We at Fitbit love when we find unique, thoughtful blog posts about our products. The below is one such blog about the power of Fitbit badges, originally posted on Louis Gray’s personal blog. Louis Gray is a Google employee, technology blogger, and dad. We came across his blog by accident, but loved it so much that we wanted to share it with everyone. You can read more of Louis Gray’s blog at louisgray.com.
I am not going on a diet – and I have no interest in going to the gym, even if Google makes it incredibly easy to eat healthy on campus, and gym membership is free with equipment abundant. It’s just not me. But despite this clear disinterest in my making any kind of physical life change, I have been wearing a Fitbit the last week, obsessively counting my steps, climbing the stairs and tracking how many miles I make on foot. I’ve even been wearing the lightweight tracker at night to see how long and how well I sleep – working to optimize that as well.
So why would I resort to such silliness? It’s the stinkin’ badges – helped along by casual competition with friends, and now, despite my best attempts to not make any actual alterations to how I behave, I am sure I am doing things that are actually better for me, in the same way that Foursquare recommendations have pushed me to new venues and trying new things, based on badges and recommendations from friends.
Our free Fitbit app for Android has arrived! Of all the digital fitness device companies out there, we’re happy to announce that we’re among the first to offer both an iPhone and Android app. You can download the Fitbit app for Android for free from Google Play.
When we released our iPhone app last October and saw the warm reception it received, we started working on our Android app. We made a point to design our app specifically for Android phones, rather than just try to make the existing app work on Android. We hope you’ll be happy with the results.
With this app, you can log your food, activities, weight and water while on the go, as long as you have a wireless connection. Everything syncs to (and from) your Fitbit.com account, and you can view up to two weeks of data for easy access when you’re away from your computer.
The updated Food Plan is also on the Android app, so that you have all the information you may need to make smart decisions about your calorie intake throughout the day; to learn more, check our earlier blog entry. For our iPhone users, the updated Food Plan will be available with our next iPhone app update at the end of the month. We’ll be adding new features and updates to both apps, so keep your feedback coming and make sure you keep your Fitbit app up to date.
And a special thank you to all our Android users for your patience! The app is only available in the US, Canada, and the UK right now, but will be expanded to further countries as we expand our direct international sales. Happy tracking and logging — wherever you go!
After our release of Food Goal, we got a lot of great feedback and suggestions from our Fitbit fans about it. We’re excited to announce our answer to those suggestions with a large update to Food Goal. In fact, we’ve changed so much that we completely renamed it to Food Plan.
What’s changed? Quite a lot, actually, though the Food Plan has kept the same general look and feel as it had before. Everything that was in Food Goal is still available, like the gauge to show whether or not you’re in the “calorie zone”. But now, we’re providing a lot more information right at your fingertips, and the Food Plan has become even better at helping you manage your calorie intake each day.
Smarter calorie estimates: Your Food Plan sets each day based on your historic activity levels. It will calculate how many calories you burn each day on average, and base your suggested calorie intake on this. As you wear and sync your Tracker throughout the day, your Food Plan adjusts dynamically based on whether you’re exercising more or less than that average, so that your goal remains as accurate as possible. And as your activity trends change over time, your Food Plan’s starting estimate will adjust to your new activity levels as well.
Calories in vs calories out: Additionally, many of you wanted a way to judge how well you were doing at any one point of the day. You can now view your total calories burned compared to your total ca lories eaten, and see whether or not you are currently within your plan’s deficit goal zone. So if you’ve just logged your lunch and wonder how you’re doing for the day so far, you can see how your total calories burned so far for the day measure up against the total calories you’ve eaten. There’s no more guessing if you’re behind or on track so far for the day. With this meter, it’s always clear where you stand.
Tips and Tricks: To get the most out of your Food Plan, make sure to log your food throughout the day. You can do this on the go through your smartphone on our apps, or by visiting our mobile website.
Overall, we’ve tried to make changes that provide you with the information you need to make smart, healthy decisions and be better prepared to achieve your goals. We hope you enjoy the Food Plan, and welcome any feedback you might have. “Like” us on Facebook to join the conversation there.
