Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm just going to start things by saying, right out, that no one paid me to make this endorsement. Fitbit didn't contact me and I never received anything for free, I just really like the product and wanted to share this neat little gadget with you. Okay, that said, I am unabashedly in love with this little machine. Matt and I ordered them a week or so ago because we're serious about getting healthy and we felt it was an investment in our health. The Fitbit is $99 per unit, so it wasn't a tiny investment, but not huge either. Weight Watchers, which I recently joined, says that if you spend money on your quest to health that you're more likely to stick with it. I think it's true, though I'm nowhere near ready to make the monetary commitment involved in buying something as big as a treadmill--though I'd love to have one, for sure.

So, meet the Fitbit Ultra!! Mine is plum and Matt's is blue, so we can tell the difference right off. Getting the same color would have been crazy and besides, I really like the pink! The Fitbit is a little gadget that you wear all day that tells you how many steps you've taken, floors you've climbed, calories you've burned--both from activity and your body's natural metabolic calorie burn--alerts you to how active you are with this neat little flower (left picture) that grows and shrinks depending upon your activity level, has a clock, and offers you motivational pep-talks when you're moving. Very cool.
If you wear it at night, with the very comfortable included sleep cuff, it tells you how long it took you to go to sleep, how much sleep you actually got, how long you were actually in bed, how many times you woke up throughout the night, and how efficient your sleep is. Check out this screen shot of my first night's sleep information...

Yeah, I woke up 26 times--also, don't judge me for going to bed at 9:00 p.m., I had to be up early!  Anyway, waking up 26 times is astonishing, but I blame Matt. The man came to bed around 2:30am and kept making racket, and talking, and sighing because he couldn't go to sleep, which kept me awake. Then, of course, all of those pink lines that say I woke up between 5:30 and 6:15 a.m. were all the times I hit snooze on the alarm clock. Ha!
Okay, So the next thing to mention, in addition to how awesome the tracking is, is that the set up is really easy. We downloaded the software, opened an account (well, Matt did, I already had one... they're free!), plugged it in and it was fully charged in about an hour. Very user friendly. If you've ever used a traditional pedometer then you know exactly why ease of use is important. Every pedometer I've ever had requires you to tell it how wide your steps are and they're never completely accurate. This little machine has an integrated "altimeter" that tells you not only how many steps you've taken but how high you've climbed. Absolutely no step-measuring involved.

The package includes, for your $99, the Fitbit, a stand to sync/charge on, the sleep cuff, and a belt/garment clip to clip the Fitbit to your clothes (pictured above with the Fitbit). It's tiny, so wearing it is discreet and comfortable. I've been wearing it all day--they recommend women wear it attached to the bra--and it's not at all showing, but it's still tracking my information! How cool is that?! For today, it says that I've taken 3058 steps, walked 1.30 miles, burned 1715 calories (more than I've consumed, for sure), and climbed 7 floors--you can see my activity flower in the picture above.

Another awesome feature of this little machine is that it seems to have about 2.5 days worth of charge, if you wear it non-stop all day and all night. That's not a guarantee, that's just my observation, but I've not had it long yet so we'll see. It also syncs wireless-ly when you get within 15 feet of the charging station, assuming the charger/dock is plugged into a USB port on your computer and you have the software, which is part of the set-up process anyway. You can also sync it when you put it on the stand to charge. So it's always collecting information, which it will store for a long time, so if you can't sync it for several days that's not a problem. Then, it publishes your information, via graphs and charts, on your page on their website. Easy as that.

If you're looking for something like this, in order to better understand your current activity level and maybe step things up, then this little gadget is definitely a good investment. Try it out, you won't regret it, I promise.