Everyone I interact with nowadays seems to have a Fitbit adorning their wrist as a permanent feature. These little black things seem to dictate everyone’s lives- I have lost count of the number of times a colleague has jumped up from her desk and started to march around the room to ‘get her hourly steps in’ or talk about how well or badly they slept last night… however they do seem to be helping folk to get more active and to lose weight, and when I recently had the opportunity to purchase a second-hand Fitbit I decided to see what the fuss was all about.

It’s strangely addictive. I have only had it a couple of days and am still getting to grips with it. I have had a merry time logging everything I have eaten and drunk and found out that my resting heart rate can drop as low as 51 bpm. It feels strange wearing it on my wrist, watch-like, all night, but it is strangely addictive to find out how well (or not) you’ve been sleeping. Who knew I was actually awake several times without even being aware of it.

Then there are the steps. Oh the steps- I reached 10,000 for the first time Saturday (the first day I wore it) and it had what I can only describe as a mini orgasm on my wrist, complete with fireworks. It made me feel oddly smug and I had to fight the urge to announce it to passing dog walkers!

In the gym Sunday morning I selected the ‘treadmill’ function and did my usual workout. Now, I always stay away from the heart rate monitors on cardio equipment as I am sure my heart rate goes way up past where it should be, but there’s no hiding from the Fitbit! As I reached the peak of my workout, breathing hard, beetroot red and trying to force myself to continue, the Fitbit suddenly had a mini fit on my wrist. Scared that it was telling me to stop exercising or I was about to die I daren’t look at it, but when I clambered off the treadmill I realised I had reached my 10,000 steps again…

So will it be useful? I think so. It is a bit of a faff entering everything I eat, but it would be more of a faff with pen and paper, and as it tracks progress for exercise and weight loss on a graph in the phone app I can see how it can be motivating.

It is interesting to see how many steps I do actually do in a day… I may need to set my daily goal higher than 10,000 steps as I have reached this easily both days. But like anything, a Fitbit won’t automatically make you fitter or thinner. It is a tool, but anything that makes exercise a little more fun and gives you a bit of motivation can’t be a bad thing.

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