Fitbit: The Google Analytics Of Fitness

I was excited for the Fitbit ever since I heard about it at the Techcrunch 50 conference back in 2008. After 2 years following the development, I finally got my own Fitbit. After 3 months of daily use, here is my review.

The Fitbit is a small device that you wear on your hip in order to track your movements throughout the day. As you move, the Fitbit will count your steps just like any other pedometer. The device has one button on the front which will cycle through different stats with each push. When out and about you can check your total number of steps, the number of calories burned, distance traveled, and a flower representing your growth and overall healthiness for the day.

At bedtime you put the Fitbit into a soft wristband and you can track how long and the quality of your sleep. Holding the button down for a few seconds starts the sleep tracker and you have to remember to stop it when you wake up in the morning. As you fall in and out of sleep, the Fitbit tracks your movements and can tell how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night and the actual time you were asleep vs the time you were in bed.

But what makes the Fitbit different happens when you get within a couple of feet of the base station.  The data is automatically uploaded to where you can analyze your data with the help of pretty graphs. Not fussing with manually syncing the data yourself makes it a system that easily fits into ones life. You can build up a history of your daily activity without even thinking about. It’s like Google Analytics for your fitness!

Activity tracking aside, also has a food log for tracking calories.  I don’t use this feature because you still have to measure the food and add it manually. If there was something that calculated nutrition information as it went into my mouth, I would be all over it. The Fitbit isn’t that good… yet.

Overall I’m really happy with my Fitbit. The only downside I can think of is the long order time (oredered one for my Mom in October and it didn’t get here until mid January). It is easily worth the $100 price tag in order to painlessly build up a history of my physical activity and sleep history. I don’t need this information right now, but one day I might, and this tool will come in handy.

Other Reviews

1 Year Older And 27 Pounds Lighter

Today is my 23rd birthday. It also happens to be the 1 year anniversary of when I looked in my bathroom mirror and didn’t like what I saw. My belly finally crossed that point of seeming too big and it was time to make a change in my life. Before this epiphany I used to eat whatever I wanted without thinking about the consequences. Things like Chef Boyardee, fast food burgers, and pizza were common items on my menu.

Since then I decided to eat Cheerios in the morning and Healthy Choice dinners at night. I became aware of what I was eating and actively went out of my way to find healthier alternatives. Candy bars from the vending machine everyday quickly add up yet the snacks never seem to provide any satisfaction. It was better for me to avoid them all together.

I even tried to develop an exercise routine by riding my $7 exercise bike which became the topic of my first real blog entry here. I quickly lost interest in the bike and except for my 1.5 miles I cover walking to and from work, I don’t really have any other exercise plan. Relying on watching what I eat alone, I managed to o from a high of 217.4 to a jaw dropping 190.0 today! Check out the graph below:

April 30th 2007 - 217.4 April 24th 2008 - 190.0

I found keeping track of my weight every couple of days really helped keep me focused on my goals. If I began to gain a few pounds I knew I was slipping up and could easily correct myself. Mostly what kept me interested was seeing the patterns that would emerge. I love looking at numbers like my blog stats or my bank account so tracking my weight was fun. Online tools like SkinnyR and The Daily Plate make it a snap to keep an eye on your scale.

I hope to get down my normal weight of 185 pounds later this year. My weight loss has slowed some but it is still inching along ever so slowly. I think I need to buy new belts because there is still some slack when I set it to the smallest hole. I guess that this is just proof that tackling a goal a little bit at a time can yield big results over time.