Saturday, May 11, 2013

To flex or not to flex? Getting a fitbit


So I purchased one.  I wanted to wait for a week before I gave my 2 cents.  I will give update reviews as I use it.  Let me first tell you the only thing I have ever used is a pedometer.  So I talked with other friends that have the jawbone, one and fitbit.  So let’s make this as painless as possible.

First what is the flex?

Quote from the web site: Flex website click here

Make fitness a lifestyle with Flex™.


This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal. It’s the motivation you need to get out and be more active.

Does it do that?  Heck yes.  Especially when you are so close to hitting your daily 10,000 steps.  I have took the dog for a walk just so I could get those extra steps.  You can also customize those goals.


  • Light weight, rubberized, flexible band.
  • Comes in 4 colors. Slate or Black are the only ones with the device. The other 2 you buy separately.
  • Included in box are both small and large bands.  Which you can use to trade for different color from friends with the opposite size
  • The clasp is metal and you have to push down hard to get it to latch, which is a draw back.  However on a positive note if it’s hard to clasp hopefully it will be hard to pop loose.
  • Design to be worn on either arm, it works best on Non-dominant arm.   I don’t know about you but most people wear their watch on that arm
  • Doesn’t not have a clock.  Which means your watch will need to switch arms.  Not a deal breaker for me since my watch is already on that arm.
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet.  Wear it swimming, showering, or washing those dreaded dishes. Meaning…it’s safe for this nurse’s flex to get wet every 1000 times I wash my hands.  Con:  Will not track swimming, let me rephrase that; no written evidence that it does. (not a big deal I plug it in on myfitnesspal as back up)

Pro: Light weight, flexible and I don’t notice that I even have it on. 

Cons:  having to wear it on the non-dominant arm  (no gripes here for me)


  • Pill like device that slides into the back of the bracelet.  FYI must be put in correctly or it won’t work as well.
  • While out it can be place in USB charge cord that hooks into computer.  Which leads me to the battery life 5-7 days.  I lasted 6 days with constant use.  Takes around less than an hour to charge.
  • How accurate is it?  It has been pretty dead on for me.  I did notice that I didn’t burn as much calories as I thought during a circuit workout.  But I stepped it up a notch and did much better.  You can calculate your stride to help make it more accurate or leave it on default.  Default is done by age, sex, height and weight. 

Sync ability

  • Works best with iOS (apple products)  But will work with android.  I have noticed some “hiccups” with sync on my droid razr.  It seems to take longer to sync.  I prefer my iPod to sync with.  It will also sync with your computer by putting the “dongle” in one of the computer’s usb ports.  (this comes with the product)
  • Sync is done by Bluetooth 4.0 (older phone may not have this) unlike Jawbone (another similar device) where you have to hook it into phone.

Alarm/Sleep Tracking

  • You can set up multiple alarms.  Bracelet will vibrate.  Great if you don’t want to wake up your partner.
  • Rapidly tapping on the Fitbit Flex for a few seconds launches sleep mode; under this setting, the device will track your sleep patterns throughout the night.  Then you can check the progress on you app.  It will tell you how long you slept, how many time you woke up and your % on quality of sleep.  ( I woke up 23 times yesterday, good grief)

What does it do?

Is it a fancy pedometer?  I think not.

  • Tracks your steps just like a pedometer
  • Tracks the calories burned
  • Tracks your distance
  • Record your Food, Water, Weight. 
  • Calculates how many calories you can eat that day
  • Links up with a few other fitness apps.  My favorite being Myfitnesspal
  • Motivates you by awarding badges for completing certain levels

Rumors- this section is dedicated to negative comments I have heard

  • It doesn’t have a display like the One (older fitbit model) has.  Yes the one shows the steps, distance, stairs and even a little flower that grows when you do fabulous.  Even has a clock.  Downfall?

    simple.b-dis-png.he4b66b8cef0d8ceaaa34ad6fcc0eecf3(pictured the One)

Not really.  I like the simplicity of my flex.  When you double tap on the flex  5 lights will light up.  Each light represents 20% complete.  When completed the bracelet vibrates.  (about scared the pee out of me)  Plus since it sync so easily I can always see a detailed update on my iPod.  I always have my phone with me or my iPod when I am exercising.  So that’s not a draw back for me.  I think too much info is just as bad as weighing ever day.

  • It’s on my wrist and I wear other jewelry/watch.  I like the fit one because I can clip it anywhere. 

Okay I can some what understand this.  However I wear my watch on my dominant hand not really a big deal.  Plus I know I have already washed one $9 pedometer I really don’t want to wash a $99 one that isn’t water proof.  I know  I leave my Badge clip for work clipped to my uniform all the time. So a One was not for me.  Plus how annoying would that be to forget to put you One on when getting dressed for work/workout.  The Flex is always on.

  • It counts steps while you sleep and gives me calories burned

Okay did you make a trip to the kitchen/bathroom?  You still move in sleep and you still burn calories while sleeping.  On average you can burn 400-500 calories sleeping.  Mine has been correct on the calorie count.  But remember you burn calories doing everything.  You just have to get your 10,000 steps to be an average healthy active person.

  • It doesn’t catch every exercise.  This is correct.  It won’t do swimming, biking, and some say elliptical.  I use my myfitnesspal account and manually put them in anyway. 

FYI-While using myfitnesspal exercise log it estimates you calories burned.  You can set up the account to minus what you actually burned.  For example dancing 30 mins for myfitnesspal may say I burned 175 calories but the Flex only calculated 110 it will deduct that from you calories burned bank.  You can turn this feature off. 

  • When putting foods in FITBIT flex the directory doesn’t have a lot of choices.  Once again this is where I use Myfitnesspal.  I record all my foods, water, exercise in myfitnesspal and it crosses over to fitbit account.  Great feature.

Okay so that about sums up my knowledge of the flex.  If you are still unsure.  Find out how long of a return policy there is and try it out yourself.  The flex isn’t for everyone.  We can’t all be a like. 

So bottom line.  I will be keeping my flex.  I like the look and feel,  less likely hood that I will lose it and it motivates me to work harder towards my goal of losing weight.  What works for you to help achieve your goals is all that matters in the long run.  If you have any questions feel free to message me.  Or check out my fitness page on Facebook. nursewiththedragontattooFacebook


Anonymous said...

I like MyFitnessPal too! By the way, I love your blog.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is awesome. I like MyFitnessPal as well.