn’t know a triaxial accelerometer from a Star Trek communicator? Simply put, it means this little gadget will track your movements, whether you’re walking, running, or sitting still. It will even tell you how much sleep you get each night. In short, it’s a personal fitness coach in a gadget the size of a money clip.
Is there anything it doesn’t do? Well, it won’t fold your laundry for you.
It will, however, track just how active you are, on average, on any given day, upload that data through a wireless base to the website, and organize the information into nifty pie charts, bar graphs and averages tracked over time to give you an idea of your overall fitness level. In short, it’s a pocket-sized fitness coach that won’t yell at you if you skip your 5 AM walk.
How do I use the Fitbit Tracker?
Simply clip the Fitbit monitor to a piece of clothing somewhere on your torso, even to your underclothes, or stick it in a pocket (the readings will be slightly less accurate in a pocket), and off you go. It will record your movement and activity level throughout the day. Any time you pass within 15 feet of the base (which is plugged into your computer), the information syncs wirelessly from it and uploads to the website (obviously your computer is required to be connected to the internet for this to work).
Your own Personal Fitbit Dashboard
You can then log in to your private account to review your data and manually enter your food intake for the day to calculate your caloric intake. The Fitbit software calculates where you are with your fitness goals. No judgments, no lectures, no Barbie-doll look-alike looking askance at you while she notes down your weekly weigh-in on her clipboard. On the website, you set and track fitness goals, view your information, and get support in the user forum.
What’s to love?
Reviewers praise pretty much everything about the Fitbit. For the price, it’s the best all-around fitness monitor on the market. Here’s why:
It is incredibly easy to use. You set it, clip it, and forget it. At night, it slips into a handy sleeve, which is worn on the wrist of your less-dominant hand. Push and hold the button for two seconds to set the sleep mode. In the morning, push and hold the button again to “wake up” your fitness buddy, and go on with your day as usual. No series of buttons to push, no fancy settings to fool with, just beautiful simplicity. The only “programming” required is entering your stride length into your personalized account on the website, a simple exercise that’s fully explained in the manual.
The price is nice:
Reviewers regularly rate it as being as accurate as the other systems, simpler to use, and it carries a much lighter price tag than similar units. Compared to similar units, the Fitbit is a bargain. For example, the BodyBugg (aka Bodymedia- same manufacturer, different marketing strategy), is priced at twice the Fitbit’s cost, plus a fee is charged to subscribe to the website. Once you purchase the Fitbit unit, access to the website and all its utilities is free.
Unlike more expensive units, which require a membership with a hefty fee, this little unit includes access to your web account and all its basic features. There is a premium version available with even more bells and whistles, but the free version offers everything the average user will want. This is not one of those bait-and-switch deals in which the free version is actually a limited trial.
Not so much:
The only downfalls to the Fitbit? Well, first of all, it’s water-resistant, but not water-proof. The difference? A little Sweatin’ to the Oldies won’t do it any harm, but you won’t want to jump in the pool with it on. Second, all activities aren’t recorded equal. Cycling, for example, won’t register as vigorous activity. You can, however, enter the time you spent and your exertion level manually.
Where can I get mine?
A quick internet search turned up a number of options for buying your it. Amazon.com and eBay are just two of a number of sources. Probably your best bet, however, is to buy direct from the Fitbit website. With the lowest prices available and free shipping, this is one time it pays to go direct. Hope you enjoyed my Fitbit Review.