This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned.
At night, it tracks your sleep quality and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal.
It's the motivation you need to get out and be more active.
I was introduced to the Fitbit Flex by my sister. She had been using it to track her walking steps during the day with the intention of making herself more active as she has an office based job. Initially I wondered why anyone would want to spend $159 on a gadget that seemed to just be a pedometer. She seemed addicted to this little wrist band that she had only had a week.
Something clicked in me and I thought I would give it a go. I went all out and got one for my husband as well. We took them away for our five night stay at the beach. Within the first couple of days we were pushing each other to get more active. Any chance to go for a walk or play with the kids was taken. We even found ourselves walking around in circles at the bach or doing a quick hundred running on the spot steps. Our kids thought it was great as well as they would run on the spot with us. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember and exercise is always hard when you carry too much weight. The Fitbit inspired me very quickly to get active.
Jobs that I usually like to hand over to my husband, for example, running up and own the steps at the bach when packing up the car at the end of the holiday, became things that I was fighting for. I even found myself doing a bit of running on the beach so that we could keep pushing our daily target of 10,000 steps. While we were at the beach, we found that 10,000 steps were easily attained as we were free to walk and play when we felt like it. As a result, we changed our target to 12,500 steps as we knew it would be a bit harder when we returned home. At the beach, we were even getting up to 20,000 steps. The funny thing is that I usually like the have a good rest at the beach, so this became a rather active holiday for us and the kids.
The Fitbit Flex tracks the steps that you take each day. The box comes with the little tracking unit, a couple of wristbands, USB dongle and a USB charger. There is one small and one large wristband. Unfortunately, my sister, husband and I all require the large one and the small one isn't used. It would have been nice to be able to replace the small one for another large one as only having one means that cleaning them isn't so easy. So far, from what I have seen online, I can't buy more wrist bands. It looks like you have to purchase a whole new unit. I haven't contacted them to confirm this but their online store doesn't look hopeful. Damaging the wrist strap would be an expensive experience.
There is a little window on the band which has place for five lights. As you meet a fifth of your goal for the day, another light will start flashing. The fact that there is no screen means that I don't know exactly where I am up to and therefore I just keep going until I have met my goal rather than constantly watching the numbers as they go by. I love it when the band vibrates to indicate that I have met the goal for the day.
It is great that it is water resistant and I can wear them in the shower. This means that I don't have to remember to put it on each day. It is always on me apart from when I am swimming or charging the tracking device. I get a bit anxious when I have to charge it as I don't get all my steps counted.
There is whole community of people globally who use Fitbits. This means that we can join groups of similar people or in similar areas and discuss things that might be relevant to us. I have joined the New Zealand users and my husband has also joined the over 40s group. The data gets synced to my online account and this means that I can see how I am doing each day. There is the option to have friends linked together through the online account. I get to see each day how my sister and husband are doing and it pushes me further to attempt to keep up with them (or at least to not get too far behind).
We have now been using the Fitbit Flex for about three weeks. We have remained active and keep pushing ourselves every day. In fact, I am now walking my son to Kindy each morning (when I was previously driving him). The return trip is around 4 km. I have also started using our treadmill again which has been gathering dust for a number of years. My husband and I find ourselves jogging on the spot before bed each night if we haven't made it to our goal for the day.
The Fitbit Flex also tracks sleep. So far I have remembered to tap it each night before I go to bed. This is something that could easily be forgotten as you have to actually tell it that you are heading off to sleep. It tracks how many times you wake, how many times you were unsettled and how long you have slept for. I would take it as an indication rather than an exact science. I think it depends on how much you move when you wake as to whether it decides you have woken or not.
I have found that if I am pushing the shopping trolley or the buggy, it doesn't pick up all of my steps. It relies on my arm swinging in order to pick them up properly. Running with bent arms also doesn't pick up as many steps. I have found the best thing to do is to keep my arms straightish and swing them like I am walking. I try to push the buggy or trolley with one arm while swinging the arm with the band on.
We have found that we are now drinking much more water each day as we can log it on the online account.
There are quite a range of choices in the Fitbit product list. The Flex was best for me as I can have it on all the time. We also purchased the Aria (scales). The combination of the Flex and Aria are working really well for my husband and me. I will do a separate review on the Aria scales.
I guess I am totally sold on the Fitbit Flex and it has changed my lifestyle for the better. I hope that I continue to benefit from its personal trainer persona!!
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