Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fitbit Charge HR Review

In early December, I finally joined the fitness tracker revolution by purchasing a Fitbit Charge HR on a Cyber Monday Amazon deal. My sister-in-law has a Fitbit and loves it, so I wanted to give it a try myself and see if it helped with motivation to move more this winter. Today I'm sharing my pro and con list and quick summary of my first 6 weeks wearing a Fitbit.


My daily goal is set at 10,000 steps {5 miles}, which comes as a standard setting on the Fitbit. I usually average more than this on workout days and weekends, but weekdays are tougher. You can manually change the daily step goal, if needed.

Since I started wearing the Fitbit in early December, I have logged 406,395 steps. My best day was 25,000 steps, and the worst was the week after Christmas when I was fighting a bad cold for close to 10 days.


Pros:

*Motivation! In warmer months, I have no problem getting outdoors and taking multiple walks daily on top of regular workouts. Winter is much more difficult, especially with an office job. After wearing the Fitbit for a few weeks, I realized I barely get to 5,000 steps per day on workout rest days without taking several extra walks. I'm still working on increasing my average daily steps during these chilly months.

*Connecting with friends. You can add other users as friends on the Fitbit app, and challenge people to step goals {I like the Weekday and Weekend Warrior Challenges}. I have a few friends with a Fitbit, and it's fun to participate in these challenges. If you have a Fitbit, add me as a friend! {Email: chicagojogger@gmail.com}

*Monitoring workout heart rates. I read the heart rate version of the Fitbit might not be as accurate as wearing a chest strap monitor, but I think it's still helpful to see your cardio effort for various activities. The Fitbit app shows your daily activity effort, and analyzes every workout. I noticed that a slower long run and vinyasa yoga class do not get me in the higher "fat burning zone" heart rate, but an interval treadmill run and cardio barre class does.

Cons:

*Accuracy. The steps are generally very accurate for walking, but the running distance is off compared to the Nike+ running app I use. Based on run comparisons, the mileage distance is too low by at least 0.25 to 0.5 miles on each run. This is not a big deal since I will continue using the Nike+ app for every run, but I plan to try updating my stride in the Fitbit app to see if that fixes the error.

*Charging. The Fitbit needs to be charged for an hour or two every 4-5 days. I tend to forget and wait until I get a warning email before I charge it! The charger plugs into a regular USB, but the cord itself is extremely short and easy to lose. I wish Fitbit offered a longer version of the charging cord.

Overall, I like the Fitbit and I plan to keep wearing it for extra motivation! This weekend has been great for steps so far since I'm in Florida for a short vacation. K and I finished a 20 mile bike ride yesterday and several walks. A beach run is on the agenda today!


Do you wear a fitness tracker?
 
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3 comments:

  1. I got the same Fitbit on Black Friday. In the settings you can actually change the stride length for both walking and running. If you adjust that it would probably be a bit more accurate for running.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Eric, I need to check that out!

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  2. Great review on the Charge HR. I have one and my old one was recently replaced with a new one, same Fitbit Charge HR but the battery on my new one doesn't seem to last as long for some reason. I usually charge it while I shower and sometimes overnight. Do you like the challenges on there?

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