Fitbit Charge HR

When my mother in law asked if I was interested in a Fitbit for Christmas, I was initially hesitant. I'd looked into fitness trackers, but it didn't seem like they offered anything that I couldn't get with my Garmin and a cheapo pedometer. But then, I saw that Fitbit was releasing the Fitbit Charge HR, with heart rate monitor, I totally changed my mind and said yes.

I've had my Charge HR for more than a month now, and overall I love it! It tracks the following:

Steps: I am very good about getting my exercise in, but I was surprised how sedentary I am the rest of the time. This has definitely encouraged me to move more in the rest of my life. The competition with my husband and friends really helps too. Do you have a Fitbit? Be my friend so we can challenge each other!

Heart Rate: I'd heard that the heart rate monitor wasn't super accurate, but I have been impressed. I've worn my heart rate strap that connects to my Garmin, and my husband checked it against the vital monitors in an ambulance at work, and it was right on in both cases. It is interesting to see that my perceived effort sometimes is completely off from what my heart rate tells me (in that some times I think I am working really hard, but my heart rate isn't that elevated). I've also noticed how food (namely sugar) and caffeine affect my HR more than I expected.

Distance: The distance at first was way under my Garmin distance, but once I updated my stride length it has been pretty close. I still use my Garmin for running because the display is much easier to read on the run.

Calories: I feel like this is the most accurate calorie count I've ever gotten because it is based on my height/weight, specific activity level, and heart rate.

Flights of Stairs: Kind of interesting, but not that useful. I did find myself running up and down the stairs during commercials the other night because I needed more steps and figured I might as well get some flights of stairs in too!

Active Minutes: I have been surprised at how many everyday activities count as "active," like vacuuming and walking the dog. These don't feel like an effort to me, but it is nice to know they are getting heart pumping.

Sleep: This has been the most enlightening feature for me. I thought I was great in the sleep department. However, I can see now that even though I am in bed for 8-9 hours, I am usually getting less than 7 hours of sleep! I am really restless (usually 20-30 times a night) and usually wake up at least 2-3 times. I need to work on my sleep hygiene to get better quality sleep!

Other Stuff of Note

Battery Life: I have to charge mine every 2-3 days. Using the exercise mode sucks up a lot of battery life because it is constantly monitoring hear rate, so I usually don't use exercise mode for my longest runs. Charging is quick and easy though, so no complaints about battery.

Sizing: This has been my biggest frustration. For some reason they make small, large, and XL, but no medium! When I measured my wrist I was at the very upper end of the small, lower end of the large, so I went with a large. I was having to use the second to last buckle hole in, so I had a lot of extra strap that made it feel to clunky and loose. My husband took the large and I ordered a small, only to have the opposite problem! I had to use the first or second buckle hole, with left me with a tiny nubbin of extra strap, causing the thing to fall off, especially at night. Plus, I couldn't get it high enough up on my arm to be comfortable with my Garmin. So now I've returned the small for a large. Fitbit, please make a medium!

App: The app is easy to use and bluetooth syncing makes it super easy. It also integrates with my FitnessPal which is super handy.

Other than the sizing, I am really satisfied with the Charge HR. Although I thought I led a pretty healthy life, it has definitely shown me some room for improvement and motivated me to make some changes.

*This is not a sponsored post. I purchased this product myself and am choosing to do this review because I like it and want to share my experience.**