New Fitbit Charge 2? Lucky you! Hopefully by now you’ve set up your device and explored the Fitbit app a bit. Good, you’re on the right track.
Now, here’s the number one thing to keep in mind: Don’t be intimidated! Although it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed when adopting a new piece of technology, the Fitbit experience is designed with newbies in mind. As you get to know your new Charge 2 and the app, you’ll notice prompts, pop-ups, and other intuitive features guiding you through the process.
That said, you might still have some questions, so read on. The 13 tips below will ensure you and your new Charge 2 hit your activity-tracking in stride.
How to Hit the Ground Running With Your New Fitbit Charge 2
Wear it right. The accuracy of your heart rate readings is affected by where you put your tracker, so make sure you’re following these best practices. First, let your Fitbit app know which wrist you’re wearing your new Fitbit Charge 2 on—your non-dominant hand is preferred since the extra movement from your wrist can impact your charts. To confirm your settings, go to your account, tap Charge 2 and then select either Left or Right for both “Handedness” and “Wrist”.
Next, make sure the tracker is in the right place on your wrist. In general your tracker should lay flat about a finger’s width below your wrist bone (away from your hand). During exercise, wear it a bit farther up your forearm—about three fingers widths from your wrist bone where an increase in blood flow can improve the heart rate signal.
Lastly, make sure the tracker is snug but not constricting (especially during exercise), so it doesn’t restrict blood flow.
Navigate it. The screen on your Charge 2 is dimmed when not in use. To wake it, press the button, lift and turn your wrist towards you (known as Quick View), or double-tap your tracker where the screen meets the band. Press the side button to move through the different menus; single tap the screen to cycle through stats (Charge 2 doesn’t respond to swipes).
Select a clock face. Charge 2 comes with several horizontal and vertical clock styles. You can change your clock face in the settings of the fitbit app (Account icon > Charge 2 > Clock Face). You can also watch this tutorial. The new style will appear once you sync your tracker.
Create goals. One of the most important things you can do when you start using a new Fitbit Charge 2 is to determine where you are in your health journey and where you want to go. Personal Goal Setting can help you set realistic and achievable targets around daily steps and activity, exercise and workouts, sleep, diet, and weight. You should see a prompt on your app’s dashboard. Tap it when you have a few minutes to go through the process (don’t dismiss it just because you’re currently busy or in a hurry; you won’t be able to use the guided feature again and will have to manually set your goals).
Set a bedtime reminder. After you’ve set a sleep goal and a sleep schedule, create a bedtime reminder. Scheduling an alert that prompts you to start unwinding 30 minutes before your bedtime target can help you maintain a consistent sleep schedule, which experts say may benefit your health.
Keep heart rate sensors on. Unless your tracker battery is low and you won’t be able to charge it anytime soon, consider leaving your heart rate settings on “Auto.” (To find this option, tap the Account icon in the top right corner of your dashboard, then Charge 2, and then Heart Rate.) Here’s why: Having continuous heart rate data bolsters the abilities and accuracy of other features. For instance, all-day heart rate tracking powers better measuring of total calories burned, optimizes exercise by helping you pinpoint heart rate zones, and takes classic sleep tracking to a whole new level by powering Sleep Stages.
Customize what you see. You can also add, delete, and rearrange the stats that appear on your tracker right from the Fitbit app. Just tap the Account icon, tap the Charge 2 tile, and then tap “Customize Display.” Select the stats that you want to see on your device (the battery indicator is super helpful; when you see low battery it means you have about a day of usage left) and then hold your finger on each tile’s three grey lines to drag them into your preferred order.
Opt into Reminders to Move. If you followed the goal-setting directions above, then you’ve already elected which hours of the day you want to commit to taking at least 250 steps. This hourly activity goal ties into Reminders to Move, an alert you can receive on your tracker at ten to the hour if you haven’t fulfilled your step requirement. To turn on Reminders to Move, tap the Hourly Activity tile on your app dashboard and then the gear icon in the top right corner. Slide the circle over until the background is green. Your start and end times should match what you set as your goal, but you can also confirm which days of the week you want to use Reminders to Move.
Set a silent alarm—or eight. Your tracker will vibrate at the specified times, making the alarms a great way to wake up gently, remember to take your vitamins, and so much more.
Configure your notifications. Over 200 compatible iOS and Android mobile devices let you receive incoming phone call, text message, and calendar event notifications on your Charge 2. Determine whether your device supports these features, and then enable or disable them using these instructions.
Stay fully charged. The battery in your Charge 2 can last up to five days*. Learn specific ways to extend the battery life and then develop a charging strategy so that a drained battery doesn’t leave you trackerless. In your Fitbit.com settings, you can sign up to receive a push notification on your mobile device or an email (or both!) when your tracker’s battery is low.
Accessorize! Now that you’re dialed in, commit to wearing your new Fitbit Charge 2 every day. The variety of accessories available—from fun and sporty to eye-catchingly luxe—make it easy**. Check out the Charge 2 Lookbook for the full range of styles.
*Battery life may vary with use and other factors.
**Tracker sold separately.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.