My Fitbit watch review

It’s important to know that I don’t like exercise. I hate it. I’ve never been a jock. I have played racket sports (badminton, tennis and racquetball) but not much else. Maybe the occasional bean bags but only at a picnic after a few drinks. No jogging or (egads!) running. I don’t walk when the weather is bad. Bad means less than 65 degrees, any sort of precipitation, anything on the ground like leaves, snow or rain puddles. OK, I’m a wuss.

Six weeks! It’s like a new boyfriend. It seems like you’ve been together forever! You can’t remember life without it.

Six weeks ago I bought a Fitbit watch. It took a while to pull the trigger. Literally years. I was sure it would be one of those things I bought and never used like a stationary bike (why did I buy that thing?) or the treadmill (the beloved husband uses that).

I have a real bike hanging in the garage (for decades) with less than 200 miles on it. I don’t want to buy things I won’t use but sometimes you don’t know until you do it.

Gobsmacked! There have been surprises. I like the competition (with myself), the positive reinforcements from my Fitbit watch (it vibrates with happiness) and the afterglow of a great active day. I love afterglow because it means the work part is done and the margarita part is about to start.

I try to outdo my previous record and can get aggressive about it. Don’t stand between me and my goals! (I don’t know how long that will last. Fingers crossed.) I am exceeding expectations. That’s a good thing especially in winter.

I love getting hourly reminders if I haven’t walked 250 steps. I can get mired in muck at my computer for hours on end without moving anything but my fingers and the occasional eye roll.

The need to walk becomes obsessive. When I am talking with someone I will excuse myself to walk. At first I was shy about it. Now I don’t care. Gotta get those steps in. I even got up in the middle of a meeting to get 50 steps in.

The big lesson is that I need to move during the day. You shouldn’t exercise in the morning and take the rest of the day off. You need to keep moving! It’s easier and better for your body to space it out. It’s not like cleaning the cat litter once and you are good for the day. (OK, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy but some people equate the two.)

I’m a fairly active person in my non-exercise mode. I can knock out 6,000 steps easily during a normal day. Add in a walk and I have scored the coveted 10,000 steps. (I have surpassed that by two milestones on particularly ambitious days and intend to knock the next one out of the park when we get some good outdoor walking weather.)

You can walk in your house. I have two routes that will give me 100 to 150 steps and I use them frequently. It’s not a waste of time. I do my best thinking when I walk by myself. It’s been helpful in clearing out frustrations too.

Exercise has upped my energy. I don’t know how that works but I get tired less during the day but totally exhausted when I go to bed. That mean a good night’s sleep.

Is this for everyone? Probably not. It works for me because I need motivation and can accept direction from a watch. It’s kinder than most people and doesn’t call me a lazy bum.

Author’s note: Fitbit has not paid me to endorse their product. However I am open to testing out an upgrade for them. I just happen to like mine.

83 thoughts on “My Fitbit watch review

  1. LOL – you! “It’s like a new boyfriend!” You made me snort out loud with that one.
    But seriously, Fitbits are pretty cool! The last time I tried to use one, I was also counting calories, and between the two things it was just too much. But I’m thinking about trying it out again, so it was good to read your review 🙂

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  2. Love reviews, what one did you get? I can also relate to being competitive with yourself. I am not and never have been a team sports person. If you want the ball, I’ll give you the ball but I do compete against myself. A favorite photography quote of mine, (and it could apply to lots of things) is the only photographer you should compare yourself to, is the one you were yesterday. Next, you’ll be getting earbuds so you can walk and talk and still swing those arms. 🙂 I considered a GPS watch but decided to use my phone and Gaia. Much to husbands dismay, I hardley ever have my phone on me. It can think I have not taken one step all day.

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    • I got the Fitbit Versa Lite. It’s a good entry level depending on what you want your device to do. If my phone is nearby, I can get texts on it but it doesn’t clean windows and open garage doors! 🙂 Competing against yourself is the best way to get better. Comparing to someone else only gets frustrating.

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  3. My Fitbit and I didn’t have as joyous a relationship as you are having with your Versa Lite. Mine took up residence on the coffee table and mocked me. I can’t tell you how much I hate exercising… I listened to that little buzzing every 50 minutes and ignored it. I need a treadmill on days when the weather isn’t perfect by my standards. I will pop on a treadmill, IF I had one at home and do some steps with Chris Standring playing through my buds!

