I’m 1 year in to my decision to change my habits and be healthy in all aspects of wellness. In one year I’ve gone from a sedentary, sad person back to an active, happy chick always excited about something. About 4 months into my transformation I started to wear an activity tracker. I had tried out a few step trackers before, but not with any great enthusiasm because they were all just very basic step trackers. They literally only tracked your steps with a generic goal of 10,000 steps per day. All that told you was that you were up walking, nothing else. It was when I took my Concepts of Cardiovascular Fitness in May 2015 that I began to use an activity tracker around the clock, noting my every move, breath and heartbeat! I was excited when this class required the use of a heart rate monitor-it was the excuse I was looking for to purchase a fancy tracker. Around that time is when fitbit was on a serious advertising campaign, and the Fitbit Charge HR had been released earlier in the year along with the Fitbit Surge.
But would one of these expensive, fancy trackers really make a difference in my wellness journey? The answer is YES. If you’ve never tried out a tracker before, or if you are like me and had tried out just a very basic tracker and therefore did not find it exciting, it is a super way to keep yourself accountable and reach your goals. I know this may sound a bit cliche but even on my rest days it makes me want to get up and walk around. I’ve had it almost nine months now and on my rest days I STILL feel the urge to check my steps and to see if I got my heart rate up. It’s really a fabulous thing to be able to know what sort of impact my activity has had on my day and it’s even better having that access right on my wrist. Even neater than that, it speaks to my smartphone-I literally have the story of me recorded in my fitbit app for me to analyze whenever I want to. The app is really easy to download and set up and whatever is recorded by your fitbit is synced with your phone for convenient, on the go viewing all the time.
- The Charge HR provides real time stats to check throughout your day. With a quick tap of a button, you can view how many calories you have burned, how many steps you have taken, and therefore how close you are to reaching your goal. You can set your goal to fit your needs and lifestyle. Pick whatever you want-calories, distance, steps, or floors. It also speaks to your smartphone. And when you are close to your goal, a little message flashes across the Charge HR face, and also flashes a notification across your phone. Once you’ve reached that goal, you get a gentle vibration on your wrist and another notification sent to your phone. It’s all about the small encouragements right? It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. It’s the middle of January and really icy outside thanks to that storm we got last weekend but I like to run outside when it is clear. On days I run outside I set my goal to be a little higher because I “regular” goal I’d crush before noon! My average goal is 10,000 but on days I run, I boost it up to 13,000.
- Know what the HR in Charge HR stands for? HEART RATE. Which is the key to cardiovascular fitness. Which is why I wanted THIS fitbit as opposed to the bunch of others that Fitbit has. This tracker tells you what your resting heart rate is and what your active heart rate is. And you know what else? I’ve found it pretty accurate! Now-maybe if i were to hook up a chest strap and get a test from an Exercise Physiologist they might find some differences but for crying out loud-for a regular person this activity band’s heart rate monitor is the bomb. It’s been really neat to see my resting heart rate go down as my activity level has gone up-and it’s been really cool to watch how I have to actually work harder to get my heart rate up during jogs. Of course-I haven’t been able to run in over TWO WEEKS, maybe three-I’ll have to go back and check my workouts. By the way-fitbit did just receive some bad press recently about some inaccurate heart rate data. I think it’s important to remember that activity trackers are NOT medical devices.
- You can see how many calories you burn in a workout, not just how many you’ve burned in a day. And you can see the impact a workout had on your overall day! It’s SOOO cool.
- Smart Trek-that means if I forget to press the button on the side until it vibrates so that my workouts are being recognized as workouts-fitbit will automatically track it for me!
- Also really neat is that you can set “silent” alarms for yourself from the app on your phone. Wear the tracker to bed and the Fitbit’s alarm will use quite vibrations to wake you up OR you can use them to discreetly remind yourself to do things during your day. It’s a gentle vibration, nothing loud or obnoxious. I was worried at first that the vibrating would be annoying but it’s hasn’t been like that at all. It’s neat to be able to set little reminders-even if it’s just to get up and go do something rather than sit around watching the news or on demand shows!
- My sleeping habits are finally revealed too! Boy oh boy was I not sleeping well when I first got the Charge HR. I was able to adjust and man-what a difference just being aware of when you were waking up and how much sleep you actually got makes. The sleep tracker is pretty darn accurate too for the most part. A couple of nights I think it told me I had WAAY more sleep than I had-but I was just laying there really still resting.
- Minor excitement for me, but if you are within a reasonable distance to your phone-it’s got caller id and text read. You can see who is calling you or read that short text response someone sent you. Great for people who left their phones in a cubby while working out or have it strapped to their arm.
So what DON’T I like about the Fitbit Charge HR? There has to be a few things or it wouldn’t be a fair review, right? Right.
- Well I don’t like that it isn’t waterproof. It is only water resistant which means it’s ok to wash dishes or take an OCCASIONAL shower with it but for the most part I have to remember to take it off before I shower and put it back on when I’m done. Usually I do, but I have to confess that I’m writing this review after not wearing my fitbit regularly for 2 days. I AM going to go put it back on RIGHT NOW. The only band I know of right now that actually is waterproof is the microsoft tracker
- No GPS Tracking. I’ve heard you can actually use GPS with the Charge HR on the app, as long as you have your phone with you for it to read the wristband. Thing is, I have a 6+ and I don’t lug that thing around while I run or do my crossfit workouts.
- It can be bought in lots of different colors, at the time I purchased mine I could only find black. I’m happy I bought black because it’s so interchangeable with many outfits but I’ve heard that with some of the others you can change the band. Would be nice to be able to do that.
- Sleep tracker is accurate for the most part, but I KNOW one time I laid in bed watching netflix and the activity band reported I was sleeping. Maybe my breathing was just really LOW.
So where can you get one of these things? Well, the MSRP is $149.95 so I recommend you first go to Shop.com and download Shopbuddy, which is a non intrusive, intuitive shopping tool that helps you find the best deals and great coupons on things you are looking for. Once you’ve done that, type in Fitbit Charge HR in Shop.com search and happy shopping!! By the way-with Shop.com you will also get cash back! Enjoy!!!!