For my recent birthday my family gave me a FitBit Surge so I could use it whilst on runs to monitor my performance, as one of my longterm goals is to eventually run a marathon. There, I said it. It's out in the public domain for eternity (well as long as this blog remains live, in any case).
If your looking into this type of fitness technology, here are some key features you may want to check out:
- GPS Tracking - See distance, pace and elevation climbed & review routes and split times
- Long Battery Life - Lasts longer than competing trackers with a battery life of 7+ days
- PurePulse™ Heart Rate - Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
- Notifications + Music - See call and text notifications on display and control songs from your mobile playlist
- All-Day Activity - Track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes
- Auto Sleep + Alarms - Monitor your sleep automatically and set a silent alarm
- Multi-Sport + Smart Track™ - Track runs, rides and other workouts with multi-sport modes or automatically record them with SmartTrack
- Wireless Syncing - Sync stats wirelessly and automatically to leading smartphones and computers
All of this hooks up to your own personal dashboard where you can monitor a host of activity, which includes; Steps taken, miles walked, heart rate, calories burned/consumed, floors climbed, and set goals and track general exercise. I'm only a few days in to it, but it looks like the sort of thing that you get out what you put in. You can also sync up to other people you know to create a sense of fitness togetherness.
I think there's other uses for the FitBit in general life outside of fitness, and into the world of parenting, and here are some possible uses:
- Every step helps - we've all been there during the day or even in the deepest, darkest, time of night. Pacing up and down the room/hallway/landing with the little one trying to get them back off to sleep. With the steps counter you'll know exactly how far you've walked, and the fewer steps you do each night you'll rest knowing they're getting easier to settle. So far my furthest recently is 1,500 steps.
- Not quite sleeping like a baby - you can monitor your sleep patterns automatically through being inactive for a period of time. So whether it's at night or you're grabbing 40 deep winks when the little ones are you can see not only how much sleep you're not having, but also the quality as it monitors the number of times you are woken or disturbed.
- Count to 56 BPM - During the sleep mode cycle your heart rate is monitored to record its resting BPM. So when your buttons are being pushed, and you can feel yourself getting hot under the collar simply check the watch for your BPM to calm down. I must admit I don't know if there's an alarm if the BPM get's too high. If not there should be.
- Up and down, down and up and back down - you've woken up and gone downstairs to put the bottle on and make a cuppa. You've gone back upstairs to feed the baby and give your partner their cuppa. You've then gone back downstairs to get the biscuits, and then back upstairs. You get the idea. So far today I've been up and down x14. I'd never really counted before, so the learning I'm taking form this is that I need to stop for a few moments to think if I've got everything etc before I go up/down. But now son number one is old enough, I can send him on a mission. Which will inevitably result in me going to help.
This is not an exhaustive list, as I'm only just starting with it, so if you have any ideas, please feel free to add them as a comment.
In all seriousness though since starting out on getting fit again I've certainly noticed a change not only physically, but also in my energy levels, better moods, stress and sleeping patterns. All for the better both for myself and the family, and things like this watch may be a gimmick, but I'm going to use it to continue to change my lifestyle to a more healthier one.