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Writing Detours | Will fitness trackers help you make healthy habits?

The reason I bought a Fitbit was simple: I wanted a more accurate reading on my daily physical activities and well-being.
I was equally motivated to win weekly rewards in Philam Vitality (insurance holders get perks if they complete 7,500 to 12,500 steps per day).

And so came the Fitbit Versa Lite, the wearable brand’s entry level “smart watch.”
Is it worth it?

My answer is simple: if it delivers my desired fitness tracking experience and if it syncs, stores and presents data well, then it’s worth it.

Price points are critical considerations when getting a fitness tracker. I checked Samsung and Garmin and they all had great products. There are even brands online that offered trackers at super low prices, each packing essential features like steps, calories, sleep and heart rate readings.

I was keen on the Fitbit experience and locked my eyes on a watch they I liked. That’s how I got my watch on a special sale in Digital Walker. I felt it was a great deal.

Sleep tracking is one of Fitbit’s most defining features and I like that it gave me good insights on my zzzs. Its readings were very helpful and accurate; data is telling me to get better at sleeping. I never get a solid eight hours anymore but I’ll work on it.

I also looked at step counts more closely because I want to hit at least 10,000 daily. Hourly reminders to move helped me against bad weekday afternoons in the office where I’m usually chained to my desk from 1-6 PM.

What are the smart watch features that are actually useful?

Call and text notifications are pretty useful. They help me manage my communications especially on busy days. Quick replies (using preset messages) are good tools, too, especially during commutes.

The apps in the Fitbit ecosystem have much to improve on. So far I haven’t found an app that is really useful but all the pre-installed Fitbit apps are pretty neat. Meditation, exercise apps and heart rate monitors are fantastic tools. Weather, stopwatch and timers are basics.

Fitbit also automatically detects exercises like long walks, running and cardio sessions. Water resistance and Gorilla glass promise durability, too.

Apart from all of that, the device doesn’t pack other elaborate features that I don’t get to use anyway. Other brands have built-in GPS, music players, wireless power share, fall detection, decibel meters, compass, bright displays, near field communications and SOS mechanisms. But do I really need those to be motivated to have a healthier life?

Is it perfect?

A watch that tells time and sleep and steps and reminds me to move is more than enough. Calls and texts on my wrist already bring me into the future.

I had my share of connectivity issues but these were solved through Fitbit’s online support. It’s important to note smartphone compatibility when getting a Fitbit. The Fitbit website lists the smartphones it supports.

I’ve had the device strapped on my wrist for over a month now and so far it’s doing me well. How it will impact my health in the long run, however, will ultimately depend on me and how I take its data seriously.

(Let’s take a walk! Or a nap. Buzz me in Twitter @jesiramoun)

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