By Miranda Dellamaria
*or at least, will make you think you’re becoming healthier*
Whether or not you believe Fitbits actually work, they are clearly the latest fitness craze to sweep the nation. While some people insist they are little more than high-tech and expensive pedometers, Fitbits actually do offer a variety of different ways to measure your health. Here are a few of the most useful ways:
- The daily number of calories you burn will surprise you, for better or worse.
Fitbits can calculate both how many calories you burn when you’re completely sedentary, and how many calories you burn from walking/running around. This is very helpful in realizing that you’re not burning nearly as many calories as you think you are. Side note: the walk from Joe’s to Antonio’s is a good 500 steps. Just sayin.’
2. You can challenge your friends to some casual (or ruthless) competition.
The Fitbit app allows you to start some friendly competition with anyone you know who also owns a Fitbit. There are a few different kinds: Daily Showdown, Weekend Warrior, Goal Day, and Workweek Hustle. Watch out though, these competitions can get cutthroat if your best friend is actually fit.
3. You’ll realize that you’re eating way more than you probably should be…
The Fitbit app also has a way to keep track of all the calories you’re eating, similar to other fitness apps like MyFitnessPal. The Fitbit app goes one step further, however, and tracks exactly how many calories you can eat depending on how many calories you’ve burned that day. Warning: this can also be kind of a letdown when you realize that the calories burned from those 500 steps from Joe’s to Antonio’s aren’t actually equivalent to the calories in a piece of pizza.
4. And also that you’re not sleeping nearly as much as you probably should be.
Your Fitbit also tracks your sleep patterns based on your heart rate, and will let you know certain things about your sleeping patterns, like how many times you woke up during the night, or when you were very restless.
5. The little badges you get for walking certain distances are kind of cool.
Again, whether or not your Fitbit is actually helping you lose weight, it’s kind of cool to find out you’ve walked the entire length of the London Underground, or taken enough flights of stairs to climb Mt. Saint Helens. Not that you could ever do both of those at one time, but it’s still neat to know.