Category Archives: Running

Garmin Vivosmart HR REVIEW

If you’ve been following my fitness tracker journey, you know that I have gone through two Fitbit Flex and now two Fitbit Charge HR. Once my replacement Fitbit Charge HR broke, I decided to look into a completely new fitness tracker and I found the Garmin Vivosmart HR. I’ve had the new fitness tracker for about 3 weeks now so this is my Garmin Vivosmart HR review:

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Fitbit Charge HR Breaks – UPDATE

fitbit charge hr band breaks strap broken muffinchanelIt had been about a year since I first got my Fitbit Charge HR as an upgrade to my Fitbit Flex when the Charge HR strap broke! 🙁 Sad day. My Fitbit Charge HR breaks and I couldn’t wear it anymore; it was terrible. I had actually been having issues with the Fitbit syncing fully as well, but the band can’t do any good if I can’t wear it.

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Fitbit ChargeHR | REVIEW

Like the Fitbit Flex I had before, The Fitbit ChargeHR is a fitness band that mainly tracks your steps and is a motivational tool to help you be more active throughout the day. The Fitbit app for the phone and the main dashboard on the website are very user-friendly and make it easy to monitor your progress during the day.

I’ve had my Fitbit Charge HR  for just over three weeks now and I’m ready to give my review! The Fitbit ChargeHR comes with a USB charging cable and a wireless syncing dongle.*

Design

The Fitbit ChargeHR has textured wristband that is soft and smooth underneath. The band is .83 inches wide & has a watch-clasp closure that feels very secure. Fitbit Charge ChargeHR fitness band fit heart rate monitor design comfort review muffinchanel watch claspThe display is larger than the Fitbit Flex display and will show your daily activity stats and real time heart rate.

Sizing

Fitbit Charge ChargeHR fitness band fit heart rate monitor design comfort review muffinchanelI got the Fitbit ChargeHR in size Large. There is a sizing guide on Fitbit’s website to help you determine the best size for you. I picked the Large size because Fitbit recommends wearing the ChargeHR higher up on your wrist for a more accurate heart rate reading. They suggest about 2-3 finger widths above your wrist bone which is pretty comfortable to me. I probably could have been great with the Small size band — I’m wearing the Large at the 3rd to tightest hole in order to wear it higher on my wrist.

Charging

Fitbit Charge ChargeHR fitness band fit heart rate monitor design comfort review muffinchanel chargingThe Fitbit ChargeHR was about 50% charged out of the box. I fully charged it before using it and the battery lasted about 4.5 days before I got an email to let me know the battery was low. I’ve consistently gotten between 4-5 days between charges. Charging the ChargeHR takes about 1 hour. The charger plugs into any USB power source and then into the underside of the Fitbit ChargeHR display.

Interface

Fitbit Charge ChargeHR fitness band fit heart rate monitor design comfort review muffinchanelThere is a small button on the left side of the display which lets you toggle through the time display, daily steps, distance walked, calories burned, stairs climbed, alarms, and heart rate. You can customize what categories are displayed and in what order they appear. You can also set a shortcut for a specific display by double tapping the Fitbit ChargeHR. I have mine set to display the heart rate since that was what I was most interested in purchasing the ChargeHR.

Sleep Mode

I really thought the sleep tracking data from the Fitbit Flex was great, and I think it’s even better with the ChargeHR. The ChargeHR automatically records your sleep without having to do anything. With the Flex, you had to tap it to tell it you were going to sleep, but the ChargeHR detects it on it’s own & it’s super accurate. The ChargeHR will tell you how long you slept for and how many times you were restless in the night. It’s awesome.

Heart Rate Monitor

Fitbit Charge ChargeHR fitness band fit heart rate monitor design comfort review muffinchanel lights chargeThe heart rate monitor is accurate. I compared it with a pulse counting app and each time it is within 10 BPM which is great for me. The Fitbit ChargeHR uses LED lights to reflect off your skin to detect changes in your blood. When your heart beats, your capillaries expand & contract, the ChargeHR measures those changes with special algorithms to display your heart rate.

The display shows you live heart rate monitoring and what “zones” you’re in while working out. The three zones — Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak — are calculated based on a max heart rate of 220 BPM minus your age, but you can adjust it and make your own custom zones. I like to check  my heart rate and see how intense my workout is.

Workouts

If you press and hold the side button, the Workout mode will begin and track your exercise activity. I like to review the workout data because it isolates your heart rate data for the workout and helps me stay motivated throughout the day. My workouts are mostly jogging/running so the Fitbit ChargeHR is tracking my steps as well.

