I Never Thought I’d be a Fitbit Fan. Here’s How the Device Totally Converted Me.

If you sit all day, or more than you'd like, this gadget could be the personal trainer you want—and the kick in the pants you need.

i-tried-a-new-fit-bit-charge-jerry-schaeferCourtesy jerry schaefer

I admit that the idea of wearing an activity tracker or smart watch was something I used to scoff at. I didn’t feel I needed to be monitored or told what to do. I thought I was moving plenty and that my yoga practice was enough to keep me going. Translation: I was in denial.

Recently that all changed when I saw reports of how bad it is to sit for hours at a time without movement. News stories were calling sitting the new smoking, for goodness sake. Since I had always prided myself on being a non-smoker and believing that it would help me bypass some illnesses, I was less than pleased that just sitting could undo that protection.

[pullquote] How was it possible that I had walked only 4,000 steps instead of the recommended 10,000? [/pullquote]

Unfortunately, I am a writer by trade, and we tend to sit a lot. And since getting a standing desk wasn’t on my long or short list, I thought I might as well try a Fitbit Charge 2 to help keep me honest with my daily activity levels.

By the end of the first day, I was unimpressed with my numbers to say the least. I was far less active than I thought I was. By A LOT.

How was it possible that I had walked only 4,000 steps instead of the recommended 10,000? I thought I would see that I had easily exceeded 15,000. I guess I shouldn’t have ignored the prompts that told me to move, or as my Fitbit demands: “Feed me steps.”

On day two, I decided to give into the process. I downloaded the accompanying app and pledged to yield to all the suggestions. Guess what! After a few weeks of heeding my Fitbit, I really fell in love with it. It’s kind of like the low-key personal trainer that I’ve always wanted. The exercise reminders are gentle but loaded with enough guilt to spur me to action. Other than the “get walking” reminders, I also receive personalized breathing exercises based on my heart rate. I appreciate that because often I’m tense and unaware that I’m not taking full breaths. Though the Fitbit can track calories burned and distance covered, and map your route, one of the best features for me is getting sleep feedback. Needless to say, not only did I realize that I was not active enough, but on top of that I was also not getting enough sleep.

I’m not saying that my Fitbit Charge 2 is the answer to everything health-wise, but for someone like me and I suspect many of you, it can provide clues as to where you might be able to improve your routine. Quite frankly, we can probably all use a little help taking care of ourselves.

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