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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fitbit Flex Review | Fitness Tracker Band

fitbit flex activity fitness tracker band review
Mobile phones have never been a reliable way to track your fitness, steps, sleep, heart rate etc. as we simply don't have them on our person 24/7, even if we think we do. Even through the amazing technological advances that have happened over the past few years, we still can't rely on them to track our every move. We needed a more accurate way of measuring these things, so fitness bands, pedometers and other attachable gadgets were invented. 
They come in all shapes and sizes with different functionalities, styles and units of measurement. Some come with compatible apps, others sync with your computer, or both! After losing control of my weight shortly after leaving uni (where I was at the gym every day/ doing Insanity and eating super healthy) and so just over a year ago, I decided that I needed to be more active, and start taking care of myself, and with that, my weight would sort its self out (here's hoping!). With that decision, I bought myself a Fitbit Flex for Christmas and I haven't taken it off to this very day!
The Fitbit Flex is a small device around 2 inches long and fits in a rubber wristband. You can also get a leather band or loads of other designs, whichever suits your personal style. I got the pink band to start off with, but have since bought a black replacement band as the pink went an odd colour after a year's use. 
Completely waterproof up to a couple of meters, I even wear it in the shower, swimming etc. It's tracking my every single move. Including when I'm asleep! With this additional sleep tracking function, you can train yourself to get a better night's sleep and identify which factors are causing you to wake in the night, not get as much sleep or why you're so tired in the mornings. I'm getting so much more sleep now that I monitor mine!
Syncing daily with an app that's available for both Android and Apple devices, and a more in-depth dashboard on your PC, you can keep an eye on everything with a touch of a button.
fitbit flex activity fitness tracker band review
As you can see, you are able to set goals for pretty much everything, from how much water you want to drink per day to how much weight you want to lose, or how many steps to aim for. These things are measured against your goals and there's nothing better than see that little "You reached your goal!" message at the end of the day. It's motivating and encouraging! 
Upon initiating the app to start off with, you're asked what you'd like to use the Fitbit for; losing weight, gaining weight or maintaining. I obviously would like to lose weight so it uses your current weight, height, age etc. along with what your goal weight and fat percentage is and sets your food goal accordingly. For weight loss, you can either have a 500 calorie deficit, a 750 calorie or a 1000 calorie. These being the easy, moderate and hard options and gives you a time scale for when to expect to meet this goal. 
Personally, I reset my goal after Christmas and I went for the challenging 1000 calorie deficit, in the hope to lose 2- 2.5 lbs per week. With some luck, I may reach my goal by May! 
I also set my other goals as follows:
Water intake: 3000 ml (3 litres)
Steps: 8000
Sleep: 7 hours
Active Minutes: 40
Distance: 4 miles
Not only can you record your food intake and keep a track of your calories that way, but it also takes into consideration the amount of calories you burn just being awake. This is your metabolic rate and is calculated using your weight, age, height and other such details; it's not incredibly accurate but it means that because you burn calories throughout the day doing nothing, it means you can eat a couple more and still meet your goal. 
Personally, I use My Fitness Pal to record my food, as I have found it has a much bigger database of food and tells you more information about the macros and ingredients in what you're eating. This app can sync seamlessly with Fitbit and all the data is shared across the two apps. 
If you've got other models of Fitbit, you may also be able to track your heart rate, which is an even more reliable way to record calorie burn and some also record steps/flights climbed, the route you walk using GPS, play music, have on-screen workouts, touch screens, timers and clocks. In terms of functionality, the Flex is one of the lower end bands of the Fitbit range, with the Blaze and Surge bands being top of the range. But of course, they come with a price tag at £159.99 and £199.99. You can even buy a sync-able set of scales to accurately record your daily weight and fat percentage changes without having to input it yourself. 
For exercise, you can either record it as you go, so for example, if you're going for a run or cycling, you can live record your activity in-app. Otherwise, just input it as you would your food. Again, I use MFP for this and input exactly what time I started the exercise so that it can attribute the steps/calories burnt in that time to the exercise its self.
Overall, I think the Fitbit Flex is great for the money and performs well. Charging is also super easy and only needs to be done every 5/6 days and takes just a few hours ( I usually do this when I know I'll be sitting at my desk not moving). However, if you're looking for a band that records much more than this, or even if you don't want to wear something on your wrist, there's so many more trackers to choose from in the Fitbit range. But after using other bands and their apps, I definitely think this is one of the more user-friendly apps and I'm still motivated to lose this weight and be a healthier me!
You can get your very own Fitbit Flex for £79.99 from House of Fraser.
Have you got a Fitbit? If you use a different tracker, which one do you use?
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