FitBit Surge:
Product Review

Earlier this year, I was given the FitBit Surge as a gift...and I LOVE IT!!  I was skeptical that this gadget was a fad and would soon fade, but I was wrong.  Like Green Eggs & Ham, I almost feel foolish for not trying this sooner!

How many steps do you have today?  Chances are good that you know.  And if you do know, than chances are even better that you're a FitBit owner! 

For the past 2 years, my family has been nagging me to join the FitBit sensation and their zany 'step challenges'.  I held off, saying that I don't need another wrist device and I'm quite happy with my running watch (formerly a Garmin 405).  My wife, mother, sister, friends...everyone was ganging up on me to join this craze?! 

The app's dashboard is very intuitive and simple.  Each element of the dashboard has a separate screen with graphs, maps,  data, and more details.  The dashboard headings are:  Steps, Heart Rate, Distance, Calories Burned, Floors Climbed, Active Minutes, Pounds to Go (goal), Calories Eaten, Sleep Monitor, Calories Left (for the day),  Exercise Log, and Water.  

What I love best about my FitBit Surge...

1.  Wrist Heart Rate Monitor:  Located on the underside of the watch, there are two pulsating green lights that sense your heart rate and record it.  This happens while you workout, sleep, and every moment in between.  I love the charts and trending that this provides.  This is really useful fitness data that I never tracked before. 

I particularly like the resting heart rate graph, as I believe this to be a good overall fitness gauge.  Resting heart rate can be indicative of fitness level; your body fighting off a virus; stress level; and even the quality of sleep that you're getting. 

The FitBit Surge compiles all of this information and really helps guide you into a healthier routine.  I used to use a chest strap periodically for high-intensity workouts.  Now I get HR data for walking, working, running, sleeping, etc...  Great feature!

2.  Exercise Tracking:  The Surge has many modes that I can toggle between depending on my workout.  Typically, I use "Free Run" and the GPS will engage and map my run.  I also have used elliptical and treadmill settings, but these are just a few of the many options!  The FitBit will also auto-record any walk that is over 5 minutes long - nice feature.  You can view your workout calendar and scroll through these on FitBit's app.

3.  Goal Setting & Competition:  You can set a daily step goal that matches your capability.  The default step goal is 10,000 steps per day, but if you routinely get 15,000 you might choose to raise it.  And conversely, if you're just starting out and are only getting 4,000 steps per day, you can set a starting goal of 4,000. 

Next is what makes FitBit a game-changer...the daily challenges and social media sharing!  Your friends, family, and co-workers may lay down the gauntlet and challenge you to a daily or weekend challenge.  And what's so cool about this is that everyone competes against themselves!  You'll see the daily 'leader board' and your progress as a percentage of your goal.  For example, if you have 5,000 steps and a daily goal of 10,000 steps, you'll be at 50%. 

Competition motivates us into action!  And if some people have too low of a goal (i.e. always achieving 150%+ of their goal...peer pressure will force them into changing!).  It worked on me :-(.

4.  Food  & Body Weight Log:  The FitBit Surge also makes it very easy to record your daily calories and weight.  You can set goals for both calorie deficit and weight.  There is a large database of foods for calorie look-ups, making it a very powerful and convenient tool.  You can even record the ounces of water that you drink!  With the heart rate monitor and exercise log, it will accurately track your calories burned so it's so nice to have all of this in one place!  

5.  Battery Life & Bluetooth:  I plug in my FitBit about once every 5 days.  It only takes 1-2 hours to charge, so I can do this with minimal impact to my daily step recording.  When I open the FitBit app, it automatically synchronizes with the watch and downloads my steps, heart rate, and workout data.  It's amazing!

6.  Weekly Reports & Badges:  At first, I thought it was kind of corny...getting a badge for 26 miles, 70 miles...and then I see other hearty competitors out there with a higher badge and a clever nickname (e.g.  Great Barrier Reef:  Congratulations you've walked 1,600 miles - the length of the world's largest coral reef system...")...then I found myself hooked on the milestones.  Don't underestimate the power of recognition.  FitBit continues to send weekly status reports and clever step and climbing badges; and these once-thought-corny rewards have managed to keep me motivated and off of the couch!


In summary, the FitBit Surge has managed to combine three of my cumbersome fitness spreadsheets into one well-organized and easy to access log.  FitBit has succeeded in creating a great motivational fitness tool.  Great job, Fit Bit!! many steps do you have today?

Leave FitBit Surge & Return to Gifts for Runners

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