By Rich Kane
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Last week, I walked 4,914 steps, totaling 2.18 miles, while burning 1,829 calories in one day.
How do I know this? Thank my snazzy new accessory: the Fitbit Flex (www.fitbit.com). It's an ultra-light wristband that transmits data about my physical activity to my computer and phone, allowing me to check my daily progress on a number of fitness goals. Sure, some people say it's just a fancy pedometer (my husband looked at the $100 price tag and told me he could've made me a bracelet that says, "WORK OUT"), but as someone whose current exercise regimen consists solely of sprinting to the other room to grab my charger cable when my laptop battery is about to die, this little wonder bracelet is exactly what I need to get moving.
The first time I tracked my activity was on a lazy Sunday, and my numbers were pretty pathetic. A day of cleaning my bathroom, going to lunch with a friend, playing with my baby and running into the grocery store resulted in a measly 2,398 steps—far from the 10,000-steps-per-day goal that's recommended by the American Heart Association for decreasing the risk of heart disease and improving one's overall health. Since then, I've become more conscious of my habits, seeking ways to work in more steps—parking farther, taking evening strolls, walking in place while brushing my teeth. It's like a game. While I still haven't reached 10,000 steps in a single day (seriously, is it even possible in drive-everywhere Southern California?), I'm still envisioning that day.
The Fitbit Flex has tons of other awesome features, many of which I still need to explore. It can measure your sleep quality and wake you up with a vibrating silent alarm, something your partner who doesn't have to roll out of bed for another two hours will greatly appreciate. There are also tools to monitor your calories and help you lose weight. And the wristband itself, while nothing glamorous, is amazingly comfortable. I barely notice I have it on. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts about five days, so you can wear it almost constantly, even in the shower.
For me, the Fitbit Flex is a great reminder to get off my bum. It hasn't suddenly made me a marathon runner, but at least I know how badly I need to step it up.