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    • I have a treadmill and I rarely (really super rarely) use it. I prefer to hop in the car and walk at the mall or outdoors in good weather. This relationship has been a surprise to me. I exercise for my bones and it’s a great way to track what I’ve done.

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  4. I’ve had two Fitbits, and really enjoyed them before they stopped working. After a couple of years they stopped taking a charge. I wore them almost continuously and it may be that I was too active with them? LOL! I doubt that. But I also felt that tracking encouraged me to walk just a few more steps each day. I have a birthday next month and maybe I’ll buy a new one! Good for you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the self-competition.

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  5. That is inspiring Kate. I just use a regular pedometer with no bells and whistles and I think I mentioned that before to you. I got it when I started walking in 2011. They stopped making this model. I am having a problem with sitting too much and ankle swelling, something I never had until the last year. I know it is from sitting too many hours in front of the computer. Before blogging took off in November 2017, at the end of the workday I stayed online to e-mail or FB with friends, read the news and that was it. I am sitting sometimes 10-11 hours per day. That is how I got the shoulder issue last year and had to elevate the laptop onto a riser and use a wireless keyboard … too much sitting in one place caused frozen shoulder on my left side. My New Year’s resolution was to step away from the computer more and read more, but I’ve done a lousy job at it. Tonight’s snowstorm will put a damper on walking for a while unfortunately and I missed a walk this morning as I had to wait on the AT&T tech for my phone.

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    • You are a great walker. You walk in a lot of weather that I wouldn’t. I first tried to buy a simple pedometer but the reviews on a lot of them are not good. I was looking for accuracy. I’m happy with what I have which surprised me.

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      • It’s a shame they don’t make the pedometer model I bought anymore – it is simple and sturdy and made by Omron which has cornered the market on blood pressure monitors. I suggested it to Ally one time when she asked me a while ago what, if anything, I use to count miles She said her/husband each had a Fitbit and he was racking up more miles than her, so thought she had a defective Fitbit so borrowed his I don’t mind walking in Winter if it’s not icy – the icy roads and pathway worry me. I have a long way to land as I’m 5′ 9″ tall. I said I would not walk in rain, though several walkers at the Park walk rain or shine. I tell them I took the bus to downtown Detroit for many years and had to wait in the a.m. or p.m. for buses that were late and often got soaking wet with rain (or snow), despite using a golf umbrella. Last year I got some waterproof walking shoes and boots though – if it’s not pouring, maybe – otherwise, I don’t go out either. The predictions are for a rainy Spring and much lakeshore flooding, so the dirt hiking trails and also the cement walking/biking path will be flooded as bad or worse as last year.

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          • We had some nice sun today, but it was 5 degrees and double-digit below wind chill when I went out. I drove to the Park and I was layered up well, so did not feel the cold, but got off the path after one time around due to the snow/ice. I walked on the snowy grass as it was safer!

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              • It is very weird weather. I went out this morning as it was sunny and the roads were dry and clear. I don’t like driving in snow and since I work from home, I don’t have to drive in it (like a little old lady) But it was dry and clear. It was -4 windchill and 11 degrees air temp and I had layered up so I would have been fine except the wind was blowing 15 mph and my fingers got very cold and became uncomfortable to go on. I had on two pair of gloves too.

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  6. I have had a Fitbit for a year now and it is motivating. But in the summer when it was almost 100* with humidity in the 90% at seven in the morning nothing motivated me to take my 3-4 mile walk. It is fun to get the buzz that your goal has been met. Didn’t happen much in the summer for me but I got back in step in Septemeber. As for the 250 steps every hour…doesn’t happen for me. When I am reading a good book not much can make me get out of the chair.

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    • I am lucky that I have a mall within 5 minutes that opens early for walkers. I use it year round but supplement with walks around my area in good weather. I have learned to walk the 250 steps each hour. It’s hardest when I’m with people but they think I’m crazy anyway! It doesn’t take much longer than a potty trip so I don’t mind stopping whatever I’m doing.

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  7. I love my Fitbit! I learned the hard way that you have to move your arms for It to register a treadmill walk. Such a disappointment to have 0 feedback after a good workout! – By the way, I have working friends who have been issued Fitbits by their employer. Their performance is sent in to the employee health department, and affects insurance premiums. – Sort of like a tattletale leash!

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    • Is that the key? It tracks when I’m walking and not swinging but I don’t get anything for treadmill. Not sure what they would do with it. Adjusting insurance premiums differently is tricky. It’s illegal and discriminatory unless they can find a loophole.

