A few months ago, I purchased a Fitbit Charge. A lot of my friends used various FitBit models and loved them. I didn’t need to lose weight, but I was genuinely curious on my personal information. I wanted to see what all of the hype was about!
To be honest, I thought I would purchase it, use it for a month and then it would sit in a drawer. I’m happy to report I’ve had it nearly six months now, and I’m even looking at getting another one.
I found the Fitbit Charge to be the best option for me because it has all of these features:
- Long battery life
- Counts daily steps and distance (or miles) traveled
- Calories burned
- Tracks heart rate
- Tracks the amount of steps climbed
- Tracks sleep patterns
So how did it help me?
I would consider myself a healthy person. I run almost every day, eat normally and am in the “healthy range” for weight. I don’t need to lose weight but like anyone, I have areas I could improve!
When sitting down working or writing, I spend hours staring at my computer screen. I wanted more information about myself to view the overall picture.
Tracking my sleep
Tracking sleep is something, every person, runner or not can benefit from tracking. For me, I feel much better after at least 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is something; I knew I needed to work on.
Fitbit tracks how much sleep you’re getting. I normally crawl into bed around 9:30 and get up around 5:30 or 6:00. Basic math says I’m getting about 8 hours of sleep; however, Fitbit informed me I was waking up periodically and only getting 6 hours of deep sleep.
Instead of crawling into bed around 9:30, I now shut off all technology around 9 and relax in bed. It’s a simple change, but I feel more relaxed and don’t wake up as much.
Monitoring my heart rate
A heart rate monitor opens the door for training and taking your running to the next level. Having a heart rate monitor also lets you track whether your heart rate is in the appropriate zone so that you can adjust the intensity of your workout depending on your goals.
How this helped my running
It allows you to base runs on effort, not pace. It’s impossible to run the same pace when it’s 100 degrees versus a nice breezy 60. Having a heart rate monitor allows you to base runs on your effort level instead of basing on the pace.
Your heart rate might be 150 running a 12 minute pace and 150 running a 10 minute pace another day. Heart rate is the best measurement for your effort level during a run.
The heart rate tracker also tracks your heart rate throughout the day. It is fun to see when my heart rate climbed or lowered.
Having a heart rate monitor throughout the day also allows for one of the most accurate calorie tracking methods out there. Before I purchased a Fitbit, I thought I was burning about 2,500 calories per day. I would eat that accordingly.
With Fitbit tracking, I’ve learned I burn about 2,200 calories daily. That isn’t a huge deal but over the course of a year, it can add up to gaining several pounds.
So what’s my verdict?
I never thought I would love and use my Fitbit as much as I do now. It’s a great tool, and I’m benefiting from it as both a person and athlete. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to gain more knowledge about their overall fitness and health.
Will it make you a faster runner? No, probably not but it can help you on the way to achieve your goals both in life and with running.