Fitbit’s have become the latest must-have gadget to increase your fitness and track your progress, but what makes them so special?
There are many variations of the Fitbit available in Australia. The most popular are the Fitbit Flex, Charge and Surge models. The Flex tracks how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned and also features a sleep tracking monitor. The Charge includes more features, such as an OLED screen, the ability to monitor how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, and how long you spend being active. It can also advise you of an incoming call. The flagship Surge model adds yet more features including GPS tracking and a heart rate monitor.
Fitbit claim superior battery life compared to other manufacturers and can be synced with your computer and smartphone. By owning and wearing a Fitbit, you are able to monitor your fitness. Certified personal trainer Tiafi Thurston, told The Newsroom “I don’t believe that they have had a massive effect on the way people lose weight but are a great tool to keep people on track”. “A lot of people are misled by clever marketing when it is all very simple. Clean eating and regular exercise is all it takes, it’s all about your lifestyle”.
We’d all like a quick fix to that burger we had for dinner last night or the few too many beers from last weekend, but unfortunately, there isn’t one. The only way to get results is with work. Thurston believes the key to weight loss is understanding how food and exercise affects your body. Ms Thurston is also the careers advisor of the Academy of Fitness and says Fitbits have many benefits to her as a teacher but also her students. “I think the benefits of a Fitbit have a lot to do with accountability and having a measurable goal,” she said. “People have a set goal and then have something tracking them and reminding them to get up and keep active.”
Cameron Day plays basketball on a regular basis and believes the Fitbit helps him stay on track with his training as well as his health. “The Fitbit has definitely assisted me with making improvements in regards to getting in shape physically and mentally,” he told The Newsroom.
He also explained that using the simple smartphone app that goes with the Fitbit has allowed him to see his progress daily. “Mentally, I have noticed improvements through assistance of the Fitbit,” he says. “By simply being able to note and view my activity both physically and nutritionally through the Fitbit app, has allowed me to gain more confidence from what I have accomplished and drives me to continue to get better and improve”.
A new study has also shown that if you achieve 10,000 steps a day, you could live longer. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise you can establish a routine that allows you get fit and enjoy it. “Any progress is good progress and if you are enjoying what you’re doing and getting good results then keep doing it,” said Ms Thurston. “There might be a quicker or better way to lose weight but if you aren’t motivated to do it, you won’t. If you are enjoying what you do, you are most likely going to continue doing it.”
The Fitbit may not actually get rid of those extra kilos you want to lose, but they could potentially be the trigger for people to go out in the world and get healthy, living a longer and much more active lifestyle. – Ashleigh Stevenson
Top photo by Jessica Heckley.