Saturday, April 7, 2012

HAWMC Day 7 - My Workout Buddy

If you're new to this blog from the HAWMC posting-palooza welcome! There's a vital piece of information you need to know before continuing: prior to my diagnosis I was a gym rat. After my diagnosis? I became an intense gym rat.

Since the end of September I've had a loyal workout buddy who goes with me everywhere.

The FitBit Ultra! I know it might seem weird to do an activist's choice post on a device, but THAT'S how much I love it. I bought my mother one for Christmas and on my recommendation 10 friends have purchased one of their own.

The simplest way to explain it is to say that it's a tracker that counts how many steps you take each day and translates that into mileage, how many stairs you climb, how many calories you've burned, and your "active score." It's all done with very minimal setup and (free!!) signup to have access to the online dashboard. As a student, it helps me see just how sedentary I am when I have 6+ hours of class, and how active I need to be before and after class in order to find the balance. Your activity level translates into the best piece of motivation I've ever come across.

This flower grows with your activity level. The more active you are in a given period, the bigger this flower will grow. Days when I can't workout, a tiny little flower sadly stares at me wondering if I'm going to make it grow. On workout days it shoots up like a weed. I know it sounds silly, but I love this damn flower. 

Then, of course, there's the website where you can get the big picture of your activity and progress for free and there is a Premium membership available if you decide that better suits your needs. You can log activities, log your foods, journal about your progress, and - my personal favorite - log your blood glucose! This has helped me find SO many blood sugar trends in terms of what I eat and what time to eat it in relation to certain workouts that I may not have found otherwise. It's my go-to resource if I'm having post-workout lows. There's many different ways to look at your overall progress - you can count up your milestone badges, or look at your overall "bests," but every day, I like to look at my totals from the day before. 

Or if you want a quick snapshot of your activity patterns, you can look at the graph as soon as you sign in. 

It can also be attached to a wrist band that comes with it and used to track the efficiency of your sleep. This cracks me up because there's definitely days when I look at the log and think "I only got 4 hours of sleep, but I was 90% efficient!"

When you add your friends, it's even more fun to watch the leaderboard and help to encourage and support your friends with their activity. Whether it's for weight loss or overall wellbeing, getting exercise is always better with a buddy. Thanks to the website, I have workout buddies all across the country helping me strive to break my own records on a daily basis. 

After an hour with it, I found myself checking it and saying "2 more flights of stairs and I'll get a new badge!" or "200 more steps and I'll break 15000 steps for the day!" There's something very satisfying and motivating about having your activity level easily accessible any time you want it during the day. I love, LOVE this thing. I recommend that anyone who's trying to keep track of their activity or simply motivate themselves to be more active get their hands on one. Connect with the people you know through the website and inspire each other to be the healthiest you can because we're all in this together. 

FitBit did not ask or pay me to write this - I just really am a huge fan of their product. However, if they wanted me to write for them I wouldn't be opposed :) 


  1. The chances of me writing a HAWMC post today about how I want a FitBit has increased substantially after ready your post. I didn't even know it exsisted. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well, you converted me, and you already know I LOVE my fitbit :].
    My fitbit hasn't been getting a great deal of work the last few days, with the ridiculous asthma exacerbation combined with finals, but come Tuesday I hope to be making that awesome little flower happy again :].

    Also, you're a fitbit all-star, Ash. Way to go out there! :]