You can find all of the great apps that work with Fitbit in one easy location at our App Gallery! There’s currently eight different apps or websites we integrate with that span a variety of functions, from organizing your health information to finding even more motivation and community for your fitness goals. And they’re all completely free!
Ever since we first launched Fitbit there’s been a lot of interest in app developers wanting to create more uses for the Fitbit data, and we’ve been excited to see what they’re coming up with. We’ve also heard all of your feedback about wanting more sites to port information into Fitbit, or vice versa.
With the App Gallery, you can take your Fitbit data with you to sites and apps we’re partnering with. If you’ve been logging food on LoseIt or MyFitnessPal, you can now sync that information to your Fitbit.com account – and vice versa! Join a group challenge at Endomondo for some extra motivation, or track your heart rate with Digifit.
The App Gallery is something we’ll be continuously adding to. Any developer can make a Fitbit app with our API, so keep an eye out for many more apps to come!
We’re excited to let you be among the first to learn about our newest product — the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Aria will accurately track your weight, % body fat, and BMI over time and sync your weight data to your Fitbit.com account through your wireless network. Online charts and graphs will track your weight and body composition over time to help you understand exactly what’s happening to cause any bumps in the road.
The Aria was inspired by you, our customers. Many of you asked for an easier way to track weight. We did just that and more. Because the Aria syncs through your Wi-Fi, your data is automatically sync’d (no more numbers to input). You can invite up to 7 other household members to create their own accounts with the scale, but only you will be able to see your measurements, even with those in your household. And the scale is smart enough to recognize who you are just by stepping on it, so no need to worry about your information ending up in the wrong place.
Because the Aria is a Fitbit device, it’s integrated with all our online tools to create a complete weight management system. Use Fitbit’s Food Plan and set your calorie targets; by logging food, you can plan and manage your calorie consumption throughout the day. You can earn new badges as you work towards your weight goals, or share your information with friends and family to find the support you need.
The last holiday cookie has been munched. The feasting is almost done. Now that the holiday season is coming to an end (and 2012 is around the corner), everyone seems to be making fitness or getting into shape a New Year’s Resolution… mostly because we‘ve been binging over the holidays and need to get rid of those extra pounds.
Here at Fitbit we want you to put fitness on your Resolution list, but for a very different reason: because it leads to amazing health benefits — like mitigating diabetes and Alzheimers… and even living longer!! Just dedicating a small amount of time each day to light exercise can garner all these amazing health benefits. And it’s fun too.
In a very entertaining and motivating video, Dr. Mike Evans walks through the scientific research that shows how simple exercise — like walking just 30 minutes a day (every day) — can be the single most important thing you can do for your health. Check it out. It will get you to put moving on your resolution list, and keep it too!
It seems simple — 30 minutes a day — or for Fitbitters, we talk about hitting 10,000 steps a day. If fitness is on your 2012 New Year’s Resolution, let us know what you are aiming to do each and every day. We are aiming to do 10,000 steps 100% of the days in January. And we’ll report back our status at the end of January. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join our resolution or “Like” us on Facebook to tell us there.
Studies have shown that working out with a friend can help you meet your fitness goals. Adding a friend to your work out, even remotely, can provide you with motivation and incentive to keep your fitness plans on track.
At Fitbit.com, you can share your stats across your social network. Integrations with popular apps and websites, including Facebook, allow you to share your achievements with your friends, and you can share as much (or as little) as you want with your Fitbit friends. If you’re Fitbit friends with someone, you also have access to leaderboards that show everyone’s averages by week and can compare how you’re doing in relation to your friends.
Now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, having that extra support to get you through all of the obstacles is even more important. During the holidays we are so much more at risk to fall off the fitness wagon. With meals that can add up to over 4,000 calories in one sitting, the need for fitness friends during this time is so much higher.
Fitbit Trackers also make great holiday gifts for anyone on your list looking to live healthy for the new year, but you don’t need to wait to get your fitness friends together. Find your motivation over the holidays with friends, and stay healthy all year long!
