I got a Fitbit Flex a few months ago, and this thing is greatness. A friend got one, and it piqued my interest… after some research and remembering that I had a bunch of leftover Target gift cards from last Christmas, I decided to grab one. My initial interest was in the sleep tracking function, but I’ve been using it religiously to track activity and diet since I got it. It’s a wonderful little fitness tool, even if it has a couple of little things about it that could be improved.
I didn’t realize till after I bought the thing that it only syncs with the iPhone 4S and above, and I only have a 4, so I have to sync it wirelessly via the wireless dongle and my desktop. That works well when I’m around the house, but if I go out, I don’t get to see my progress until I get home, which is kinda lame. It syncs when I’m within 20 ft of my computer, so I don’t have to fuss with it at all, it takes care of itself.
The sleep tracking function is good to give you an overall idea of how you’re sleeping, but it’s not perfect. There are two settings, “normal” and “sensitive”… I find that normal isn’t sensitive enough (I know I’m waking more than it says I am), and sensitive might be too sensitive (am I really only sleeping the equivalent of 4 hours a night???). For comparison:
The Fitbit app for iPhone is a little lacking compared to the web dashboard. The dashboard gives all kinds of great line graphs, and I particularly find the day-to-day calories in vs calories out graph to be helpful in visualizing what my week looks like and how much I can cheat on the one cheat day I afford myself a week.
I also really dig the daily activity graph. I’ve found I’m more active than I originally thought, which has helped immensely to keep my calories up on days when I need it.
These particular graphs aren’t available in the iPhone app, though there are graphs for daily steps, daily calories out, sleep, and daily active minutes. The app is good for daily monitoring, but the dashboard is better for looking at the overall picture, although every now and then it gives you faulty numbers if you don’t refresh it often enough (a couple of those barely higher-calorie-intake blips were because I thought I had more calories than I actually did. Definitely something that needs to be fixed in the next app update.)
I don’t find the Fitbit food database good enough to use for food tracking. MyFitnessPal has a much larger database, with the ability to build repeatable meals and recipes, and the “scan from barcode” feature. Thankfully it syncs rather well the FitbIt, so if I enter food in MFP, it instantly shows up in the Fitbit dashboard/app. MFP also includes nifty pie charts (mmm, pie) for macro nutrients, with the ability to customize it to your heart’s desire, whether you want high or low carb, high or low fat.
I haven’t used it much, but RunKeeper also syncs with the Fitbit nicely, logging time, distance, speed, all that good stuff. (Do’nt laugh at my horridly bad speed and time, I’m not a runner!)
The last app I use daily is Fitocracy. Unfortunately it doesn’t sync with the Fitbit (though it does sync with RunKeeper!). It’s a great workout tracker/social network. You enter your activities, get points, and level up. It’s a good motivator, if peer pressure, leveling up, and cheerleading do it for you. There are discussion groups there for anything under the sun, so lots of good fitness and diet advice to be had. There are form videos for most exercises. They also offer monthly “classes”, sort of a virtual personal trainer thing, which I haven’t looked into but look intriguing.
Any other app recommendations from you guys?