I have been wearing my Fitbit Alta since November 2017. For those who do not know, Fitbit Alta is a fitness tracker, on the lower end of the spectrum. Primarily, it counts my steps during the day, and monitors my sleep during the night. I chose a basic model because I only wanted these two features. There are other models by Fitbit, and different brands like Huawei, Garmin and Apple, which offer many other features as well – such as heart rate sensor, activity (like cycling, running and swimming) tracker, stress tracker, so on and so forth. I wanted something less intrusive and simple to manage.
After almost two years, I am penning down my experience. This post is not a review of Fitbit Alta, but my experience with a fitness tracker.
To begin with, Fitbit Alta doubles up as a wrist watch, which means that I do not have to pick up my phone to see the time or scream from across the room, “Hello Google, what time is it?”, to which it would politely respond, “Entschuldigung, ich kann nicht wissen, wie ich Ihnen dabei helfen kann.” Bless my currently-resting-in-a-box-in-a-storage Google Home Mini.
Subconsciously, I am more motivated to move because of my fitness tracker. I have set a goal of 10,000 steps a day, so it does a little victory display on its tiny screen every time I achieve it. Also, it breaks down the number of steps I need to do every hour to meet my goal, and displays low-key nudges to get me moving. And if I have been sitting for too long, it vibrates a little to remind me to maybe take a walk. I can safely say that I am a little more active because of it. The rewarding victory display is very satisfying to watch.
What is also motivating is the badges Fitbit awards you on its app for the number of steps that you have taken to date. For example, I have a badge for that one unfortunate day where I walked 25,000 steps. There is another badge for walking the length of world’s first underground railway (250 miles).
Most Fitbit fitness trackers come with sleep monitoring option. How it works is that you wear it during the night and it records movements to know how well and long you slept. The reports are available on its mobile app for you to see. I love these reports the most, as they tell me how many times I woke up the night and if I were a little or a lot restless. I learnt that I am often awake/restless around 4am, though I don’t remember being either. In addition, I know that if I am tired today, it is probably because I had poor sleep the night before, despite being in bed for 7 hours straight. I have Fitbit Alta to verify that.
Then there is a community section in the app. It has a social feed, where people share fitness related updates; a section for all the groups that I have joined (like snacking tips and yoga); and then there a column for friends, where all my Fitbit friends are listed according to their step count for the week, in descending order. I am always in top 5 (score!), and yes I have only 9 friends.
Originally, my Fitbit Alta came with a plain black band, which broke a year later. So I ordered two more from Amazon, in plum and silver. The battery lasts about a week, and is fully charged in about an hour and a half.
All in all, I love my Fitbit Alta. I like that it is simple, not so intrusive, efficient, has decent battery life, and nudges me every now and then to get off my bum. Like it is doing now.