When my boyfriend and I were just friends, he got a Fitbit for his birthday from his family. I thought it seemed really cool and I kinda wanted one but I had my phone and my iPod for pedometers so I didn’t really have any need for another one! And I really didn’t need to be spending any more money, that’s for sure!
Fast forward to the end of 2016 and I’d been thinking that maybe having a Fitbit would actually be really handy. I was interested in being able to track my sleeping patterns and see how well I’m sleeping, along with the more accurate pedometer that I could wear all the time. My lovely boyfriend got me the Fitbit Alta for Christmas and I love it!
It’s now 150 days since I first started wearing it on Christmas Day and I thought I would write about the features that I like and the ones I don’t really use/like as much.
Before I get started, I thought I would show you guys what the wristband itself looks like (along with its features) and other aspects of the Fitbit and mobile app.
As you can see, I went with the Blue/Stainless Steel colour. The band is adjustable and it can be removed and replaced with one of another colour or style.
In addition to the 4 features available on your wristband (though they are more detailed here), the Dashboard also shows:
- How many hours I’ve reached the 250+ steps targets, and
- How well/long I slept
The bottom panel shows Dashboard, Challenges, Guidance, Friends, and Account.
Now onto my thoughts on it:
1. Pedometer / 250+ steps per hour
I really like having the pedometer functionality of the Fitbit. As I mentioned above, my phone has a pedometer and so does my iPod but I find the Fitbit pedometer much more accurate. Of course, this could be largely related to the fact that I wear the Fitbit all the time whereas I don’t always have my phone or my iPod on me. It’s helpful to me being able to see how many steps I’ve doing throughout the whole day.
One of the features you can activate on it is “250+ steps per hour” which is exactly as it sounds – it encourages you to make sure that you are walking at least 250 steps each hour. If you’re like me, you tend to be stationary a lot of the time, working on the computer or the likes, so ten minutes before the hour the Fitbit buzzes to let you know you haven’t done enough steps for that hour. Sometimes it tells you how many steps you have to do “10 mins to get 100 steps” while other times it just says something along the lines of “Keep moving”.
The amount of steps per hour is fixed (though you can, of course, do much more than 250 steps in an hour), but you can change the range when you will be reminded. You can choose whether to do this every day of the week, or perhaps just on weekdays. You can also choose the hours of the day to do it. The default is 9am til 6pm but you can change that to whatever you like.
2. Sleep Tracker
I find the sleep tracker incredibly useful. When my boyfriend asks me how I slept last night, more often than not I struggle to answer – unless I know for definite that I slept really well or really badly – the in between is a bit more ambiguous. Therefore, because I wear my fitbit at all times and it tracks my movements, it gives me a better idea of how I slept and means I can track my sleeping patterns. I allow it to detect my sleeping schedule automatically rather than adding a sleep log and then I just adjust the time, particularly if I know I was definitely awake later than it suggested that night and was up earlier the next morning.
As you can see from the pictures below, there’s a key for when you were Awake, Restless and Asleep throughout the night. In the first picture, I got a really good sleep as I was pretty much dead to the world for the whole 8.5 hours I slept. The second picture shows a decent sleep as well but shorter and more restless with actual periods of being awake.
The green star means I’ve hit my goal of getting at least 8 hours sleep every night which you can change depending on how much sleep you would like to get on average. This is calculated against actual periods of sleep and discounts any restlessness or periods of being awake. You can also set yourself a target sleep schedule – going to bed and getting up consistently at the same time each night.
3. Active Minutes
The “Active Minutes” setting recognises any activity of 10 consecutive minutes and accumulates them throughout the day. It will register your walk to work, a walk around the park, or anything like that, as long as you do it for at least 10 minutes. You can set your target of how many active minutes you would like to achieve each day. I find this setting useful, as with the 250+ steps per hour, because it encourages me to be more active each day.
Less Used Features
I tend to pay less attention to how many calories I’ve burned throughout the day (though it automatically detects this too), or the other trackers such as water intake, food log or weight log. I’m sure they can be very useful but for the moment, it’s not something I’m interested in keeping track of to that extent.
So, that’s it! 150 days of wearing the Fitbit Alta. While I’m not as excited about it as I was when I first got it (for which I’m sure my boyfriend is very grateful)…
“Hey, look! Do you like my Fitbit Alta?”
“Oh hey, did you know that I got a Fitbit for Christmas?”
“Look at it. It’s so pretty!!”
…I still really like it and find it really helpful. If you’re interested in knowing more about your sleeping pattern or just want to encourage yourself to be more active, whether by hour or just generally every day, then I would definitely recommend getting a Fitbit Alta.
If you have any other questions about the Fitbit Alta that I haven’t covered above, please get in touch and I’d be happy to help!
You can check out the Fitbit Alta and other products on their website here.