I Gave Up My Fitbit Flex for the Week

The battery is draining as I write this…well actually, I got an email notification that by Fitbit Flex has a “low battery”. Last week I read a blog post by Amy at Crazy Mama Runs. Her post “Why is my Fitbit on my Dresser” caught my eye. I read it and then read it again. I totally got what she was saying.

I got my Fitbit Flex Dec 27th and have worn it every day since; trying to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps. Most days I hit that goal and some days I don’t. One of the main reasons I got it was to track my sleep since I thought I was getting very little sleep. Tracking my steps couldn’t hurt, right? Turns out, I sleep okay but have to little ones that wake me up a lot. So really, I’ve learned nothing new. I wrote a review for my Fitbit a few months ago.

There were days when I was so closed to my 10,000 steps that I would literally walk around the inside of my house just to get my goal! Crazy, eh!!!!

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After reading Amy’s post to essentially “take a break” from her Fitbit for a month, I thought…I’d like to do that too – or at least take a week off and go from there!

The sleep function doesn’t always work and really….with my day job {Regional Physical Activity Consultant with the Province}, I know how much activity I should get in a day or week. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know that walking at lunch time even for 15-20 minutes is good moderate activity. AND, I know that on those days I work out/run, I get a heck of a lot of steps at a VIGOROUS intensity.

Steps are steps. I could walk around my house all day and not go outside once and still reach my 10,000 step goal. Remember, steps are steps. I have done this by chasing after my girls, going up and down the stairs, using my stand up work station, making meals etc. The key here is they are just steps. On days like these, really…what health benefits am I getting by hitting my 10,000 step goal if it’s just steps around the inside of my house. Not to mention, there have been NUMEROUS times I’ve “reached” my 10,000 steps by the following:

  • Changing a diaper
  • Bathing the girls
  • Washing dishes
  • Lifting my arm in the air

Don’t get me wrong, I know these tracking devices do different things and are motivating for lots of people. Heck, it’s motivating for me to…at times. However, some days I was getting so focused on my steps that it was starting to become silly. I loved the challenges mainly to keep me accountable. I never needed to “win” them but enjoyed reaching my daily goals.

So after all that….on Sunday I woke up with my Fitbit put away in a drawer and yes I’ve thought about it. On Sunday {Mother’s Day} I was walking up the stairs swinging my arms naturally and thought “yes, I’m getting my steps in” and quickly realized NOPE, I’m not. While we played outside with the girls on the bike that afternoon, I thought “this would have been a lot of steps!”. Again, they weren’t adding up because I didn’t have it on.

So far, I don’t miss it and actually enjoy having nothing on my wrists but a hair elastic {runners problems} when I sleep. I’m enjoying the freedom. I know I should get up from my desk and sit less, I know when I should move and that being active is a healthy part of my life. I don’t miss the trying to get my steps in or having to reload my app to get it to update…that’s more time off technology which I kinda like.

I might wear it on the upcoming weekend since Lilly is running her 2k run, I’ll be on my feet all day or I might just forget it at home! That’s where I’m at and you bet tonight after I do my treadmill run and PT exercises that I’ll probably think “those steps would have sent me over my daily goal”.

Again, this opinions are my own. I’m just an injured runner changing it up for the week and will see if my Fitbit Flex makes it back on my arm or not!

Do you disconnect from technology often?

Are you concerned with how many steps you get in a day?

Do you know the difference between moderate and vigorous activity? 

Fitbit Flex Review

There are so many tracking devices out there and I’ve been on the fence about getting one for a long time. I love my Green Garmin for running (x-country skiing too) but that’s all it does AND I am thankful for that. It tracks my kilometers and my times. It’s what I wanted to help move my running to the next level last year and that it did!

At some point, I want to upgrade my Garmin but just waiting until my first one bites the dust and I can save the money for the one I really want.

Enter tracking device #2: The Fitbit Flex.

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Before Christmas I was kinda thinking about getting a FitBit; my main reason – SLEEP. I wanted to track how much sleep I was actually getting. Let’s be honest, with a 2-year-old and 4.5 year old, I can be up a few times in the night for whatever reason.

So on Boxing day, I bought one. It was on sale and tax-free – that kinda made the purchase that much better. I’ve worn my FitBit Flex every day except when charging it.

{Please note: these are my opinions. I was not asked to do a review, I was not provided with product. I’m simple writing my blog post on something I use daily}

What I like about the Fitbit Flex:

  • It’s comfortable (you kinda forget it’s there)
  • Easy to wear
  • It makes me accountable to getting my 10,000 daily step goal
  • Gets me moving a little more through the day as opposed to sitting too much
  • Notify’s you when you hit your goal
  • There are daily, weekly and goal challenges you can do in groups
  • There are community groups you can join (create as well)
  • There online support helps you out.
  • There are days when I walk/run around my house to get my daily steps in (10,000)

What I don’t like:

  • My first dongle didn’t work properly (they replaced it) and then the second one didn’t work very well right away. It now works fine.
  • The sleep function doesn’t always work – WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT OF ME GETTING IT. Seriously! It doesn’t sync with my tablet (the sleep function) and sometimes NEVER syncs when I update it from my computer. SUPER ANNOYING!
  • There is NO education piece attached to it. What do I mean by this? They could have taken the opportunity to educated people on how many steps per day is recommended for health benefits (10,000 in case you didn’t know) and get people working towards that goal. Fitbit is also a business and I believe the are more focused on making a profit (I get that) then properly educating those that buy their devices.
  • It still doesn’t always sync.
  • It doesn’t work with a Blackberry – so frustrating. I can only updated it when I am home since I don’t have an IPhone or Android device (phone).
  • Their online support don’t always reply. The second time I contacted them, they failed to reply but magically my Fitbit Flex started working again really well a few days later!
  • I’ve had my tracker vibrate to tell me I’ve hit my daily goal (10,000 steps) when folding the laundry and doing dishes – ummm….really? That’s weird because I wasn’t moving my feet. Well, sometimes I dance around when doing the laundry – um, yeah no. I was sitting on the ground and it vibrated to tell me I hit 10,000 steps.

What would I do differently?

  • I’d buy the next one up (FitBit Charge). I don’t like wearing my watch and Fitbit at the same time – super bulky and annoying. I’d like the automatic sleep sensor rather than turning in on and off (which doesn’t always for me with the Fitbit Flex).
  • It would be great if it was compatible with a Blackberry operating system. It connects to my Samsung tablet which is great but I can’t take that everywhere in order for my Fitbit to sync and update throughout the day.
  • Possibly not purchase one at all and save my money for the next Garmin I want and only use it for running…forget sleep. I probably will never get a full nights sleep for at least 15-20 years 😉

Don’t get me wrong, I purchased it. But, I purchased it thinking it was the right device for what I wanted at the time AND the price was right. I’m happy I have one but I think I’m more frustrated with it then I actually enjoy it.

Do you have a tracking device?

Love it or hate it?

Which one do you recommend and WHY?

Again, {Please note: these are my opinions. I was not asked to do a review, I was not provided with product. I’m simple writing my blog post on something I use daily}.