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Here's Why Even a Non-Active Girl Can Benefit from a Fitness Tracker

I wore the Fitbit Inspire HR for an entire month and I'm never taking it off.
Here's Why Even a Non-Active Girl Can Benefit from a Fitness Tracker
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/fitbitph, Steph Sison
I wore the Fitbit Inspire HR for an entire month and I'm never taking it off.

Here's my everyday reality: I wake up at 6 a.m. after snoozing (and hating on) my alarm for a good hour. I prepare for work, doing my daily bathroom routine—shower, brush teeth, get dressed—before I duck out of the house. Coffee is my non-negotiable every morning to become a functional human being for the day. I sit in front of my work computer for about 10 to 11 hours a day then go home, sleep, and do the same thing all over again the next day. Suffice to say, I live a very sedentary life.

My routine is not something that I am proud of. I used to go for a run or do some brisk walking at least twice a week and occasionally go surfing. But given that my line work requires me to be on my laptop or phone for hours upon hours, the only things I get to exercise nowadays are my patience and self-control (to prevent myself from going online shopping). So when the opportunity to review a Fitbit fell on my lap, I was more than willing to try it out. Subconsciously, I was also hoping it would get me to move and be more physically active. That, or perhaps I just wanted to find out what a non-active girl can benefit from wearing a fitness tracker. Below, I list down all the things I discovered while wearing the new Fitbit Inspire HR.

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What It Is

Fitbit Inspire HR (P6290) is a "friendly fitness tracker for every day" designed to give you guidance and motivation to build healthy habits.

How I Used It

I wore it day in and day out for an entire month. Here are the things that I liked about the tracker:

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PHOTO BY Steph Sison

1. It has a silent alarm.

I am not a morning person. I'm trying my best to be one but it's just not happening! However, I was able to zero in on my problem: I hate my alarm clock. It jolts me awake even when my body is not yet naturally ready to be awaken. Now, the Fitbit Inspire HR may not have a loud alarm but it offers something better: silent alarms! I wore the tracker to bed and set alarms (yes, plural! LOL!) through the accompanying app on my phone. The said alarm would wake me up through vibrations on my wrist. I liked how it wasn't as jarring as my normal alarm clock. The vibrations send subtle signal to my body that I should be fully awake soon. 

This feature also became helpful in setting personal reminders throughout the day without disturbing other people. I set one in the morning for my maintenance medicine and another one in the afternoon so I can log my water intake and file my day-to-day work performance online.

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2. This Fitbit has an on-screen dashboard with an intuitive touch screen display.

I don't know about you but I can never really figure out how some buttons work (like in iPod Shuffle, some smartwatches). But with this Fitbit, there's just one universal button you need to use to set a command. The rest of the controls are done on its face because of the touchscreen feature—so convenient! I also get to see my current performance on the screen; it automatically and wirelessly updates, too, provided that my Bluetooth and WiFi/mobile data are turned on.

3. I see my notifications on my wrist. 

Since the Fitbit is connected to my phone, I also get vibrating notifications on my wrist. Yes, I'm able to conveniently read my incoming text messages, see phone calls, and even check calendar notifs as long as I'm within a room's distance away from my phone. 

4. My heart rate is monitored 24/7.

I suffer from arrythmia, which means my heart beats faster than normal even when I'm just sitting down. It's a recurring problem which the fitness tracker helps in monitoring. It acts like a holter monitor for me all day and logs in my heart rates throughout the day. In the entire month, my highest record is a whopping 132 bpm (regular heart rate is 60 bpm to 100 bpm), at 4:32 p.m. of July 21st. It was a quiet afternoon and I was sitting down, scrolling through Instagram.

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I know this because I see the daily log on the app along with a time stamp, which lets me recall what I did at a certain time when my heart rate is abnormally raised—something that helps me better communicate with my heart doctor regarding the triggers of my palpitations and arrythmia. Funny, though, that the tracker logs my arrythmia as fat burn and cardio exercise even if I did no physical exercise at all.

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5. It logs my sleep and water intake.

Sleeping is another area in my life that I find difficulty in doing. In fact, I even tried a relaxing drink that would help me do so. The app may have not helped me directly in achieving quality sleep, but it did give me a peek into the bigger picture: my sleeping habits. When worn to bed, the Fitbit keeps track of your sleep cycle. It notes when you've finally fallen asleep, achieved REM sleep, and have woken up. On the app, it shows how many hours of sleep you had. When you pull up the weekly and monthly view, you can follow your sleep patterns. For me, I had a general idea of what time I'm normally asleep and awake.

Apart from having a sleep log, the Fitbit Inspire HR also offers a water log. Obviously, the Fitbit can't automatically log how much water you drink in a day. You have to manually input that through the app. It can be tedious, but it has sort of become a habit I do every afternoon. Doing this also made me more aware of my water intake, which in turn allows me to set a careful watch on myself so I don't get dehydrated.

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6. There's a guided breathing session.

Anxiety is the bane of my life that I struggle with every day. On days that it gets worse, I would usually turn to my therapist's breathing instructions or I turn to mobile app Headspace. But when I'm in the middle of a meltdown, I'm grateful that there's something on my wrist that can help me power through the anxiety attack. The Fitbit Inspire HR has a built-in guided breathing session you can set for a quick two-minute or five-minute break.

7. It urges you to move.

The Fitbit sends you periodical vibrating reminders that you need to move. You don't need to go on a full-blown workout routine. It's exactly just that: a reminder that you need to stand up and walk around a bit. On days that I do nothing but be in my work station, time can fly so fast that you don't notice you've gone four to five hours straight on your butt. I take it as an opportunity to take bathroom break or to just stretch my legs and rest my eyes for a bit.

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8. You can set personal goals and you unknowingly reach them.

Here's the thing. I know that I needed to make an effort to be more active. But I could never bring myself to commit to a gym membership, sign up for a running club, a spinning class, or a yoga sesh. Because of this, I feel extra dormant and ultimately feel worse about myself. But this perspective changed while wearing the Fitbit. I set a simple main goal through the app: take more steps. The Fitbit then programmed series of daily and weekly challenges that would push me to achieve this goal. It was a helpful means of being more active and accomplished on this front. Plus, I get to see my progress as my daily steps, distance walked, calories burned, and active time are all tabulated and displayed on the app dashboard. Oh, and you can even program your own Fitbit coach if you're ready to level up your exercise habits!

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You can also set a weight goal, whether you're trying to lose of gain some pounds, and the Fitbit automatically shows you how much the ideal calories you can eat per day. Of course, a prior consultation session with a nutrionist is imperative before you drastically alter your diet.

9. It has a long life.

I never had much patience with smartwatches because I have to charge them every so often! But thank goodness this Fitbit can go as long as five days before needing to be charged. It's low maintenance, easy to charge, and requires little effort in cleaning, too. 

10. It's waterproof.

This means you can swim with it so you can even track that as part of your exercise log. Naturally, you can also wear it to the shower.

Conclusion

After a month wearing this tech, I can safely say that I have been given a better idea as to where I am when it comes to my physical health. I can track my heart rate, sleep cycles, water intake, physical activities, and the Fitbit Inspire HR consolidates them into bite-size data that I can easily comprehend.

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Apart from being aware of my current state, the tracker also helped me move and motivated me to be more active. It helped me form healthy habits I can keep every day. It simplified being more active, thus making the task less of an additional chore I'd normally opt from. Ultimately, the Fitbit integrated moving and exercising into my daily routine.

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