I came late to the fitness tracker party. I was completely oblivious as to why people loved to count their steps or monitor their sleep. Why had these wristbands become such a huge trend? What was their appeal? I mean, if Obama has one, they must be worth looking in to, right?
As an advocate of a balanced, holistic approach to health and fitness I certainly had my reservations. Fitness ‘trackers’ are an immediate red flag for me, I think of obsessively tracking steps, counting calories and calculating sleep in a robotic and unhealthy fashion.
I will put my hands up and say I was wrong. Just because fitness trackers hold the potential to monitor every aspect of your life, and should certainly be used with caution for those who have a tendency towards unhealthy obsession with food and exercise, does not mean that they must be used that way.
In reality, they are actually a great way to become aware of your habits, and with that information, make changes for the better.
What I see as the best part about these gadgets is that you can use them any way you like. I delight in the feeling of going over 10, 000 steps and being reassured that I have been active enough for the day.
Fitbit Guru and Senior Director Marketing Asia Pacific, Jaime Hardley explained that the Alta was aimed at the ‘everyday user’, someone who just wants to be more active and aware of how much they are moving.
This band would measure my steps, distance, and sleep. Jaime said this model was specifically designed to be the most fashionable of the Fitbit family. The company combined with New York Fashion Designers in order to make it as current as possible.
“If you want people to wear the devices all day every day, then they need to be fashionable and they need to be personal,” she added.
I have exceptionally tiny wrists, so was very apprehensive about a clunky fitness tracker feeling heavy or getting in my way all of the time.
The gadget was entirely unobtrusive and lightweight. So much so that I almost forgot to take it off in the shower. That is one down side, the Alta can’t get wet. It is resistant to splashes, rain and sweat, but definitely remove it before diving in to the ocean or the pool.
However, of course, this isn’t the end of the world.
A major gold star goes to the Fitbit team because their trackers are compatible with more than 200 different devices. It is very refreshing to have software that doesn’t discriminate depending on platform and includes IOS, Android, Windows etc. The technology is extremely easy to use and engage with.
So why use a Fitbit?
“Being sedentary is very damaging to your health,” explained Jaime.
“We are all living much busier, but more sedentary lifestyles. However, fitness is really personal, people health and fitness goals are unique to them.
“We give people information that helps people make choices. They can be big choices like “ I am going to run a half marathon” or small choices like “I will walk to work”.”
Fitbit encourages people to get moving.
The brand is fun, motivational, and best of all, doesn’t take itself too seriously. The badges you earn and your weekly progress reports allow you to enjoy your fitness achievements in a playful, positive and healthy way. This is far better than being fixated with a number on the scale.
All in all, I delighted in reaching my cardio fitness goals with the help of the Alta. I found myself choosing to walk instead of drive, taking the stairs more and generally trying to move as much as possible in order to take my 10, 000 steps. After only a couple of months my daily goal was at least 15, 000 and then 20, 000.