5 ways Fitbit keeps me delightfully motivated

Happy End-of-May to you!

I’ve been lacking in the DIY department lately. Our little boy is growing quickly and spends much of his day running around the house now. It’s incredible to watch and at the end of the day I am thoroughly worn out.

The young one is fighting a fever today and had a record-breaking nap out of nowhere. After seeing the doctor, he had another long nap. Weird day.

In an attempt to distract myself, let’s talk about how the snow is gone, it’s even almost summer! I’ve been on a roll walking the dogs, Johnny gets a nice dose of Vitamin D nearly every day, the garden is alive and well, and the rain barrel will hopefully be full again soon  (PLEASE RAIN).

It’s time to party. Or something. But if you’re not feeling the getting outdoors and moving around thing, I strongly recommend the Fitbit Charge HR.

Activity band with heart rate and sleep monitoring

I upgraded from the Flex well-researched but unsure. The only qualm I had with my Flex was that I’d get either a rash or an itchy spot on my wrist from the rubber they were using. I liked the idea of a heart rate monitor but wasn’t sure it was worth the price for me.

Well!

It turns out the new functionality (and lack of a rash) of the Charge HR has me hooked. Keep in mind, you get most of these benefits with the Flex, except any of the heart rate or accelerometer (floors climbed) stuff. Fitbit altogether has my vote.

Here’s how it keeps me moving when my little guy isn’t doing that already:

 

1. Compete with friends

Search your social networks (or even just use their emails) to find your pals and motivate the heck out of each other.

It works! Under the Friends tab, Fitbit lines all of you up to compare how many steps you’ve each taken in the past 7 days, ranking from first to last place.

Fitbit friends ranking

PS, my sister has a nutso step count that terrifies me. She is not actually a cat either, btw.

Seriously motivating though, you can invite your friends to challenges and compete against each other on weekends, during the workweek or even on a random day. The mobile app notifies you when a friend is creeping closer to your step count or when they take over your lead.

Fitbit Challenges screen

You wouldn’t think this would drive you crazy enough to take the dogs for an extra walk or pace in place for 30 minutes or more, but it does! It does!

And you get a sweet virtual trophy and bragging rights when you win first place.

 

2. Make your sleep count

Adults typically function best sleeping 8 hours per night. As a new parent, I can attest. Then again, I can also tell you any sleep longer than 2 hours per night is gladly accepted in our home now.

Fitbit sleep over the course of a year

Last year around this time was rough.

Fitbit keeps tabs on your sleep, and the Charge HR will even do it without you telling it bedtime is here by analyzing your heart rate. Got the Flex? Even if you forget to put it to sleep, you can log sleep time in the morning and it remembers your activity levels, giving you a pretty neat chart.

Sometimes sleep is not great, thanks Fitbit for showing me.

Sometimes, I still sleep like poo. On these days, no amount of coffee will help.

 

3. Go for the green

It’s important to remember that when your friends aren’t up to it, it’s easy to self-motivate with the Fitbit app. One thing I initially loved about my Flex was achieving what I call All Greens.

Ignoring my awful resting heart rate (I am a stressy person), take a look at this raw data:

Attained All Greens with Fitbit Charge HR! Woo hoo!

vs.

Almost! So close to reaching all my goals, yet so far.

Hint: This result is far less motivating.

Which one makes me feel ready to take on tomorrow? The one with all the green of course!

Look how close I was in the last screenshot, and I never got there?! Just as there’s something strangely satisfying about unlocking every possible level in a video game, so is unlocking achievements that happen to keep your body (and for me, my mind) working smoothly.

Last June I completed a month straight of All Greens. If one category was lacking by 11pm, I got moving to keep my streak going. It’s weird, but seeing results often leads to even better results!

 

4. Move, move, move to improve your resting heart rate

I’ve noticed a trend. When I move more, I stress less. When I stress less, my resting heart rate improves. Fitbit says a healthy average resting heart rate is between 60 and 80 bpm. Mine borders on 80 bpm usually, but in getting more exercise, my resting heart rate can dip to 74 (which is good for me, at least).

dip in resting heart rate using Fitbit Charge HR

During one particular two week span recently, my resting heart rate was cool as a cucumber. Was I reaching my step goal often? Yes. Was I calmer? By far.

 

5. Feel better!

Lame? No. Feeling better is the point. When we regularly get the exercise our body craves, over time it can reward us with a better metabolism and a healthier mind. When you feel good (especially for those of us who have felt bad prior), you want to do more of the thing that got you to that fresh frame of mind, right? The results, as noted earlier, are the greatest perk and the strongest motivation.

It just so happens we’re fortunate to live in a world with plenty of neat devices, and the Fitbit Charge HR integrates fun and function with a clean, simple app to help you push past your limits and feel pretty darn good!

 

Do you use a Fitbit or something similar? I’d love to read what motivates you most about it in the comments.

About Nik

Writer, occasional photographer, common street juggler. I enjoy cooking, crafting, a clean house, animals, and senses of humour. Oh yeah and being the mom of my boy John.
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