The other day I had mentioned to RunningWife that I was contemplating the purchase of a Fitbit tracker to keep tabs on my daily activity – after all, I’m kind of a technology nerd so having the online tracking really appeals to me. Being the amazing and supportive wife that she is, by the time I got home that night there was a gift waiting for me on the table.
I’ve had my Fitbit Flex for a little more than two weeks now and I absolutely, positively LOVE it!
The setup was a breeze and the integration with the app on my iPhone was a snap. But Fitbit may have created a monster!
Syncing On The Minute
When I first started wearing my Flex, I was syncing with the iPhone app all the time. And I mean all the time.
Walk from my desk to the printer at work – gotta check my steps!
Go to the bathroom – gotta check my steps!
Get out of bed and go downstairs – gotta check my steps!
I think you get the idea. It was like when you buy a stock for the first time and you’re constantly checking the market to see if you’ve made money or lost money. Or for anyone that has operated a blog before, it is akin to the constant check of Google Analytics to see how many visitors you’ve had on your site.
As time goes by, I imagine this will subside to some degree but it is so easy to quickly check how many steps you have in at any time. The nice thing about having that instant ability to check your steps, miles and minutes of activity is that you can quickly tell whether you need to kick it up a notch or two.
You’re Not Passing Me!
While checking your steps can be addicting, I have found that the real addiction has been how the natural competition with others has motivated me to be more active. As you connect with people on the Fitbit community, they will be displayed in your Friend Rankings.
The Friend Rankings are, as you can likely guess, a listing of the step totals for all of your Fitbit friends. The total is a rolling 7-day total, so as each day ends you might find yourself rising or dropping on the list. Now the really beautiful – and fun – part of this is that you can cheer your friends for the progress they are making and the goals they are achieving.
But the evil genius part is that you can taunt your friends too!
There have been more than a few nights where I am settled in for the night, pleased with the progress that I made that day, enjoying a little TV and then it happens – someone passes me by in the step count and sends me a taunt.
Oh no you didn’t! (Wag your finger and shake your head while saying that for the full effect.)
Seeing that taunt will get you up off the couch so you can do some more walking to add more steps to your daily total and pass the person that just passed you, so you can then throw their taunt right back in their face! Juvenile, perhaps – but it really can motivate you to keep as active as possible.
Long Term Benefits
Ultimately, the important this is to be up off of your butt, leading an active and healthy lifestyle. As time goes by, the appeal of the Fitbit Flex may wane (although being a little geeky I love having the stats to track over time – ask RunningWife about all of the spreadsheets I create, ha!) but before that happens you will have created a habit.
A habit of exercising.
A habit of eating healthy food choices.
A habit that will last you a lifetime, and will very likely extend your lifetime.
Since introducing the changes that I have been making to lead a healthier lifestyle, I have lost 19.5 pounds and am excited to exercise each and every day. I’m looking for ways to get up from my desk at work and be a little more active. Sitting on the couch all night after work is no longer the desirable choice.
Coming downstairs and realizing that I forgot something actually makes me smile now, as I get to run back up the stairs and add a handful of steps to my daily total.
Ultimately, the change to a healthier lifestyle has to come from within and you have to conquer the person in the mirror. But for me, I have found that the Fitbit Flex has been a huge catalyst to making those changes easier and a lot more fun!