Fitness tracker keeps me on track

Fitness tracker on wrist with bracelet style band

My Fitbit Alta with Greek key pattern band made by Bayite.

Now that I’ve maintained my weight loss and kept my mindset focused on healthy living for nearly 10 years, I can confidently say I’m a success. Expert? Yes, to the extent of my personal experience and range of study on the subject. I’m not a nutritionist but it’s in my own best interest to stay well-informed. I take what I’ve learned and I apply it to my daily routines. Over the years, I’ve changed some things to fit my lifestyle as I evolve and adjust, always with an eye towards maintaining everything I’ve gained.

Interestingly, as much as I love technology and gadgets, In all this time, I never felt an inclination to try any of the fitness trackers on the market—until this year. I should first mention, this is not a product endorsement in the sense that the Fitbit company did not give me the Alta I’m using in return for this blog post. I bought my Fitbit and now that I’ve used it for a while, I’m ready to talk about my experience which has been mostly good. I have one or two peeves but I’ll get to them later.

I first started with a $69 off-brand that worked reasonably well until it went through the wash in a pocket (twice) before it began to malfunction. By then I was very much in the habit of tracking my daily steps and I felt it gave me incentive to keep moving. So I went about researching smart watches thinking I would go that route, but in the end I didn’t feel they’d evolved enough to make me buy one.

After polling women I trusted in a Facebook group where I’m active, I settled on buying the Fitbit Alta (about $120). It’s very accurate as far as I can tell and has multiple features. I monitor my steps, calories burned, minutes of activity, my sleep patterns, weight lost or gained, what I’ve eaten, water intake and more. Of those things, the first four are my favorites. The alerts are great. If I happen to be away from my cell phone, a mild buzz on my wrist lets me know I’ve received a call or a text. I also use wake-up alerts and reminders to move around each hour. I keep it dry. It is water resistant but not waterproof. Don’t wear it in shower or while swimming. however, if you are sitting by a pool or riding in a boat and it gets splashed, just dry it right away and all will be fine.

I wasn’t thrilled with the synthetic band that came with it and the company’s offering was too rich for my budget at $89, so I opted for two or three fun and beautiful bands sold on Amazon by Bayite made specifically for the Fitbit Alta. (See my favorite in the photo, it was $18.) They have two sizes, small works best for me. Several manufacturers make bands for Fitbit models but they are not all alike. I read reviews carefully before I made my purchase.

Peeves: This applies to many brands and is more about waiting for the technology to catch up, but with both trackers I owned, it was difficult to read the screen in bright sunlight. The second thing that irks me—and this too, was characteristic of both trackers, is that the finger tap necessary to change the readout often needs to be repeated several times before anything happens. Grrr. Interestingly, the cheaper tracker (Striiv) allowed for a tap and finger swipe that was a bit easier to successfully execute than  straight tapping with the Fitbit Alta.

Not a peeve, but a funny side effect: The battery stays charged for a good 3-5 days depending on your settings. Oddly (and this is just me) I find myself reluctant to move around while the unit is charging. Let me explain (grin). For example, this morning I saw my battery could use a charge so I took it off my wrist, plugged it in and went about my routine checking emails Facebook and doing some social media marketing (sitting on the couch). When finished, I saw that the battery wasn’t yet fully charged. This is where it gets funny—I didn’t want to get up and move around because those steps wouldn’t be recorded. Ha ha, I tell myself, get over it. Seriously, a few steps go unregistered nearly every day for one reason or another.

Overall, my Fitness tracker has become an important part of my routine and I wouldn’t be without it. It’s a great tool and my favorite helper.

Hey, it’s been a while since I sent you over to visit me on Facebook. Come see me some time.

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