I was hearing more and more about Fitbit, the wearable fitness tracker, so I decided to look into it more closely. I might be the last person on earth to hear about them, because one friend said she’s had one for almost three years already.
I wanted to learn what it is and how it works. And why it seems to have such loyal users. So I asked some Facebook friends about Fitbit. They all gushed:
I have one and love it. I have other friends on it and it becomes a friendly competition to keep us all moving.
I have a friend who was never motivated to walk at all and now she walks twice as much as I do.
It’s literally one of my most beloved possessions.
I love mine… much more motivated with friends.
Another health professional told me that it’s a great tool to monitor your daily activity. “It keeps you motivated. For some users, the sleep tracker feature is good. I worked with a client who was having high blood pressure and by using this and changing his lifestyle, he got great results. It’s especially good for people who are busy and it rewards the masculine side of the brain with its numbers and accountability.”
For the uninitiated, Fitbit is worn around the wrist. Although the core function is to encourage users to take 10,000 steps a day, according to their website, “Fitbit tracks every part of your day—including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep—to help you find your fit, stay motivated, and see how small steps make a big impact.”
The software reports your progress with charts and graphs online and on your phone. It sends you progress notifications and achievement badges to help you stay motivated. And, perhaps the most interesting (or scary, depending on your perspective) feature is the Fitbit social component that allows you to set up group challenges and to support (or jeer) your other Fitbit-wearing friends.
If you’re the kind of person who gets excited by technology, take a look at this humorous piece called 15 signs that you’re addicted to your Fitbit.
Overall, my advice is to go with your gut. If you’re excited to have the kind of monitoring, accountability and even competition that Fitbit provides, go for it! But if your skin is crawling just reading about it, perhaps a nice yoga class would be just as good a companion for your adjustable gastric balloon.
If you’d like more of this kind of health and wellness advice, please subscribe to the Spatz Medical blog by filling in the form on the left.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.