Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fitbit through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Fitbit, all opinions are my own.

FitbitLogo_400pxI recently received a Fitbit Charge to review on F&F, and I’m excited to share my experience with this nifty little tracker with you guys today.

Fitbit Charge Review

I have to be completely honest and admit upfront that I wasn’t sure how I’d like using an activity tracker, mainly because I am not technologically inclined at ALL. I’ve tried tracking various things in the past such as my meals on LoseIt or my steps through the American Heart Association’s get walking now website. Most recently, I’ve tried tracking my progress with heavy lifting at the gym, and even though this was resorting back to the old-school way of pen and paper, I still couldn’t do it. Each and every time I’ve started to track something, I’ve inevitably stopped. So when I received the Fitbit Charge, I was skeptical, but I forced Tim to set it all up for me (because no way would I try to set up something myself) before I began using it.

Fitbit Charge Review

Here are some of the Charge’s main features:

  • All-day activity: The Charge tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes.
  • Watch and display: The wristband displays time, daily stats, and exercise mode.
  • Caller ID: If your phone is nearby, the watch will display incoming call notifications.
  • Long battery life: The battery life of this tracker is 7-10 days, which is longer than a lot of other competing trackers out there. I feel like I never have to charge the Charge!
  • Auto sleep and alarms: The Charge will automatically monitor your sleep and allow you to set silent alarms.
  • Wireless syncing: This product will wirelessly and instantaneously link your stats to most smart phones and computers.

One of the things I found most eye-opening after using my Fitbit was how LITTLE I actually move throughout the day! As a full-time wellness coordinator, I’ll admit I was a bit embarrassed to discover that I came nowhere near the magical 10,000 steps a day number  that’s prescribed like medicine to maintain good health. Sure, I work HARD in the gym, but that’s just for about an hour a day, five or six days a week. The rest of my 23 hours? Despite trying to take the stairs or use my standing desk as much as possible, I’m pretty sedentary. Don’t tell anyone at work. Seriously though, it’s pretty scary. Check out this article that explains why you can’t out-exercise the harmful effects of sitting.

Standing Desk

Here are some of the biggest benefits/takeaways I got from my first month of using the Fitbit:

  • The sleep tracker! Holy moly, has this been helpful. If I had to pinpoint one of my unhealthiest areas, it would be the amount of sleep I get. I know it’s not good for me, but I tend to neglect sleep to get more things done or spend more time with Tim. The Fitbit’s sleep component will not only show you how many minutes you spend asleep, but how many minutes you were restless throughout the night. Knowing that I’ll see a number lower than 7 hours in the morning has helped me prioritize sleep a little better. I’m still not totally there, but it’s definitely an area I’ve improved on. Another interesting thing I’ve observed relating to the sleep tracker is that on nights I don’t do so great with getting enough sleep, I’m noticeably HUNGRIER the next day…and therefore more likely to grab something not so great for me…and therefore less likely to have a good workout. I always knew sleep and nutrition and workouts were closely related, but it’s been interesting to come to these conclusions on my own.
  • The Fitbit Charge has helped me simply become more aware of my daily movement patterns. I know that on days I teach in the morning, my step counts are higher just by nature of walking around the group exercise studio. I know that on days I work from home, my step counts are the lowest, as it doesn’t take much to walk from my office to my bathroom to my kitchen and back. Plus, I don’t even get to take the stairs as much when I work from home anymore either, because our stupid landlord STILL hasn’t fixed our washer and dryer in the basement! Rage.

Fitbit Charge Review

  • Because the number of steps I’m taking are now displaying on my wrist and automatically syncing to both my phone and computer, I don’t have to take any extra time to track anything myself unless I want to enter in more information via the app and/or dashboard about my activity details or food intake.
  • I’ve become more deliberate in my movement breaks throughout the day. I work on the 6th floor in my building, and I now walk the full flight of stairs up at least three times a day. I’m using the silent alarm feature to remind myself to get up and move, but I haven’t yet tried setting this to wake me up in the morning. I think it’s because I’m still traumatized from the time I overslept for my 6am class a few years ago (aka I still set three alarms in the morning now). When I started tracking my steps, I would barely hit 5,000 a day. Now I’m much closer to reaching the 10,000 on a daily basis!

Fitbit Charge Review

  • A couple of other features worth mentioning are that the wristband is comfortable and not too clunky. It feels like I’m wearing a watch, and I’m completely used to it now. Also, the Fitbit has a big community component so if you are someone who likes competition and is motivated by what others are doing, this would be perfect for you. I haven’t had a chance to play with the community part of the dashboard too much yet, but if you are using it, friend me!

If I had to pick one area where I think the Fitbit Charge falls short, it would be that not all types of workouts “count” toward daily activity steps. The Fitbit calculates walking, running, and hiking into your stats, but it doesn’t really pick up on other types of workouts  such as weight lifting, yoga, rowing, etc. I found it frustrating to slug weights around the weight room for an hour or leave the spin studio drenched in sweat, only to find my tracker up a few steps (or miles or calories!) from when I last checked it. I think you can log this stuff manually, but like I said, having to do that is usually what makes me fall off the bandwagon.

Fitbit Charge Review

So I guess the million-dollar question is whether I would recommend the Fitbit Charge, and my honest answer is that it depends! If you are looking for a wearable that is going to tell you more detailed information about all types of workouts, I would recommend opting for one that has heart rate monitoring capabilities or equates the calories and steps automatically. However, if you are just looking for a tool to give you that extra motivation to get up and move more throughout the day, then yes, I would definitely recommend getting a Fitbit because it truly is eye-opening and can help you learn a lot about your current activity levels and sleep patterns.

–Let’s chat–
Do you own a Fitbit or any kind of wearable fitness tracker? What is your experience with them? Does anyone work for a company that distributes any kind of wearables to their employees? How do you make sure that every step counts?

If you have a tracker, I’d love to see pictures on social media of you in action! Feel free to link up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram tagging me @fitnessandfeta and using #findyourfit along with #ffholidayhustle.