I’d been dragging my feet on getting a fitness tracker for a long time. They’re always touted as unreliable, and because I don’t have a specific race lined up that I’m training for, I debated whether or not a fitness tracker was really a worthy investment.
After asking the opinion of every fit-minded person I knew (a pretty easy inquiry when you work at a fitness magazine), I had narrowed it down to two options: a Fitbit Flex band, or a Jawbone Up band. Both had perks–they’re reasonably priced, fairly accurate and pretty tasteful (I could wear them daily without calling too much attention to them)–but ultimately, I ended up going with the Fitbit Flex.That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the Jawbone Up band–in fact, I have several friends who use and love it. But for me, the Fitbit was just a more sensible option. With most versions of the Jawbone, you have to plug the bracelet into your computer to download your stats, while the Fitbit syncs through the Bluetooth on your mobile device and stores all your data in an easy-to-use app, so you can stay advised of your activity throughout the day (or lack there of, in some cases)*. That, to me, was a huge selling point–if I’m at the gym, or running errands on a Saturday, I don’t want to have to find a computer to figure out how many active minutes I’ve had or steps I’ve taken. Call this a first world problem if you wish, but I want to know in the moment.
Another great feature of the Fitbit is its light up display on the band. There are five LED spots, which will progressively light up throughout the day (they dim when not in use, but if you double tap the bracelet, they’ll light back up) as you clock more and more steps, keying you into how close you are to reaching whatever goal you’ve set for yourself (I have mine set to 10,000 steps a day, which, even with a partially walkable commute, isn’t always easy to reach!). It kind of makes it a fun game throughout the day to double tap it and see visually how close you are to your goal (it also vibrates when you reach your goal, which can kind of make you jump if you’re caught off-guard by it!).
In addition to tracking your calories burned, distance traveled and active minutes, the Fitbit boasts a sleep tracker. This is the part I was most skeptical about–and truthfully, I hope it’s unreliable because it sometimes tells me I get only 3-4 hours of sleep a night…yikes! Regardless of whether or not the sleep tracker in the device is legit, I feel like I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth with the fitness tracker. I genuinely enjoy wearing it every day, and it has definitely made me more aware of my activity/fitness level during the day–I’m taking the stairs more, getting off a subway stop earlier and generally making more of an effort to be moving around throughout the day. If you’re looking to invest in a fitness tracker without to many bells and whistles, the Fitbit is probably perfect for you!
*The latest version of Jawbone actually does sync through Bluetooth, but at over $50 more than the Fitbit, I still think I made the right choice!
p.s. Please note, this is not a paid product review! I bought my own Fitbit and am reviewing it honestly based off my experience. I really do recommend it!