The Fitbit Charge HR Transforms Fitness Goals


Keeping track of how much exercise you take is often a challenge – especially if you prefer to exercise little and often throughout the day, rather than all in one go. Even walking upstairs counts towards your fitness goals and this is where a good fitness tracker such as the Fitbit Charge HR can really help. As well as pinpointing how active you are during the day, they help you set target goals and show how mush your fitness is improving week by week.

Use your Fitbit Charge to reach your step goals

The average person walks 5,000 steps a day – over 80,000 miles during their lifetime, which is the equivalent of walking over three times around the equator. This may sound like a lot, but guidelines recommend you walk twice as far by aiming for 10,000 steps per day (around 5 miles or 8 kilometres) for optimum health benefits. Fitness trackers can help you reach this goal by registering the ‘shock’ of a footfall to count the number of steps taken. Initially, just record the number of paces you take every day, without making any special effort to increase your level of activity. Record the number of steps you take for seven consecutive days, then add them up and divide the total by seven to calculate your average daily steps for the week. Many activity trackers can provide your average steps per day, too.

Increase your steps

Wristcomputer

Round your average daily step count up to the nearest 500 steps. Then, aim to increase the number of paces you walk per day, by at least 500 steps, on a weekly basis. For example, if the average number of paces you walked per day during your first week was 4,500 steps, aim to walk at least 5000 steps per day during the second week. The following week, aim to walk at least 5,500 steps per day, and so on until you reach the recommended levels of 10,000 steps per day, on most days.

Which Fitness Tracker is right for you?

Different fitness trackers offer different features. Some measure the number of steps you take and your pulse rate. Others can measure your blood oxygen percentage or assess your quality of sleep at night by detecting how much you toss and turn or wake or visit the bathroom. Some work with a mobile phone App and some without. The more features provided, the higher the cost, in general, so decide whether you just want a wrist pedometer, or whether you want as many bells and whistles as possible.  

The Fitbit Charge HR

The latest offering from Fitbit, the Fitbit Charge HR is one of the best all-day activity monitors available, with an optical heart rate sensor. This stylish device continuously monitors your heart rate and provides all-day activity stats whether you’re working out or sleeping. It assesses your steps, distance walked, floors climbed, calories burned and active minutes.

The Fitbit Charge HR synchs to your iPhone (from 4S generation onwards), iPad (3 generation plus), Android.

You can also download the app onto a computer running Windows (from Vista onwards) or Mac (OK 10.6 plus) using the wireless sync dongle provided.

You can then view instant graphs showing all your activity levels.

The Fitbit has even helped doctors diagnose when an abnormal heart rhythm started, to help provide the right treatment.

Colours: Black, Plum, Blue, Tangerine and Teal

Check current offers at Amazon.co.uk or from Amazon.com

TIP: Fitbit recommend wearing your tracker higher on your wrist (three finger widths above your wrist bone) to improve the heart rate signal during a workout.

Measure your wrist before buying, at 3 fingerbreadths above your wrist.

The small band adjusts from 5.4 inches (13.7 cm) to 6.2 inches (15.7 cm) long.

The Large band adjusts from 6.2 inches (15.7 cm) to 7.6 inches (19.3 cm) long.    

By checking your heart rate at a glance, you can adjust the intensity of your exercise and set a target heart rate zone to ensure you’re not working too hard. As well as using heart rate zones to tailor your workout, it charts your all-day and resting heart rate trends to show you’re your fitness level is improving. The Fitbit Charge HR features automatic sleep detection, hours slept and times awakened, and lets you set a silent alarm to wake you with a wrist buzz. A similar buzz alerts you to a phone call and can show caller ID with compatible devices.

 

If you are watching your weight, it’s important to exercise in the optimal heart rate zone for burning fat, which Fitbit Charge HR helps you do with its built-in optical heart rate sensor (which flashes green lights from the back of the device to count your pulse as blood flows beneath). The Fitbit Charge HR accurately calculates calories burned over time, 24/7, and during exercise. You can also input information about what you eat and drink to compare calories in versus calories out and set weight goals.   

To help with motivation, you can link up with friends to set challenges such as a Weekend Warrior badge if you take more steps than your mates, a Daily Showdown to see who takes the most steps in 24 hours, and a Workweek Hustle to see who takes the most steps during the week.  

You can also win badges. The first day I wore my Fitbit Challenge HR, I walked home from uphill, from town, and gained two accolades: a Redwood Forest badge for climbing the equivalent of 25 floors, and a Boat Shoe badge for walking 5,000 steps on the way to my first Fitbit daily step badge.  

 Battery life is longer than most activity trackers, with each charge lasting up to 5 days. An email reminder flags up if you let your battery charge get too low.

Charge by plugging the power cable into a USB port and a progress bar appears on the screen. Full charging takes 1 to 2 hours.

 

If you are a swimmer or diver, a waterproof version is available which you can wear down to 210 feet underwater. Understandably, this is a more expensive option.

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I love my Fitbit Charge HR and use it everyday to help meet my fitness goals.

Do you use a fitness tracker? How has it helped you reach your health and exercise goals?




About Dr Sarah Brewer

Dr Sarah Brewer qualified from Cambridge University with degrees in Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery. After working in general practice, she gained a master's degree in nutritional medicine from the University of Surrey. Sarah is a licensed Medical Doctor, a Registered Nutritionist and a Registered Nutritional Therapist. She is an award winning author of over 60 popular self-help books and set up this site to showcase all that is good in the world of self-help.


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6 thoughts on “The Fitbit Charge HR Transforms Fitness Goals

  • Matt McCullar

    Hello,

    I recently stumbled across your website when I was doing some research into fitbits my sister purchased a couple for her and her boyfriend.

    I have to say that this particular one seems very well rounded and I have found your website to be extremely valuable in my search so far!

    I do have one question though… She mentioned that the ones she purchased is also able to track her sleep patterns, amount of hours slept, how many times she woke up throughout the night, and other things of this nature.

    This is something that I am very interested in so I was wondering if you have any recommendation that can do that in addition to the features of the ones discussed in this article.

    Would love to hear back from you, thanks!

    • Dr Sarah Brewer Post author

      Hi Matt, the Fitbit Charge HR tracks your sleep quality and how many times you wake in the night and calculates your sleep efficiency – the amount of time you are in bed that you are actually asleep. The autodetection is based on movements and it builds a sleep pattern graph to show when you were restless, and how many minutes of sleep you logged. Fascinating and can often exlain why you feel groggy the next day!

    • Dr Sarah Brewer Post author

      Like any gadget its worth depends on how often you use it. If you wear it every day and use it to set fitness goals I think it is is very worth it. In fact, the Fitbit Charge HR has even helped doctors pinpoint the time an abnormal heart rhythm started so they knew they were still in the right window to use electrical treatment to correct it and send the patient homw, saving him a stay in intensive care! http://mylowerbloodpressure.com/could-a-fitness-tracker-save-your-life

  • Bruce

    Hey Dr Sarah!
    Love your blog it covered basically everything important. I use my iwatch to when I do my exercises, but I always wanted to get me the Fitbit and I’ll probably get it someday. Thank you!