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  8. I bought one a couple of years ago and know exactly what you mean. On the days I don’t wear it, (rare) I feel naked and on the days I do, I feel like I’m competing against myself. Some people don’t understand. It’s amazing how many steps you can get in just be moving around the house, assuming your arm is in motion. (Something I learn by walking on a treadmill and not getting the necessary steps.) my personal record is twenty-seven thousand steps but that was at Disney and doesn’t count but yes it does..:)

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  9. I was inspired by an earlier post by you to dig my Fitbit out of a drawer, charge it, and wear it faithfully… until I came down with the cold from hell. Now, as I am slowly returning to life, I can hear my Fitbit calling to me. I’m not quite ready yet, but I am actually looking forward to pounding the pavement in my neighborhood and piling up those steps. I’m glad that it’s working for you too!

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  10. I loved my FitBit and now I have the Apple Watch, courtesy of my health insurance’s incentivizing me to get/stay healthy. I agree, the daily movement gives one energy vs depleting it. And it causes a good kind of addiction – if I don’t move enough throughout the day, I really feel it and crave it. And start looking for ways to move.

    Deb

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  11. Smiling …. I am with you Kate! I now park at the far end of parking lots and go up and down every aisle at the supermarket to get some additional steps in. Turning dance music on when preparing dinner also works! Its amazing how focused we can become with a reachable goal in mind.

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  12. I am curious how you were doing with your Fitbit, Kate. Exceeding expectations is a good thing! I agree with you on move more throughout the day instead of a one time a day thing. I am a Fitbit user. Mine has a meditation part of it, which the grandchildren love. It keeps them quiet and just breathing for 2 glorious minutes. A win/win. I go to almost daily yoga classes and the Fitbit does not register many steps here. My husband thinks I am a lot nicer when I do asanas so I will continue. Thank you for a fun, motivating post. Neither of us are in the “lazy bum” category.

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    • Yoga is on my list of things to try. I am a lot nicer when I get moving. Maybe a little neurotic but definitely nicer. I had lunch today with my old exercise group. I am the youngest and many are in their 80s. I feel like a spring chicken there. However, the lunch was an hour and I was getting antsy. I didn’t get my 250 steps in but I breathed deeply and went on with life!

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    • 🙂 When I worked my job kept me more at a desk. My company gave us each a very cheap step counter that you put in your pocket. I was not impressed with what it said and don’t think it really worked. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long to buy one. Fortunately this is more accurate and I’m more active!

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  13. Good job with your steps! I am not a fan of sweating unless it’s partner dancing or volleyball. And now my knees hate both of those activities.

    I do like walking far better than going to the gym. First of all, it seems inefficient, environmentally irresponsible, and more expensive to drive to exercise when you could just walk out the door! Also, the dogs also need exercise, so yes, more German efficiency. Alas, weights don’t fit in my house so I go to the gym at least once a week.

    I keep track of my miles with Strava and my kilometers with PokemonGo (shhh, never tell anyone). My house is small, but it helps that the yard is nice and the pets need food and doors opened for them. Probably don’t get near enough steps during the day, but can’t bring myself to buy the watch. I don’t want anyone knowing that much about me!

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  14. I’ve always admired that you exercise. I hate it. I used to walk all the time when I lived in Florida. Since we moved back home, I cut my walking in half (mostly due to winter months). And now, without Max over the last month, I’ve stopped walking altogether. I’ve gained weight because of the lack of exercise, too. I never found that it gave me energy, but it did help me maintain with weight.

    So glad you are enjoying your fitbit, getting in some good healthy exercise and feeling great.

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    • It’s been a struggle. I’m lucky I found a gym I like and a walking group. Both makes exercise less onerous. The Fitbit gives me enough positive reinforcement to keep going. I much prefer to walk in my neighborhood during mild weather but we are weeks away from that. Dogs certainly encourage walking and make it fun.

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  15. Getting out and exercise cures so many things. This one made me smile!
    (My dog is my Fit…getting her people to move around is her job…but during rainy weather we have to remind her that the cat does not own a Fit (although she has them occasionally) and prefers at her age no heart startling move-it motivation…)

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  16. You made me think of The Big Bang Theory. (The one where Bernadette gets Howard a fitbit to encourage him to exercise and he made a machine to ‘exercise’ the fitbit.)

    I shouldn’t give you ideas like that! 😀

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