Yesterday I set a personal record. I walked 25,638 steps! In addition to my exercise for the day, I also had an incredibly high NEAT!!! (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)—This is why I needed 2 of those awesome sandwiches yesterday! How many steps did you walk yesterday? How many hours did you sleep last night? How efficient was that sleep? Did you burn or intake more calories? I bet some of you could tell me where the market closed or what the score of the playoff football games were last weekend, but you couldn’t tell me those stats about your body. I know this because of my favorite new gadget, The FitBit
I got my fitbit in early Decemeber and have been able to add a whole new dynamic to my understanding of my health. Fitbit tracks your steps taken, miles walked (yes these two values are different), calories burned, and current energy level. This information is all available to you on your fitbit dashboard online. From that dashboard, fitbit makes it easy for anyone to utilize that information to make informed decisions about how many calories you decide to eat for the day. You can set you calorie goals to maintain weight, gain weight, or lose weight–even to the degree of how agressively you would like to lose weight.
Fitbit will also track your sleep. I was shocked to find most nights I only sleep 85% efficiently, waking up some nights up to 20 times per night. Because I get up so early for work, I used to struggle with whether I actually needed a nap or if I just WANTED to take a nap. Now if I’m feeling tired I can consult my fitbit dashboard to see how many hours of sleep I actually got. If I have a couple low nights in a row, I gladly hop on the coach and snuggle up with my cat for a 20 min power nap!
Fit bit will also graph your data over time so you can see trends:
I find the most useful graph to be calorie burn vs. intake. If you are trying to lose or gain weight, one line should be consistently above the other. The other trends that are graphed also include hours of sleep per night, energy expenditure breakdown, weight over time, and hours slept per night. Depending on how much you put into your fitbit dashboard, you can even use it to help figure out why you might not be feeling your best. I have many clients for example who complain about unusual fatigue. The problem is our world is always changing so it’s hard to determine why. Fitbit also has a journal feature with asks about mood or energy. You can use this to go back and see days you had low energy and compare that to your diet or sleep. You may find your low energy days always come after you have a low calorie intake. Or maybe they always come 2 days after a poor nights sleep.
Once again knowledge is power. We set up financial statements for our bank accounts and stocks, we have internet groups to track stats for fantasy football, why not keep some data on our own bodies?–Enough blogging time to go out and get steps!