If you live in Miami, Hawaii, or the Southern Hemisphere, winter is simply the last running season of the year. For most everyone else, the onset of frigid temperatures and shorter days makes it much tougher to remain active. Toss in family gatherings, much-needed vacation, and entirely too much stuffing, and it’s fairly easy to see why the top resolution made each year is to get in shape. While it’s easy to fall into the trap of going dormant through the holiday season, it’s easier to keep moving and working towards your long-term fitness goals with a Fitbit by your side. Or on your wrist — whichever you prefer.
Part of staying active (and in turn, healthy) is understanding what your body is doing each day. Fitbit‘s focus on data has led to a suite of tools that make it easy to visualize a day, month, or even year’s worth of activity. It’s tough to understand where you need to go if you can’t understand where you’ve been; that’s why Fitbit tracks your most important vitals around the clock.
The all-new Charge as well as as other Fitbit devices like the Flex, One, and Zip each track steps taken, distance moved, and calories burned; in addition, the Charge, Flex and One silently track how long and how well you slept. In the case of tracking sleep, the “normal” setting counts significant movements, such as rolling over, as being awake, while the “sensitive” setting will cause your tracker to record nearly all movements as time spent awake. As for tracking steps, Fitbit relies on a 3-axis accelerometer to understand your motions. An accelerometer is a device that turns movement (acceleration) of the body into digital measurements (data) when attached to the body; in Fitbit’s case, it tracks frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns of movement.
For those looking to track weight loss in particular, the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale does exactly that — plus, it keeps tabs on body fat percentage and BMI.
Fitbit’s entire line of health trackers also sync wirelessly to both Mac and PC platforms as well as 120+ smartphones (on iOS, Windows Phone Android), and they’re all built to be sweat-, rain-, and splash-proof. What’s key here is just how easy it is to produce data that Fitbit can analyze: just move, and you’re making progress. Seemingly mundane jaunts to the mailbox, the subway stop, or your corner store can add up throughout the day. So, when you’re tempted to grab an Uber to meet friends after work, you’ll have motivation to strap on your boots and get there the old-fashioned way. Plus, not every step is the same: if you’re running, you’ll burn more calories; if you’re enrolled in a CrossFit class, your motions are going to translate into corresponding activity levels that Fitbit stores without any effort on your part.
Rather than forcing you to export all of your fitness data, Fitbit’s wearables sync information wirelessly and without fuss. When you want it, it’s all there in an easy-to-understand dashboard. You can set goals that matter to you, track toward those, and ratchet them up when the time’s right.
MobileRun is particularly helpful for getting run or hike stats like pace, distance, and splits when you workout with your phone. Just start tracking a workout in the Fitbit app – a map of your route, your run stats, and contribution to your daily step and calorie burn totals will automatically appear in your dashboard. You can even set an accompanying soundtrack by selecting a playlist or your entire music library.
Nutrition plays a big role in staying healthy too, which is why Fitbit’s online and mobile tools allow you to log your food consumption throughout the day as well. Even as winter bears down, Fitbit’s there to motivate you, keep you moving, and remind you to not stray too far from your nutritional goods. It’ll even connect you with friends and family in the spirit of (healthy, of course) competition.
You can pay an optional $50 for access to premium reports, which offer up items like a tailored 12-week fitness plan that pushes you to gradually increase your movement, granular charts to really dig into the impact of your actions, benchmarking metrics, and food and sleep reports.
Watch and Learn
Experts at the Mayo Clinic recommend that the average adult exercise for 30 minutes daily to hold a steady weight, while those looking to slim down and/or bulk up need to exert themselves more.
When you first use a Fitbit product, the default step goal is set to 10,000 — or roughly 5 miles. It’s tough to commit to staying active; unless you make it a priority, life always seems to get in the way. Fitbit’s diligent tracking and digestible suite of reports offer up continuous encouragement to help you stay focused on fitness goals. Even if you don’t have 30 minutes to devote to constant exercise, a trio of 10 minute jogs can get you where you need to be. And once you’re hooked on the results, carving out more time for your health will come naturally.
Moreover, the Sleep Foundation recommends between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Life may not always allow such a luxury, but Fitbit sleep monitoring tools — including Auto Sleep Tracking in the all new Charge — will take the guesswork out of knowing how restless you are while asleep. It’ll also keep track of just how far behind you are on your shuteye and provide tips to help you rest better.
While losing weight is important, the art of being healthy is far more complex. Achieving peak health is nearly impossible without data that’s easy to understand and act on. Fitbit helps you make the most of the signals you create.