Partially because Henry is so small, I usually buy myself something special for Mother’s Day. Even before Henry was born, I bought myself a ring that has several different colors of sapphires embedded in a simple white gold band. I bought this ring to remind me that being a good mother means being and doing more than one thing. I wear it daily and it serves as a circular reminder to me to be who Henry needs at that moment — a playmate to blow bubbles, a nurse to soothe his “owies,” someone who is always ready to read books, to be braced for one of his “Cato” tackling hugs or to handle the everyday struggles of caring for a child.
This year, I picked up a Fitbit Ultra wireless tracker. Usually, I am a planner. This time, on a whim, I sat down in front of the computer, looking for something to help with my unsuccessful attempts to lose weight and be more active. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for to be honest. According to the Fitbit website, it works a lot like a Wii—it has an accelerometer and altimeter that tracks your steps for the day, the flights of stairs climbed, calories expended and your sleep quality. Like most working parents, I often struggle to work in enough activity. While $99 was more than I wanted to spend, as I think more about my health and quality of life, $99 doesn’t seem as expensive as say, developing heart disease or being unable to keep up with Henry.
Less than a week into using it, here’s my review of the Fitbit so far:
What I like:
1. Because there are targets (which you can customize), I do alter my behavior. I take the stairs at work more. I make that extra trip to the basement. You get the idea.
2. It is wireless. I don’t really have to do that much to make sure it is keeping track and updated.
3. Lots of feedback. A push of a button tells me where I am for the day.
4. Help with food—I have it integrated into a calorie-tracking app. This means if I work out or exercise more, I earn more calories for the day. I also know if I ought to hit the treadmill a little longer on days that my food and exercise are out of balance.
5. The sleep tracker. Sleep is so important for good health and it is a precious commodity. Definitely worth keeping track of and working on. I also didn’t know that going to sleep with a migraine means waking up 5 times as much that night and having troubled sleep the next night.
1. Expect to experiment a little—I had to figure out where I wanted to wear it. Some places provide more accurate data than others, the website has information about this.
2. User error—I must have changed the mode or something the other day, because I have a couple of hours of no data. This makes the calorie counts inaccurate. I’ll live, but it was frustrating.
Overall, a good purchase. I hope that I can use this to be a more active, more energetic mom in the year and years to come.