For the past two days I have sat for almost eight hours straight during the very long day that is new teacher orientation. Now, normally I might not be all that aware of the fact that I’d sat on my butt so much. But ever since I started using this nifty little thing called a Fitbit Zip, I am very conscious of the fact that ever little bit of exercise and movement counts…and conversely, I am very conscious of just how bad sitting for eight hours straight is for you. (Here’s a hint: super bad!)
In an attempt to make regular exercise more of routine, and at the same time acknowledging my own tendency to go through phases, I’ve been using the Fitbit Zip (which is basically a very cool and modern pedometer) to set activity goals for myself and so far I am in love with it.
Fitbit actually has a whole line of modern, technological pedometers available, but for me the Zip was by far the best choice. It’s tiny…see??
You can keep it in your pocket, on your waist band, or clipped to your bra. I usually opt for that last one, since I am seldom wearing anything with a waist band or pocket. It syncs with your smart phone or computer, making it super easy to access the tracked info.
The Fitbit Zip will track your steps, mileage, calories burned (which it calculates using your BMR and activity levels throughout the day) and your active minutes (or amount of you spend above a certain energy output level). It has the ability to count calories, track weight, and maintain a more detailed exercise log as well, but I prefer to focus on the steps and mileage. You can set a goal for each category. Beyond that, it’s up to you what kind of exercise you do. You can take a leisurely stroll around the block or run like a little kid after an ice cream truck. It doesn’t really matter what you do, which I think is one of the best things about the Fitbit: it encourages you to be more active in general, which I think is a good way to make physical activity more of a life long habit and less of a phase.
Some days (like yesterday when I sat for eight hours having a panic attack about how much I have to do before school starts) I don’t get in very many steps without really trying. Other days (like on crazy busy Sundays at my restaurant job where I run around like a crazy person all day long) I exceed my goals by A LOT.
Because my activity level on my days working at the restaurant is unusually high and I actually have an activity level closer to that of garden gnome in my daily life, I set my goals at a moderate 8,500 steps, 3.5 miles, 10 active minutes, and a daily calorie burn of 1,700. Now, I have been exceeding these goals pretty regularly, which I think is a sign I need to bump it up soon. But either way, I find seeing that bar get closer and closer to being full highly motivating. When I was about five hundred steps short the other night I actually hopped and danced and marched and wiggled my way around my bedroom for awhile just to get there, and added a few extra active minutes to my count to boot.
If you are looking for a modern, simple, and easy way to up your physical activity levels without going crazy, I can’t recommend the Fitbit Zip enough. It’s perfect for encouraging maintainable lifestyle changes and it’s actually pretty fun to use. The price ($60) is pretty reasonable as well, and the Fitbit website has tons of useful information on setting up, using, optimizing, and troubleshoot your Fitbit.
N.B.: I have been in no way compensated for this post. I purchased the product reviewed with my own money and my opinion is entirely my own.