Last year I entered a competition on Fitbit’s Facebook page to win a voucher to buy some wearable exercise tech. I didn’t win, but a couple of months ago Fitbit commented on my entry and asked me to get in touch with them. They were planning to feature some Fitbit users who were also Mums to tie in with a Mother’s Day promotion (which you can enter on their Facebook page here) and asked if I would be involved. They kindly upgraded my Fitbit Flex to a Charge HR, and asked me to write about how my Fitbit enhances my life. You know how much I love my Fitbit, so it was an easy task. You can read the original post here, and my answers below. Thanks so much to Fitbit for having me!
What is the greatest impact Fitbit has had on your life as a mother?
Fitbit has helped me in my journey to become a fit and healthy mother. In 2012 and 2013 I lost 18kg after being diagnosed with high cholesterol. High cholesterol comes with a risk of heart disease and stroke, and I knew I needed to make changes in my life. I got my diet under control and then started to exercise. I learned about the Fitbit Flex in 2013 and my husband surprised me with one for Christmas. I have now upgraded to a Fitbit Charge HR. My Fitbit helps keep me accountable and encourages me to get up and move as much as possible. We go for long walks as a family, have dance parties in the kitchen and I play with them at the park. They love having a more active Mum, and I love being able to keep up with them. They get excited when they see it buzz at 10,000 steps, and often tap it to see my progress.
What made you start using Fitbit and what were your goals?
I loved the idea of tracking my movements during the day to see how active I was being. I try to get to 10,000 steps a day, and if I go over it’s even better! After I lost weight my goals have been to maintain that loss and to become fitter. Now that I am using the Charge HR I love knowing that it reflects a more accurate picture of my calorie burn. I have participated in a few fun runs and walks which I hadn’t done since I was a child. I initially chose Fitbit over other activity trackers for it’s ease of use and also its aesthetic. I decided to stick with the brand over others when they updated the features to include a heart rate monitor. The app is easy to use and gives a great picture of your day.
Why did you choose your Fitbit?
I loved the fact that the Flex was worn on the wrist so I had a visual reminder to move throughout the day. When I first started my fitness journey I was primarily walking for exercise, but now I do more gym work and lots of High Impact Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. I had started looking at other fitness bands with built in heart rate monitors, and mentioned to my husband that I wished there was a Fitbit version. A couple of weeks later they made the announcement that the new range was being released. I waited, and recently got a Charge HR and I have had a lot of fun trying it out. It has been great for walks and spinning, and I am enjoying putting it through it’s paces during HIIT workouts and strength training.
How did Fitbit help you work towards those goals and overcome challenges?
I find my Fitbit a fantastic reminder to get up and move. I am a teacher and my students are all interested in what my Fitbit does, and will ask me if I have done my 10,000 steps yet. I use walking around monitoring their work as an excuse to log more steps. Last year I took part in a charity walking challenge to raise money and awareness of the lack of clean water in African countries. My Fitbit was a fantastic help as it accurately tracked how much I moved. The Fitbit is so easy to use there are really no excuses. I recently sprained my ankle so was forced to rest, but once I was back on my feet strapping my Fitbit on reminded me that I could still move (within reason) and that my everyday walking counted towards something.
How have these changes impacted your life as a mother?
I am fitter, healthier and happier. I can keep up with my children and join in when they play. There has been nothing but positive impacts that have come from being healthier. I started a blog, Style Unearthed, to share wardrobe, beauty, health and wellness tips and really enjoy writing for leisure. Exercise also gives me ‘me time’, whether it’s a long walk followed by coffee with a friend, or time in the gym. I can also ensure I am getting a good nights sleep with the Charge HR’s sleep function, which is so important when you have busy days. Being more aware of good food and exercise has also changed the way we eat at home, which also benefits the rest of my family. My son asks when he can have a Fitbit of his own, and wears a little pedometer so he can be like me and track his steps. The Fitbit has been an integral part in helping me stay fit and healthy, and keep the weight I worked hard to lose off.
What’s your advice for busy mothers who want to make a change?
It can seem like such a mammoth task just to start becoming healthier. My advice would be to start small, and break your goals into achievable chunks. A Fitbit can really help as you can see how much you are currently moving and then you can decide what changes you want to make. You don’t have to commit to train for a marathon to get fitter. Changing little things at a time, like increasing incidental exercise, can make a big impact. You could park your car at the far end of the car park, get off a stop before your usual one on the train or bus, or do laps of the oval while your kids are at sport training. Finding an exercise you really love also makes a big difference, and soon you’ll be addicted to endorphins and won’t want to miss a day! I use the online program Daily Burn to mix up my workouts. It means I can exercise at home, and my children often join in. Using the Charge HR means that all of my exercise counts throughout the day. Carrying my daughter increases my heart rate, and therefore burns more calories. The Charge HR gives me extra incentive to move faster or lift heavier things as I know they will increase my heart rate. As mothers, we often put others first, but it’s okay to prioritise your health and wellbeing too. If you’re not in good health it makes it hard to look after your family.
What are your new goals for the future?
My goal is to use my new Fitbit Charge HR to help me become even fitter. I would like to continue with gym and HIIT workouts in an attempt to build lean muscle and tone up. I also want to keep having fun with exercise, trying new workouts to keep things fresh and involving my family where I can. Life is too short not to have fun!
What are your fitness goals?