This past Saturday morning, I found myself on the road going for a run. Actually it was more of a walk/run. Or maybe a walk/run/walk. I’ve always been big proponent of fitness, but before working at Fitbit I had found myself in a little downward spiral of inactivity. I would read articles about getting fit and talk about fitness trends and studies for hours with friends, but at the same time I would tell myself to postpone working out for another day, or that I needed to rest and relax from a tough work week — and I slowly became less fit (and chubbier).
Here at the Fitbit Offices, it’s hard to avoid being motivated to be active every day. In fact, this past weekend I got a big dose of motivation in the shape of a contest our CEO posed to a bunch of us late Friday night: walk 20,000 steps in one day that weekend. The consequences of the bet were quickly flushed out. There weren’t rewards for the highest steps; it was simply whoever didn’t hit 20,000 steps on Saturday or Sunday had to write an email to the rest of the company, declaring their shame in not living up to Fitbit love. We discussed quickly the exceptions to the bet (what if we broke our legs?); in the end, we all agreed.
So there I was on Saturday morning, walking/running/walking. And there I was, on Saturday afternoon, walking to the grocery store. And there I was Saturday evening, hitting all the errands I was postponing to get those steps. And at my friend’s dinner, I was very eager to jump up and help out just to get a few more steps. We were all texting each other our progress and it came right down to the wire. But I made it! Whew.
Apparently the CEO was walking around late Saturday night to get the last 2,000 steps before midnight, much to the amusement of his wife. A bet is a bet.
Have you guys ever participated in a stepping contest? Let us know all about it by emailing us at welovefitbit.com.
Fitbitters have been talking about the power of logging food and activities when achieving and setting goals. With the new Fitbit iPhone app, the power of logging your activities and food can be carried around with you wherever you go — even when you are offline. With the ability to log your meal while you’re out, you can keep track of every meal with no hassle and nothing gets forgotten.
The Fitbit iPhone app allows you to log food, water, activities, and your weight with a new, easy-to-use interface. Keep track of your last synced data while you’re out, and look back on the past 14 days of steps to compare. You’ll also be able to view your goals and see your progress with each one, including your Food Goal.
The new Fitbit iPhone app is completely free, and can be downloaded by going to the app store and searching for Fitbit or by going there directly by clicking here.
This is Fitbit’s first iPhone app and we’re excited to invest in creating the right tools to support all day fitness for our customers. We’ll be updating and refining the app over the next few months, including adding Ultra support to the app, so be sure to “like” us on Facebook or check out our blog for the latest news. Let us know what you think by mailing us at email@example.com, or rate the app directly at the Apple app store.
At Fitbit, we love to hear feedback from customers. Today we thought we’d pass on a particularly inspiring story from Chris, a businessman who found his busy lifestyle was taking a toll on his health and fitness. The Fitbit helped him so much, he even went out and bought a Fitbit Ultra! “I just saw the new ‘Floors Climbed’ feature in Fitbit Ultra and had to get it! A key part of my getting back in shape earlier this year was to start by taking the stairs.”
Here’s his story:
“Last December, my health and fitness reached an all-time low. Four years ago, I moved to start FrontPoint Security. The business is doing fantastic, but it has been pretty ‘all consuming’ for the last four years. By December of last year, I had reached an all-time weight high, body fat high, and my energy level was noticeably the worst it had ever been.”
Chris decided he needed a change, and picked the Fitbit Tracker to help him on his path to get back in shape. He paid close attention to his Dashboard, invested in Fitbit’s Premium Subscription, and made it a point to reach his daily goals. He also made a long-term goal to climb Mt. Shasta by the summer of 2012, something he’d done ten years earlier with his dad.
“I ended up making so much progress that I climbed Mt. Shasta in July 2011 about a year ahead of my plan. My weight had dropped almost 40 lbs., and my body fat dropped to around 10%. At the same time, my blood pressure got much better and I was able to stop taking my blood pressure medication. And, my resting heart rate dropped from around 67 to just 41, where it is today.”
He made so much progress, in fact, that he’s since climbed Mt. Rainier as well – an even harder mountain that had been a goal ten years ago!
“I can easily say now that I’ve never felt better or been in better shape.”
Chris shows us that with a little motivation and information, it’s never too late to reach our goals. Share your inspirational stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.