I, like many others today, could stand to lose a few pounds. It’s something I’ve struggled with for the past few years as I’ve gotten older and am always looking for extra motivation to get fit. There are a number of companies today who are combining technology and fitness goals to come up with devices to help you in your pursuit. I’ve tried a few of these in the past but the ones I’ve used all had drawback which kept them from being ideal in my opinion.
The first of these devices I ever used was the original Fitbit. My first impressions of it were positive. It was a pretty great device for keeping track of how many steps I’d taken throughout the day, how many calories I was burning, how active I was, how many calories I was eating, and how restful my sleep was. Using it was simple enough, I just clipped it to my shirt and it tracked my activity. The Fitbit would automatically sync when you were within range of the charging base. The only thing I had to track manually was my caloric intake, but it was easy enough to do using their website.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the Fitbit, or at least I didn’t find very useful. The first was sleep-tracking. I understand that there is a correlation between the amount of sleep you get and your health in general, but this was just a feature that I could do without. My biggest complaint was that it would only last for about 10 days before it needed to be charged. I would usually notice this as I was getting ready to go to work in the morning so I’d have to leave it at home on the charging base; which meant that it wasn’t tracking my activity for that day.
Even with those few complaints I still felt it provided great motivation and helped me shed some pounds while I was using it. For those interested in this it’s been discontinued but replaced with the Fitbit One. This new model does pretty much everything the original Fitbit did, but also tracks how many stairs you take throughout the day.
The next device I used was the Nike Fuelband. This device had some really cool features that I loved…and a couple I really hated. First off, it looks awesome! It looked similar to those charity bracelets that some people wear but when you pushed the button on it the Fuelband would cycle through a number of different options. It would display the time, how many steps you’d taken, how many active calories you burned, the distance you’d traveled, and your Nike Fuel score – which was basically a measurement of how active you’d been throughout the day. It was easy enough to charge, the clasp that secured it around your wrist was also a usb connector that you could plug into a computer for syncing and charging.
The Fuelband suffered the same problem that my original Fitbit did, only worse. The charge would only last you about 4 – 5 days. So again there were days when I’d have to leave it at home to charge. My biggest complaint of the Fuelband was the calorie tracking. Unlike the Fitbit, which tracks all of the calories you burned in your day to day tasks throughout the day, the Fuelband would ONLY track your active calories. So in my opinion it was a useless measurement. It would tell me if burned 400 calories during a workout but not how many I’d burned throughout my entire day. I find the Fitbit’s calorie tracking to be much more beneficial to me.
And now we come to the Fitbit Zip. First let’s talk price. It retails for $59.99…nearly half the cost of most of the other devices out there, including the Fitbit One and their newest wrist device, the Flex. You can actually find it around $10 cheaper at Amazon. That alone is enough for more people to at least give this a try. The Zip works pretty much the same as the original Fitbit did. You clip it on and it tracks your steps, calories, distance, and your activity level. The Fitbit Zip does not track your sleep but again this was something that I didn’t find that useful in the first place. My favorite feature, which in my opinion makes this the best fitness device out there, is the battery life. Instead of having a rechargeable battery that needs to be charged every 5 – 10 days the Zip uses a standard watch battery…that will last you about 6 months! No more having to leave the device at home or tethered to a computer while it charges. For those that are needing a new battery you can find it at Amazon here.
The Fitbit Zip has no buttons, but you can cycle through the different stats by just touching the screen. Since the original Fitbit came out the company has now come out with some very useful apps available for both iPhone and Android. To sync the Zip all you have to do is make sure the display is on and open the app. It will sync wirelessly via bluetooth so there is no need to ever really sync this to a computer, although they do provide a bluetooth usb dongle to sync to your computer.
Wear it in your pocket, on a belt, or a bra – this tracker
is as discreet or as visible as you want it to be. Its
silicone clip will keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Zip™ is also rain, splash, and sweat-proof. With a
replaceable watch battery that lasts up to six months,
it’s excuse-proof too.
Due to it’s convenience, low price, useful apps, and incredible battery life I believe the Fitbit Zip to be the best fitness device available. Have you tried one of these or other devices not mentioned? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.