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Thursday, 26 January 2017

FITNESS | 5 Reasons Fitbits are worth the money

I'm not usually one to jump on a fitness fad bandwagon, as I don't believe in quick and easy or overnight results. 

Likewise, I don't tend to give in and waste lots of money on products or diets that is promised to work by everyone - I didn't give in and purchase a Nutribullet (I like smoothies on the odd occasion but can use my Nan's old hand blender for a fraction of the price!) and although I've reviewed reputable teatoxes in the past, you won't find me running out the door to spend £50+ on a new diet regime.

So when my close friend Briony started banging on about getting a Fitbit, I took no interest. 

Until we went to Reading festival and she whacked up an impressive 120,000 steps (when according to Fitbit the American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps daily for a healthy lifestyle) and I began to consider the idea. It was also when we spent at least two hours walking each day (half an hour from the camp to the arena multiple times a day) without her breaking a sweat and me, well, not sweating but definitely aching by the end of it all, that I thought, 'hmm. I'd like to be able to do that many steps a day - should the occasion arise - and take it all in my stride like she has done'.

I mean, I'm not as lazy as I used to be and all that walking wasn't too hard, but I definitely felt it by the end of the weekend. 

Beforehand, I'd also wondered what good just walking can do. It turns out a lot, really.

So I caved and bought one, feeling slightly sick and nervous at spending £99 on something that wasn't a necessity. I'd never spent that much money in one go before, except for when buying a laptop or that time I went to buy a bikini for holiday and accidentally-on-purpose spent £150 on lingerie in Boux Avenue.

That was back in September (buying the Fitbit, that is, not my shameful splurge in Boux Avenue) and just four months on, my opinion has changed completely and I absolutely love my Fitbit.

Here's five reasons why I believe Fitbits are worth the money.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fitness | Fitbit | Fitbit Alta

..and you won't use it religiously for one month before shoving it in the back of your drawer. Trust me on this one. I'm the queen of picking up new projects and getting bored after a month or so, but five months on, I'm still using the hell out of my Fitbit. I don't always log my food (I do around 85% of the time) but I didn't buy it for that reason. I still use it all the time - I kind of have to without realizing it being that it's worn around my wrist 24/7 - but I mean, actively too. Nearly every single day I try to up my step count/hit my step goal/beat my friends etc.

Don't get me wrong, you're not going to wake up one morning, look at your Fitbit and immediately go on a 5k run - but it does push you and motivate you to move more. I actively try to hit my step goal but there are times when I'll be sat in on an evening and I get a notification telling me that just 2,000 more steps to go before hitting my goal. I then make a conscious effort to get up and do that, whether it's taking the dog out for the walk or pacing around the house like a lunatic. Of course without a Fitbit I wouldn't know how many steps I've done, but I can't say that there's ever been an instance pre-Fitbit that at 7pm I've thought to myself 'I haven't walked much today, I better get up and do some form of walking/exercise to keep healthy'. In fact, even if I just get to at least 5,000 steps by the afternoon, that's enough for me to know that realistically if I move or push myself a little, I can easily hit 10,000 steps that evening.

This is the real fun part if you have friends that have Fitbits too. You can set challenges on a workweek or on a weekend to see who gets the most steps and it makes me SO DAMN COMPETITIVE. I've beaten my friends a couple of times, but it's super hard when I work from home. One friend has a child also, so when I check it early morning, she's already wracked up so many steps! But it is fun, overall. There are also solo challenges, such as NYC 3.1 Miles (which is 8,000 steps). You can set these when going on a long walk and, as you progress, you can see different landmarks via the app. You basically digitally walk a path in NYC, embedded with panasonic photos. I haven't done one of these yet, but my friend did one for Yosemite Vernal Falls and the photos were beautiful.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Fitness | Fitbit | Fitbit Alta

You can also track your water intake, your sleeping patterns and what you eat. Tracking your food is similar to MyFitnessPal, but it's super useful because you can set specific goals to lose, gain or maintain weight. I find it really hard to understand how many calories you should eat depending on your workout each day in general, and Fitbit does this for you. You can set a goal of, for example, losing 2.0 lbs per week by lowering your calorie deficit, and then when you log your food and exercises, it lets you know how many calories you can eat for the rest of the day. If you have a specific goal in mind, it really takes the complication out of it all. 

Since using my Fitbit, I have lost 1 stone and five lbs gradually and in a safe manner. Although my biggest loss has been since going vegan, I am still super happy with the results because I am losing the weight bit by bit, rather than in one big go. For example, my friend explained that she often diets, loses a lot of weight quickly and then puts it back on again, but by walking more with my Fitbit, eating more healthy and taking up some new year fitness classes, it's clear to see that the weight I am losing is coming off safely and due to a long-term lifestyle change. Fitbit has kept me going; I didn't buy one and immediately go running every single evening and dieting but by making slow but gradual changes over the course of a few months, I have slowly become more comfortable in myself and all around more healthy.

Which, I think, was my overall goal when I decided to purchase my Fitbit!

Of course, different things work for different people, but I think at the very least, a Fitbit is a great way to simply just get walking and out of the house more - which can never do any harm really. 

Have you got a Fitbit or would you ever consider buying one? Let me know!

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