Matt and I bought Fitbit Charge HRs for one another as an early Christmas gift. We got them on a presale (they're not available yet), and we are so excited to be among the first to try these out! We have been wearing them every day during our normal routine, and have been tracking our sleep at night. Here are the major features:
I'm not sure the science behind it, but somehow the Fitbit tracks your steps even when your arms aren't swinging (I tested it out). Anyways, I wear it all day and it tracks every step I take. My average steps so far (my daily commute) is around 11,000 steps.
It also knows when you are walking up stairs, and tracks how many flights of stairs you have gone up or down.
I used to wear a Polar watch that tracked my heart rate, but it was such a pain. I had to remember the awkward and uncomfortable chest strap thing that you could see through my shirt. Again, I don't know the science, but the Fitbit Charge HR somehow tracks your heart rate without that strap. All you have to do is hold down the main button until it buzzes, and it will start tracking your heart rate for a workout. This allows me to make sure I'm getting into my fat burning zone when I'm doing HIIT workouts.
Also, it tells you your resting heart rate. Apparently elite endurance athletes have resting heart rates in the 30s and 40s, while average is 60-80bpm. Mine is 54. I feel pretty good about that, but I also like the idea of building up my cardio endurance to watch that decrease.
When you are still for more than an hour (even for a nap), this device tracks your sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you can look at the phone app and see how many minutes you were restless in the night and how many times you woke up. I'm interested to see how my daily habits affect my sleep quality, and will keep you guys updated with how I use this interesting piece of information.
When you hit your goal of daily steps, it buzzes on your wrist. Small feature, but I really like it.
You can set alarms on your Fitbit and you can use bluetooth to get call notifications from your phone on your Fitbit. I really like waking up to a vibration on my wrist instead of my buzzing alarm clock. It's much gentler.
And, you know, it also tells you what time it is. I just wear it as my watch all day so that I can be aware of the time and of my stats.
At first, I was like -- what an unnecessary amount of information. What good does it do me to know all of these extra stats. Don't I already track enough with workouts and macros?
But the competition/social aspect of this makes it such healthy fun. Matt and I have some friends in Texas who have Fitbits, and we try to prove every day that New Yorkers walk more than anyone else, especially Houstonians. In actuality, the husband is on his feet all day checking on stuff/managing employees, so he is hard to keep up with.
I like the competition aspect a lot. I also like that it helps to motivate me to walk Morton (more steps!!)
It looks like the Fitbit Charge HR will hit the market in early 2015. Be on the lookout!
Oh, and if you have a Fitbit, let's be friends :)