I don’t talk about my job that often on the blog, so for those of you who don’t know, my full-time gig is in tech public relations. I wouldn’t say that technology was my calling (rather, I wouldn’t say that I was made to be a tech whiz), but the field certainly has grown on me over time. One of the things I really love about working in tech is the fact that I get a first look at many of the awesome new products, gadgets, and electronics that are about to hit the market. Like the FitBit Flex.
For those who aren’t familiar, the FitBit Flex is one of the many variations of fitness trackers for sale (think Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up, BodyMedia). It’s a bracelet that you wear around your wrist (duh), and it keeps track of various data throughout the day, including how many steps you take, how many miles you’ve walked, how many calories burned, etc. And if you set it up each night, the FitBit will also track your sleep (both the total time you were asleep, and how frequently you were restless/awake throughout the night). Plus, you can manually input certain things like your water intake, caloric intake, and physical activity in order to get a comprehensive idea of your fitness and health levels.
I had been toying with the idea of getting a fitness tracker for about a year, but had never actually pulled the trigger…until the FitBit Flex was revealed in January. I’ve been a proud owner of my very own Flex since its release in June of this year, and it’s been nice, but I wouldn’t say it’s changed my life.
Initially, I thought knowing all that information about my fitness, eating and sleeping habits would be great for me – either it would let me know that I’ve been on the right track all this time, or it would be my wake-up call to stop being a lazy bum who eats like crap and works out once in a blue moon (yes, I was/am that person). But, in all honesty, the FitBit Flex did not cause me to change my habits. Sure, it’s been great (and also slightly depressing) to know actually how many steps I take each day (by the way, the recommended amount is 10,000, which equates to approximately 5 miles) and I definitely appreciate knowing how many calories I consume each day, but I haven’t done anything differently. If I hit 9 pm and realize that I’ve only walked 6,000 steps, I’ve yet to lace up my running shoes to conquer those last 4,000. If I input my meals for the day only to find that I’ve eaten 300 more calories than is recommended for me, sure I’ll be bummed, but it hasn’t caused me to eat differently the next day. What’s more is that I have had so much trouble actually inputting information each day that I’m not even getting the full benefit of the bracelet. It honestly takes less than a minute to do, but I just haven’t built up that habit yet, and have the hardest time remembering to put in my food and water intake (I’m working on it, though).
Despite all that, I’ve been wearing the Flex for three months now, and I’m still enjoying its company, so there is certainly something to be said for that. Plus, it’s a decently small and inconspicuous (ish) bracelet, so it blends in nicely with the arm party I try to regularly sport. And it’s really comfortable, so you can wear it 24/7 without really noticing it’s on your arm. I know it sounds like that is the only positive thing I have to say about the Flex, but that’s not true at all – I actually really like the little guy. It’s been great to be conscious of my habits, it costs only $99 (the cheapest of all the fitness trackers), it connects wirelessly to my phone using Bluetooth so I can check in on my stats at any time, and its charge lasts for nearly a week – I would have no qualms about recommending it to any of my friends or strangers I meet on the street. I just think it’s a better investment for someone who is more likely to be motivated by numbers and data than by that extra piece of carrot cake sitting on the counter. Alas, until I become that person, I will just continue to relish in the fact that I at least look like one of those really health-conscious fitness enthusiasts who like to always be on top of their game. A girl can dream, right?