Overall, I love my Fitbit ChargeHR. The heart rate monitoring is the main reason to get this fitness band; it’s accurate and easy to view your data. The band is comfortable and it has good battery life. The sleep tracking feature is better than before and also very accurate.

Fitbit ChargeHR – First Impressions

I’ve had the Fitbit Flex for just over a year and a half and I’ve loved having a lightweight fitness band to track my steps and help me stay motivated about staying active. When I heard about the new fitness bands from Fitbit, I was curious. I’ve always been interested in tracking my heart rate, but I didn’t think a chest strap monitor was right for me. So, when I saw that Fitbit had a new fitness band that could track heart rate — the ChargeHR and the Surge — I thought this would be perfect for me.

muffinchanel Fitbit ChargeHR charge hr fitness bandI started researching the Fitbit ChargeHR but I wasn’t getting all my questions answered. How accurate is the heart rate monitor? How often do you need to charge it? How can I transfer my data from the Flex to the ChargeHR? I kept checking my local Target to see if they were available (at fitbit.com, there is an 8-10 week backorder) and I got very excited when I found the Fitbit ChargeHR at Target yesterday. I decided to buy it today and here are my first impressions.

muffinchanel Fitbit ChargeHR charge hr fitness bandI bought the Fitbit ChargeHR in Large in the color black. I thought I might like the Plum color, but it wasn’t available in store and the Plum display band seemed a little to pink for my liking. I plugged the ChargeHR into my computer to charge it while I went through the setup process.

Some of the first things I noticed:

  • They band is soft and textured. Unlike the flex which feels more rigid and smooth.
  • There is a regular watch band with a latch. The Flex had the pin locking closure.
  • The display is clear and large and the Flex’s screen was minimal with the 5 display dots.

muffinchanel Fitbit ChargeHR charge hr fitness band

I synced up the Fitbit ChargeHR very easily through my computer and Fitbit asked me if I was replacing the Fitbit Flex. I clicked “Yes” and that was it — all of my data was ported over very easily. The entire process took maybe 7 minutes. I’ll do a side by side comparison post soon between the ChargeHR and the Flex.

muffinchanel Fitbit ChargeHR charge hr fitness band replace device

The Fitbit ChargeHR was 50% charged out of the box, and just having it plugged into my computer while I did the setup, took it to 100%.

I then wore it for a treadmill workout to see what the heart rate monitor was like. I ran for 30 minutes and the heart rate seemed very accurate. I also have a Heart Rate monitor app for iPhone that has you key your pulse beats for 10 seconds and it tells you you BPM. Both heart rate numbers were with in 5 BPM each time I tested it.

The band was very comfortable during my workout. Fitbit recommends wearing the band higher on your wrist for more accurate heart rate results. I wore it about 1.5 finger lengths from my wrist bone. I’m excited to see more of my heart rate data throughout the week.

A more in depth review to come after I’ve had time to really use the Fitbit ChargeHR for a while. Let me know if you have any questions so I can include them in my review post. So far, I like the ChargeHR and it’s very comfortable. 🙂

4 Tips for Staying Healthy at Work

muffinchanel 4 tips for staying healthy at workIt can be difficult to incorporate your New Year’s resolutions to be healthy while at work. These 4 tips will help you to stay healthy at work and help you to take care of your body so you can stay on track with your personal goals.

  • Drink Water – It’s important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Water is so important for your body to stay healthy. Plus, staying hydrated can help brain function, which is obviously important at work & your skin will thank you. Avoid sugary drinks like soda — ditch that daily Pepsi and your body will thank you. Invest in a BPA Free water bottle to make drinking water more exciting and convenient.
  • Sit Up Straight – Maintaining good posture is key when working at a desk all day. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep your feet flat on the floor. Good posture will keep your body in alignment and cause less stress on your joints. It can also be a little bit of an ab workout too if you aren’t used to engaging your core muscles!
  • Make a Lunch – It can be tempting or convenient to buy your lunch everyday, but if you take a little extra time in the morning or the night before, you can make a healthy, nutritious lunch. With a healthy lunch ready to go, you won’t make that impulse purchase at Jack In The Box because you’re having a stressful day and you will save a lot of money!
  • Go For a Walk – Getting up and going for a 10 minute walk will help you feel better and more alert. Every step is more calories burned! I’m tracking my steps with my FitBit Flex, but I’m curious about the new FitBit Charge HR which has a heart rate monitor!

What are your tips for staying healthy at work? What do you think about the new FitBit line?