FitBit: How it Can Improve Your Health

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 at 10:31 PM
FitBit: How it Can Improve Your Health by Andy Vest
Contributed Photo

If you’re active at the gym or looking at ways to improve your health, I recommend you check out the Fitbit. For the past couple of months, I knew I was no longer as active as I used to be. But I didn’t realize just how badly until I bought the Fitbit Charge HR.

When you finally hulk your way through the Fitbit box, you must charge it, which takes an hour or two. Then, go to the website or download the Fitbit application onto your phone. Load the app and let your phone and Fitbit sync. This takes about half an hour. From there, it’s smooth sailing.

When you put on the band, you’ll notice there’s a green light that constantly glows from underneath. It was a little off-putting at first, thinking a green light going through my body might cause cancer, but vast online reports showed there’s nothing to worry about.

The Fitbit app will sync with the band and keep a log of how many steps you take, how many miles you have gone, how many calories you have burned, how many floors you have climbed or descended, how many minutes you spent active, as well as your heart rate and sleep patterns.

You are also able to log in the amount of calories you take in, along with your water intake. The water intake is what I have been focusing on and where I found I was never coming close to the recommended 1,893 ml goal. Since then, I have been recording the amount of water I drink and have been reaching my goal.

Just from getting the daily dose of water my body needed, I have noticed a vast improvement with my health. Before, I was always exhausted. I would come home after working and going to class and then throw myself on my bed and watch Netflix or take a two-to-four hour nap, even if I actually got eight hours of sleep the night before.

After a week of drinking the water I needed, I am more awake now and have been able to pay better attention in my classes. My skin feels more healthy and even my mood improved.

I knew my sleep pattern was awful, but seeing it recorded and logged gives a better perspective. For example, last night, I slept for four hours and eight minutes.

Not only does the Fitbit tell you the exact time you fall asleep and wake up, but it also records things such as, “times awake” and “times restless.”

Last night, I saw that I woke up three times and was 12 times restless, resulting in a total of 28 minutes awake/restless. It also gives the average amount of time you slept for the week, where I have been recorded in at six hours a week. Hitting the eight hour goal will result in a star being placed next to your daily time.

Between my home and Edinboro University, the one goal I always hit is floors climbed and descended, which is 10. This past Monday, I hit a shocking 32 floors climbed and descended.

My laziness can be seen when I take a look at the steps I’ve taken. Days that I work and go to class log me at around 11,000 steps. But one of the days I had off of work, I attended my courses for the day and ended up coming home.

I then proceeded to watch Netflix and sleep, resulting in a minuscule total of 1,239 steps. I made a goal for myself to never let that happen again. Days that I don’t work, I try to find an activity that will get me to the near or above 10,000 steps goal.

The “average heart rate” will track your resting heart rate, the average being 60-80 beats per minute, but usually lower for those more physically fit. It will also take your maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus your age and then find your default zones.

It will give your peak zone (high intensity), that is used for “short intense sessions that improve performance and speed,” your cardio zone (medium-to-high intensity), which is the exercise zone target for most people, your fat burn zone (low-to-medium), which is a good starting point for those not used to exercising, and finally the out of zone, where your heart rate is elevated but not enough to be considered exercise.

You can also set an alarm in the Fitbit app. At the appropriate time, the Fitbit will be silent but give a tingling, shaking sensation on your wrist to wake you up. Also, if someone calls your cell phone while you’re sleeping, the wrist band will shake and bring up the name of whoever is calling.

If you invest the money for a Fitbit, I recommend you check out Amazon, where I found mine $30 cheaper than retail stores.

For those trying to achieve a more active lifestyle or those looking for an easier way to keep track of your health, I find the Fitbit to be a worthy investment. Seeing this information logged in front of you can help give you the motivation to improve and then set higher goals to reach.

Andy Vest is a Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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