Our family spent the holidays enjoying quality family time. Instead of working or going to the gym, we sat at home and watched family movies, played board games, worked on Legos, and just had fun together. It was awesome.
This year my husband got me a Fitbit Charge, (affiliate links for your shopping convenience) which unbeknownst to him, was the exact same present I got for him.
Though neither of us got any weight training in, we did maintain our metabolism and activity levels because we were constantly checking our Fitbits to see who had burned the most calories and taken the most steps.
Wearing a pedometer or calorie tracker inspires mindfulness
When you are wearing the Fitbit, looking at it, even if you are just checking the time, inspires you to get more steps in. It is the equivalent of tying a string around your finger except this string tells the time, calories burned, steps you’ve taken, how many floors climbed, and tracks your sleep. Getting in more activity throughout the day is on your mind because you can feel it on your wrist.
I’ve had other pedometers with similar results but the fact that the Fitbit doubles as a slim watch makes it much more useful to me and means I look at it more often throughout the day.
Integrates well with health and fitness apps
I love to use apps to track my progress and get quick information. The Fitbit app is easy to use and connects to my favorite meal tracking app, MyFitnessPal. Exercise can be logged into the Fitbit app itself or if logged into Myfitness pal, the data transfers over to Fitbit. I love that the calories I log on myfitness pal can be seen on the Fitbit app. It helps me see how my calories in measure up to the calories I have burned based on the Fitbit stats.
The challenges and competition make it fun
The Fitbit app has a “challenges” section and a social aspect. There are Daily Challenges, Weekly Challenges, Weekend Challenges, and a Goal Challenge that you can participate in against other Fitbit wearers. So far, I have only challenged my husband and the competitions have gotten ugly!
(I was accused of cheating for walking in place while conversing with him. It’s still activity, right!?)
We rang in the new year by jogging in place as fast as we could go because the daily challenge race was head to head. (I won.)
I have an advantage though. Since I am the mom, the kids tend to ask me for everything. And while he is sitting down building the massive Lego spaceship my son got for Christmas with the kids, I am picking up toys or running around the kitchen cleaning up while I cook.
It tracks your sleep pattern
I have never had a pedometer that tracked my sleep patterns before and I love this aspect. It is interesting to note that when my kids sneak into our bed at night, I am restless 13-15x. When I only have to share the bed with my husband, I am only restless 6-7x per night. He’s been telling me for years that I am a light sleeper.
There was one night that Pea woke up from a nightmare and needed soothing. We finally got back to sleep. Pork Chop woke up with growing pains about an hour later. That night I got about 3 hours of sleep. Though, it didn’t ease my exhaustion any, it was very satisfying to see “proof” that I got no sleep due to the kids (I even showed it to the Hubs.)
Reports and Metrics are awesome!
When I was a supervisor I used to always tell my team that their experience in the last thirty minutes skewed their memory of the day up until that point. This applies to activity too. If you spend 30 minutes jogging in the morning and then plant yourself in front of the computer for 10 hours playing a video game munching on chips and ice cream, you’ll still gain weight. Although, in your mind, you believe that you had an “active” day because you worked out. Seeing the big picture of your activity on an app or the Fitbit Dashboard lets you know exactly how your are progressing on your weight loss goal. If you are taking in more calories than you burn in a day, you will slowly (or quickly) gain weight.
The Fitbit is well worth the cost. The Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge were out of stock when I was looking for them before Christmas. The Fitbit Charge (which doesn’t measure continuous heart rate like the Charge HR) is perfect for most people. However, I became passionate about powerlifting and weight training in November and want a more accurate reading of the calories I am burning. I may not be taking steps when I back squat and deadlift but I know for a fact that I am burning calories! I noticed that since heading back to the gym, I haven’t burned as many calories per day (according to my Fitbit) as I did when I was just walking around the house. That can’t be right!
You don’t have to start a crazy diet or workout regimen to get on the right track towards your fitness goals. Just being aware of your own daily activity levels in comparison to your daily caloric intake can spur little changes that make huge differences in the long run.
“Out of sight, out of mind” definitely causes me to gain weight. When I first became a SAHM, I stopped wearing “work clothes” and wore only gym shorts and yoga pants for six months. When I had to “dress up” for the first time, I couldn’t zip up my pants. I had no idea how much weight I had gained because it wasn’t something that blatantly affected my day to day life.
Have you every gained weight due to inattention? It is not a pleasant experience.
Here are some ways to get in more activity!