The Fitbit is one of the OG activity trackers and it’s come a long way from just counting your steps.  Today’s Fitbit can track everything from your food to your sleep and is accessible on more phones and devices than any other tracker. 

But how does it work and how is it different from other activity trackers?  Here, we break down the basics of using a Fitbit and highlight a few free apps, some of which are unique only to Fitbit. 

 

Fitbit 101

1. Which goals are available?

Your health and fitness goals include:

  • Daily activity—Choose a stat and feel your tracker vibrate when you meet your goal, such as steps taken, active minutes, or calories burned. 
  • Exercise—Choose how many days per week you want to work out and track your progress as your exercise history captures your workouts. 
  • Weight—Set a goal for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. You can manually log your daily weigh-ins or let the Fitbit do it automatically. Optionally, add a goal for body fat percentage. 
  • Water—Track your progress towards a daily water consumption goal. 
  • Food—Create a Fitbit food plan to track your daily calorie input and output. In the Fitbit app for iOS you can set a daily calorie goal independent of a food plan. 
  • Sleep—Choose how many hours per night you hope to sleep and monitor results in your sleep logs. 

2. How do I set or change my goals? 

The Fitbit app guides you through creating goals with a series of questions. The option to set goals will appear when you first create your account and at other times in your fitness journey. Find the Fitbit app in one of these locations, depending on your device:

If you skip this guided (personal) goal setting or want to make a change, you can do so at any time:

  1. From the Fitbit app dashboard, tap or click the Account icon ().
  2. Scroll to the Goals section.
  3. Tap the goal you want to view or adjust.
  4. Tap the individual element of the goal and follow the onscreen instructions to adjust it.

Note that you can also set and manage your goals using the fitbit.com dashboard, but the personalized guidance is only available in the Fitbit apps.

3. What is the 7-day summary?

The 7-Day Summary in the Fitbit app for Android and Windows 10 (not yet available for iOS) tracks your progress toward each of your goals based on your activity in the past week.

You’ll receive a 7-Day Summary even if you don’t have any goals set. While reviewing your summary, you can choose to maintain or change each goal based on whether you’ve met or even surpassed your objective.

To view your summary, from the Fitbit app dashboard, tap or click the Account icon () and find your 7-Day Summary.

 

Free FItness Apps For Your Fitbit

Leaderboard 

Competing with friends and family members who also use Fitbit is an easy and effective way to stay motivated. Check where you’re ranked in your leaderboard either on your phone or install the Leaderboard app on your Fitbit. With the app, you can keep tabs on leaders, and tap on a user to cheer or taunt them.

Fitbit Labs 

Fitbit has a series of apps designed to help keep you motivated or learn more about your activity habits.

Treasure Trek is a motivating game that takes you across a series of treasure maps using your step count. Complete maps, earn coins and purchase pets, hire crew members and beat enemies.

Think Fast is one app that provides a reaction quiz you take daily. Over time the app will analyze how well or poorly you slept the night before, and how it impacted your scores.  It will use this data for providing info on the optimum amount of sleep you personally require.

Fitbit Coach

Fitbit Coach uses adaptive workouts that are customized for your personal goals and capabilities.  At home or on the road, you can get in a 7 to 60-minute personalized workout with step-by-step video coaching.  Instruction is available in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish!.

 

You’ll never do the same routine twice with hundreds of exercises dedicated to your core, butt, legs, arms, back, plus running and walking. New workouts are added constantly to keep things fun, fresh, and fit — all you need to do is commit to working out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fitbit Pal – Bodybuilding and workout trainer

This app includes explanations and animations of gym movements, a calorie calculator, BMI calculator, body fat calculator, one rep max calculator, steps tracker(pedometer), calorie logger, workout logger, and a progress tracker.

That’s just about everything you need for the gym, running, and fitness in general.  Best part?  Its all 100% free (there is no paid version) and 100% offline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fitness Pal

Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet MyFitnessPal has you covered. The app boasts that members have lost over 200 million pounds and 88% of people who track for at least 7 days on MyFitnessPal lose weight.

With the largest database of food, barcode scanner, restaurant logging, and recipe importer, there’s no guesswork when it comes to keeping track of your nutrition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The Fitbit has come a long way since it’s debut eight years ago.  With a plethora of features and apps and a slim design, Fitbit remains a top contender in the activity tracker market.

Whichever device you choose is ultimately a matter of personal choice but there’s no denying the benefit of having a little extra accountability and motivation at your side. Let us know in the comments below which tracker you use and what are some of your favorite tools or features!

 

In Health and Awesomeness,

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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