I’m addicted to activity trackers! I have been wearing one variety of them or another for about the past 7 years. I’ll confess more about that another day. Right now I am wearing the new Fitbit Surge and I love it!
The Fitbit Surge is a watch- the primary display is the date and time. You can choose a variety of ways the date and time are displayed as follows:
The Fitbit Surge is also a step-tracker. If you’re working towards your 10,000 steps a day – or even pushing yourself a little further (How I Achieved 30,000 Steps in a Day) then the Fitbit Surge is one of the most accurate step trackers worn on your wrist that I have used. If number of steps in a day is your primary goal, you can tell your Surge how many steps you’d like to achieve and it will sound an alarm and vibrate when you reach your goal.
This wearable is also a heart rate monitor. The device continuously monitors your BPM and provides a daily resting heart rate – both of which are beneficial tools for any fitness program. I constantly refer to my BPM to monitor my cardio activity at the gym, as well as my runs.
If you’re interested in your daily mileage, the Fitbit Surge monitors this as well. I have a distance of 5 miles per day set as a secondary goal on my watch. The app has a graph which shows your mileage each day of the week, your total mileage for the week and a bar graph showing which days you met or exceeded your daily distance goal.
The Fitbit Surge tracks your daily calorie burn. In my journey to lose weight, this has been my best friend. When I know I’ve exceeded my daily calorie burn goal I wake up the next morning excited to step on the scale. And, knowing at a glance where you stand at any given time of day allows you to push yourself when you’re falling behind.
Finally, the Fitbit Surge counts how many floors you’ve climbed. Since a step up can have more fitness benefits than a step forward, this is also beneficial information. If you’re taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work you can see your progress. I find it also racks up floors if you’re hiking an area with elevation gains.
But, of all the features the Fitbit has, I find there are 7 motivating features for me that stand out.
The Fitbit Surge gives out badges when you hit various activity milestones. These include # of steps in a day, lifetime distance, # of floors climbed in a day, lifetime climb, and weight loss milestones in increments of 5 pounds (my personal favorite).
Once you achieve a badge, you receive an email with the details. You can also view your badge collection on the Fitbit Dashboard. It allows you to see the target to be achieved for the next badge in the series – for example, Get Your Next Badge for Walking 35,000 Steps in a Day. It’s equally satisfying to receive one that you have purposefully been working towards as it is to be surprised by one that you didn’t know you were close to attaining.
#2. Progress Meters
The Fitbit dashboard shows up to the minute progress meters for # of steps taken, calories burned, miles, floors climbed and # of active minutes for the day. The meters start in blue, then change to yellow as you progress towards your goal, finally turning green once you’ve reached and/or exceeded your daily goal. I’ve been known to walk in circles trying to get those meters to change from yellow to green at the end of the day. If, however, the clock rolls midnight and you haven’t met your daily goal in any category, it displays as orange.
If you have a competitive spirit, then Fitbit Challenges might be right up your alley. You’ll need a friend or family member who also has a Fitbit to compete against – but you can throw the gauntlet for:
Weekend Warrior – Most steps on Saturday & Sunday
Daily Showdown – Most steps in a day
Workweek Hustle – Most steps from Monday -Friday
Goal Day – Reaching your daily step goal
The more, the merrier where competition is concerned.
Remember when you were in school and your teacher put a gold star on your homework. If that made your day back then, then you might like seeing a star on the Fitbit progress meters and charts for the occasions when you’ve met and exceeded your goal. Along the same vein is the dashboard shouting Hooray! and Champ! at you when you kick that goal in the butt. I’m very motivated by check marks, so this is right up my alley.
The silent alarm feature of the Fitbit Surge works as a motivator in two ways. First, you can set as many silent alarms as you’d like. At the time set, your Fitbit Surge will alert you with a vibration and flashing screen. Think about setting an alarm for every 30 or 60 minutes reminding you to get up and walk around a bit if you’re sedentary. You can set it for a daily time to remind yourself to go to the gym. Whatever you can think of! But, that silent alarm is a little nudge to get you active. Second, once your primary goal has been achieved for the day an alarm also sounds congratulating you for the accomplishment. You can always try to beat your personal record for earliest time in the day you hit your target calories burned or steps.
In the spirit of competition, the Fitbit dashboard shows your ranking against friends or family – or even group members. You can see the last synced step total for the week for everyone in your group and your ranking. Who wouldn’t want to be number one and have bragging rights. And, if you don’t have friends or family members that own a Fitbit there are public groups that you can join and have some friendly competition with. I joined a group that frequents the local hike and bike trail. You may prefer finding a group of people your own age, your own fitness level or in your own area. You can even join multiple groups and see which one pushes you the hardest to reach new heights.
#7. Fitbit Premium
Finally, if you want to spend a little extra money and access Fitbit Premium, you have access to data from their entire database and can compare yourself in terms of weight, sleep quality, and activity level. The comparison can be narrowed by various parameters including gender, age group, and weight group. It also has a digital trainer that will give you unbiased feedback about your efforts and adapts as your fitness abilities progress.
The above are not ranked in order of importance. On any fitness journey you find inspiration and motivation where you can – and that changes from day to day. As I’ve lost the last 50 pounds I’ve relied first and foremost on myself – building my mental resilience to stick to the plan. When needed, I’ve also relied on friends and family to push me when I find it hard to push myself. Some days, you have to rely on every tool in the tool chest to get the job done. On those days these Fitbit features have really helped to motivate me. And I have no affiliation with the product whatsoever – it has just helped me achieve success. Best of luck to you on your own fitness journey!