Fitbit Alta HR
Now and then, in a quest to keep thing fresh and moving forward, I like to try something new. To that end, I got a Fitbit Alta HR a few weeks ago. I thought it might be nice to have a way to track my steps each day. The Fitbit researchers decided, upon the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control, to start everyone on a 10,000 step per day goal. I’ve since moved mine up to a 12,000 step a day goal which better suits my needs. I walk the dogs every morning so that takes care of a lot of the requirement but then I find times during the day to walk to make up the difference.
Besides walking each day I also row using a rowing machine and lift weights. The tracker allows me to add distance (for the rowing) and time to my overall activity minutes but those activities don’t count toward my step goal. So in addition to my 12,000 step a day minimum I can also keep track of other activities like lifting, running, playing tennis, jumping rope etc.
I figured I would get some benefit out of having the Fitbit but it turns out it’s provided great motivation for me. One of the clock faces you can choose from, has a flower on it. When you’re not very active, for instance if you’re sitting at a desk working on a paper, the flower is short with just one a bud. If you start moving around, the flower will grow taller, sprout more leaves, bloom and finally dance. Oh my goodness, the things I’ve done to get that flower to dance!
One day I was waiting for a friend at the hospital and although I had my 12,000 steps for the day, my poor flower was just a sad looking little thing. I went to a quiet corner and started marching in place (that counts for walking…and if you lift your knees high, is an excellent exercise). Now, that was an odd thing to be doing, alone in a hallway and sure enough a nurse caught me as she came out of a stairwell next to where I was happily marching. I stopped and just looked at her. She said “Oh, you’re trying to get your steps, right?” Then she showed me the Fitbit she was wearing, the strap of which happened to be color coordinated with her scrubs. We had a good laugh. She went about her business and I kept on marching until that flower danced!
I’ve got the Fitbit set so that it will give me friendly reminders to move when I’ve been still too long. That’s a handy tool, since most of the time, I can get up and do a quick few steps. If I can’t, it thankfully won’t bug me but the awareness that I’ve been sedentary for a significant period of time is a good little nudge to move around a little bit.
I’d say the Fitbit was an excellent purchase and I don’t even use most of it’s capability. I don’t care to track my sleep, use the calorie counter or connect with other people for fitness challenges. This particular model of Fitbit is very slim and unobtrusive and will track your heart rate.
It came with a black strap but if you go on Amazon you can order generic brand straps in a rainbow of colors to fit it. They’re quite inexpensive. I got a large assortment for a very reasonable price. I even got one in leopard print. Naturally, since I got all the colors, I find myself wearing the black strap every day.
If you find yourself lacking in motivation and bored with your traditional way of tracking your workouts, you might want to consider getting a Fitbit. It just may provide a fun and amusing way to encourage you.