My fiance bought my first activity tracker, the Fitbit Flex last September just before our 2 week camping/hiking holiday in Scotland. I knew it would suit me well as I had been trialing many free apps… Endomondo, Map My Run, Nike’s running app just to name a few but found the need to have my phone on me all the time a bind. Not only this, apps would crash while I would play music and use it generally in the background.
Ever since reaching my Slimming World target in May, I didn’t want to take my new weight loss for granted and wanted to tone up my body for a more sculpted shape. It pretty much became a new weekday obsession and I sampled tonnes of free exercise videos on YouTube.
I first dabbled with yoga, then moved on to Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, Killer Buns and Thighs, meanwhile I started my first ever running addiction with the help of Couch to 5k. My schedule was full and as I got more in to it, I went through heart rate monitors, then in came the free app step counters. This is also is the fittest I have ever been in my life.
I started joining many Facebook Groups linked to each type of exercise I was doing and would see many people use their Polar FT4, fitbits etc and so wanted one too. However, I did not want to wear a separate heart rate strap and the type I wanted was around the £300 mark so I settled for a cheaper device.
I loved the concept of a Fitbit Flex as you can wear it all the time, apart from swimming or in the bath. No, I didn’t have the heart rate monitor and it couldn’t tell me how hard I’d work during toning-type of exercises, but it motivated me enough. I would say that because it didn’t have a heart rate monitor, I would work out more than I needed to for what I was consuming. It’s obvious if you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight and when I synced it up with MyFitnessPal, I found it was the easiest way to maintain or lose weight.
However, when you compare the Flex to others on the market, it is a simple concept which is a little too basic. Yes, you could say it’s a glorified step counter, but it’s far more motivating that it talks with myfitnesspal, it monitors distance, calories burnt, tells you how many lbs to go to your desired target and as of yesterday I learnt that when you do add friends, you can challenge each other one on one or in a group. I had always been a “loner” and self motivated to be the best I can.
The new Fitbit Charge HR upgrade is a belated birthday present as I always wanted to know my heart rate, floors climbed and can finally check my wrist for the time which many leading ones do these days, not just read my steps.
The clasp is also much improved. Unlike the new traditional watch fastening, the old Flex has a clasp that has tendencies to unhook itself (and thanks for the warnings of other’s misfortunes on Amazon reviews), so I had invested in some silicone bands to secure in to place.
It is wider and more flexible and love how the basic colour is black which isn’t a colour clash – however, you can’t change the strap for a different colour at a later date, unlike the Flex – but this also means the HR’s charging method is less irritating; there is no dismounting a device which eventually wore my first Flex strap away and tore, an the first USB charger would need regular cleaning and in fact, broke a month after purchase (although very cheap replacements can be found on ebay).
I also opted for the size small but do feel if my wrist were any bigger, it would be more comfortable with the larger watch. The reason for this is Fitbit suggest wearing the watch loosely to “give your wrist a rest” and after reading reviews, this is to prevent blistering between the slightly protruding sensor and your skin. I like some left over strap to loop through the ring that holds the strap down, but it does have a notch that sits in the holes so I think it is just psychological for me.
Getting back to the new features of the Charge HR, this one now tells ME when I went to sleep rather me forgetting to tell IT. Last night’s sleep was a piece of cake – it is very intuitive and I did nothing but flop on my bed. I haven’t set my alarm yet, but know it should be the same vibrating silent alarm and it does alert me about an incoming call with caller ID – this will be an imperative when I go out on a run (not that I ever pick up the phone) but I could do if it were someone important.
Initially when I flicked through the screen options using the side button (again, 5 times better than the Flex), the heart rate said 104, which I found hard to believe as I was so calm and relaxed during filming. I think it needs an hour to adjust and after filming, I continued to play with it and found my natural heart rate was 65. After half a day’s use, it now tells me my resting bpm is 70. I do panic when my heart rate looks high (I have had an indulgent weekend) and so already, this is encouraging to better myself.
My only bugbear is that it is only splash proof – if you get it wet in the rain, you must dry it immediately. No showers unlike the flex, but as I am a bath person, I would take off my flex anyhow.
So far I am a happy bunny and you will be seeing more of my Fitbit Charge HR in every one of my future YouTube videos.
Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer.
I hope you found this usual!
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