Monday, November 7, 2016

To Fitbit or Not to Fitbit?


I had been contemplating getting an activity tracker for a while, if only (mostly) out of pure curiosity about how many miles I tend to walk on a given day.  There are many days when I know I crush it - and others when I definitely don't.  For some I had a strong desire to have that confirmed by wearing an activity tracking wristband ;)

Adding to the equation is the fact that I am coordinating a global walking challenge at work, in which an activity tracker would be super helpful... so I decided to give in and make the purchase.

But first, the research!

To know me is to know that I like to research everything I do, travel to, eat, drink, etc.  Why would choosing my activity tracker be any different? 

To start, I went on the Fitbit website to compare models and to narrow it down.  That was helpful but I realized there are sooo many other trackers out there that are not Fitbits and I wanted to throw them into the mix too. 

I was referred to an article from Reviews.com that gave recommendations on the best overall tracker, best for endurance training, and best basic tracker.  The Garmin Vivoactive HR was their pick for best endurance tracker and became one of my top contenders, along with the Fitbit Charge 2 (which didn't make their list because it came out after their research concluded).


Garmin Vivoactive HR


Fitbit Charge 2

I singled these two trackers out because, in addition to the obvious step count, distance tracking and positive online reviews, both also track sleep and HR, which were (initially, anyway) must-haves for me. 

My other must-haves: not super ugly (but let's face it, none are super pretty either) and thin-sized wristband.

The differences between these two trackers:
  • Vivoactive HR tracks GPS (one of only a few trackers that does!)
  • Charge 2 tracks your cardiovascular score (a metric based on estimated VO2 Max), as well as gives you Guided Breathing Sessions, which are like brief meditation 'timeouts'
I had planned to order on Amazon... but one of my weirdly responsible adult-like qualities is that I can be very controlled when it comes to making purchases (unless you feed me wine at a Mary Kay party, then all bets are off...). 

When packages show up to your door and you're like, "wait a minute..."
source

I decided to shop in person instead.  I'm glad I did.  If you are in the market for an activity tracker, I HIGHLY recommend seeing them in person first.  Both the Vivoactive HR and Charge 2 were wider than I expected, which I didn't love.  I have small wrists and didn't want to feel like I was wearing a cuff.

The Charge 2 was smaller in size than the Garmin (and also smaller in cost... about $100 cheaper).  BUT I really wanted something even smaller. 

Enter the Fitbit Alta, which up until this point, I hadn't seriously considered because it didn't have all of my "must-haves".  It tracks sleep but not HR or GPS.   However, I realized that size and cost really were most important to me. 

Fitbit Alta

The Alta was about $30 cheaper than the Charge 2, not a heck of a lot in the scheme of things, but also had a smaller wristband.  As with the cost, not THAT much smaller, but enough to make a difference. 

It happened to be available at Macy's, where I had a gift card (yay!) so was only going to cost me about $80.  I didn't absolutely need the other things that came with the Charge 2 so... the Alta won!

Although it has taken some getting used to wearing it on a daily basis, I really like it.  It's become a bit of a self-motivated competition to surpass 10,000 steps each day (the recommended number), even if it sometimes does mean pacing my house before bed, and it's pretty cool to see how many steps I take on a busy day.  Not so cool to see how little steps I take when I sit at my desk all day...

Ultimately, I may purchase another wristband that blends in a bit more seamlessly with my jewelry and outfits (or maybe Santa can bring that for me!) but in the meantime, the black one works.

Are you a Fitbit wearer?  Activity-tracker-in-general wearer? If so, what do you find most motivating about it??

My Fitbit Alta...






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