Healthy Motivation: FitBit Alta

I am not one of life’s natural movers. I’d always prefer to be curled up with a good book than down at the gym or pounding the pavements. It takes a lot to get me motivated but I finally found something, so I thought I would do a quick Fitbit Alta review.

The original Fitbit Alta came out nearly a year ago and I’ve been using it since then. The updated FitBit Alta HR is the new model, for those who want the additional heart rate tracking functionality, but I’ve stayed with the basic one. After continuous use, I’m happy to give it a big thumbs up.

Pros

The Fitbit Alta and the app are both really easy to use. Honestly, this is the main one for me.

Sleep tracking. Oh boy, this was eye-opening (no pun intended). I finally saw why I was still tired after going to bed at a reasonable time. Restless nights equal tired days:

Challenges and social sharing – given the lower cost of entry to the Fitbit market compared to the Apple Watch or hardcore Garmin products, I’ve got many more friends and acquaintances using a Fitbit. This makes social interaction much easier and the group challenges really hone into the competitive spirit.

Step per hour reminders – another winning feature. 250 steps an hour? We all do that anyway, right? Nope. It’s so easy for an hour to go by and I’ve sat at my desk for the entire time. The subtle buzz on my wrist tells me to get up and get moving for ten minutes, but is subtle enough not to be intrusive if I’m in a meeting and can’t get away.

All of these key features are easy to interact with on the intuitive user interface:

Cons

Only splash resistant, not waterproof. Not good for pool bunnies.

The official bands aren’t the most durable or corporate friendly (turquoise and purple are my favourite). However, the customer service was great when my band broke and the delivery of a replacement was fast and efficient. Plus you can easily get unofficial alternatives on Amazon (I chose these replacement bands for a bit of variety – around $1 per band).

I’m under no illusions that walking 10,000 steps a day will turn me into a lean, mean, fighting machine. Diet plays a significant role in health and 10,000 steps does not by default mean cardio, strength or calorie goals get met. But for someone like me, it’s a daily gentle push towards better health. Overall, I’d recommend Fitbit Alta as a great starter wearable for anyone of any age who wants to be more conscious of their daily activity levels. You can always upgrade to something more hardcore at a later point.

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