I wanted to share my experience with one of the best fitness tracking devices on the market today: the Fitbit Alta HR. By the best I mean, both user-friendly and informative. The Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks your Every Move tracks so much of your life in one place, I sometimes wonder how I went so long without paying attention to such things. The Alta HR tracks so much more than just the number of steps you take in a day as I will share with you below, though the number of steps is one of the things I, and many others, tend to obsess over the most.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. It helps you meet your goals
Some evenings I find myself pacing aimlessly around the house to meet my goals for the day if I get close, but haven’t quite hit the goal about an hour before bed. One day when Nick (my significant other) noticed the erratic pacing behavior I told him I was stretching my legs, as it was too embarrassing to admit that the tiny device on my wrist made me do it. For a while after that, I was more careful about my nightly pacing habits and now I think it is just normal for both of us.
If you already own a Fitbit or other activity tracker, I am sure I don’t need to explain it to you, but if the device is one you are considering for the first time, I am certain you will understand within a few days of wearing one or hopefully by the end of this writing.
It is a beautiful June day outside, the perfect time of year here in Canada to strap on some comfortable shoes, head out the door and get some additional exercise to feel good about yourself. I am sure the cheese doesn’t stand alone on this matter: when the weather warms up, all the cheese wants to do is be outside. Period. Anything outside is good. Oh, the cheese is me, in case you have forgotten that old song from your childhood. With the desire to be outside, naturally comes the added bonus of more movement. Who doesn’t love when exercise comes naturally?
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. What does it track?
The Alta HR is lightweight with a small screen. It tracks your sleep, steps, and monitors your heart rate. It alerts you to phone calls and text messages. The text in the messages can be set to scroll across the display so you do not have to check your phone until you want to reply. This Fitbit model is not compatible with other apps such as Fitbit Pay, but the Ionic and Versa are if you are more interested in a smartwatch option. The Alta HR is also not waterproof, though the Flex 2 and Versa are, which makes them great options for tracking your swimming activity.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. The Fitbit App:
Your Fitbit app home screen will look similar to the images above, but it is customizable depending on the information you would like to monitor and view. The home screen on my app shows the total number of steps recorded that day, the distance walked that day, the number of calories it estimates I have burned and the amount of vigorous activity for the day.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. Interested in Sleep?
The Alta HR helps you track your sleep patterns if you wear it all the time. It shows you how much time you spent sleeping in total. Helpfully, it shows how long you were in each stage of sleep. It also tracks the amount of time you spent awake or were restless through the night. There is an overview screen where you can see averages and click on each interval to view more in-depth information. After doing some research on what sort of sleep patterns are healthy, I have found it helpful to be able to look at the averages from a few days or a couple of weeks and try to understand why I am more exhausted some days than others.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. Interested in how much you move?
The Track Exercise portion of the app shows an overview of your exercise accomplishments in previous days. This way, you can look back on your progress. Once on that page, you can choose specific days by clicking them and see a more in-depth activity information.
It shows your heart rate, calories burned, steps taken and active minutes. The Heart Rate part of the app shows your average resting BPM for the previous 30 days. It is handy as it also shows a daily breakdown for you.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. Want reminders to move?
You can set your Fitbit to alert you hourly, reminding you to move around. This is great if you haven’t met your step goal for each hour. It alerts you by vibrating on your wrist. It flashes a motivational message once you hit a certain minute of every hour you set to have an alert. This feature is perfect for an activity tracking device because it constantly reminds you of the importance of moving around and not sitting still too long.
Often when we are concentrating we get stuck in what we are doing. We forget to move or aren’t motivated to move on our own. This alert system on the Fitbit is the perfect reminder. When you choose this part of the app it shows you your hourly activity for the day. The Fitbit also alerts you when you hit your hourly goals and throws a little celebration for you.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. It is tailored to you.
The app allows you to enter information about your height and weight. It can estimate the number of calories you burn with each step. It also encourages you to manually track your water and calorie intake on the app. The Fitbit is an exercise in mindfulness. It encourages its users to hydrate and consider what they eat before chowing down. It is not only for activity tracking but is also a good way to keep track of your nutrition. I have to admit the lazy girl in me would prefer if the device could enter that information without my help. You can look back on previous days to see your progress if you keep up with the manual entry.
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. Fancier band options available?
As far as fitness trackers go, I love this one. It is perfect for tracking everything I need it to. I should note here it does NOT track the bike activity. I was just out for a ride with Higgins and these photos were taken. It knows me better than most people in my life do. It also forces me to think about my actions when it comes to my health. That is the clearest sign it is serving its purpose. I love the fact that there are lots of different model options with various features and at different price points.
The sole reason I haven’t been wearing my Fitbit constantly as most people do is the silicon band it comes with. It works for everyday casual outfits, but I tend to favour my hybrid smartwatch from Fossil when the occasion calls for a more dressed up look. The hybrid smart watch doesn’t track everything as closely as the Fitbit and I think each serves its purpose beautifully. Lucky for us, there are a number of companies selling different bands that you can wear with the Fitbit instead of only wearing the athletic-looking band that comes with it.
This beautiful rose-gold metal band came from Amazon and cost about $20CAD once shipping was included. The band makes the Fitbit look more like an accessory instead of just a functional tracker and I love it!
Fitbit: A Wearable Device that Tracks Your Every Move. Rewards exist just for moving!
For anyone in Ontario, there is an app called Carrot that gives you points for hitting fitness goals. You can use this app in conjunction with a number of trackers (even just your smartphone. I found my iPhone didn’t accurately track my steps mostly because I rarely carry it in my pocket). Over the year of using the Carrot app, I have gained enough points for two free movie passes.
If you haven’t heard of the app, but use a tracker I recommend it for sure. Also if you are not in Ontario, I don’t think you will be able to get points from this app. However, there should be other apps out there reward you in a similar way. It is worth investigating for your area. After all, who doesn’t love free movie rewards for just living their life? Do you know of a similar app in your area that motivates you to meet activity goals?
Have you tried a Fitbit or other activity tracking device? What kind of recommendations do you have when it comes to tracking your movement?
Check out our post on the Woof Cycle Bike Trotter if you are wondering how our dogs run with the bikes.