4 Surprises I Had While Using the FitBit

Last month, I bought a Fitbit charge.  I never intended to buy one for myself but after researching the different models for a gift, I thought the FitBit sounded interesting.

I have always wondered how much running burned as well as random gym equipment, etc. I decided to purchase one for myself and see how I liked it.  I didn’t know what to expect!

Click to Tweet: Four Surprises I Learned While Using the FitBit 


Fitbit Charge with Heart Rate

First surprise: Overestimating Calorie Burn

Keep in mind; I think knowing how many calories you burn is important, but I don’t believe any athlete should focus on calorie burn. 

Occasionally I’ll supplement the AMT into my running routine.  The AMT always told me I burned between 500-600 calories per hour.  I was shocked to find my Fitbit stating I burned a whopping 131 calories.    I knew cardio machines were inaccurate, but that is a huge difference.  Do I think FitBit is perfect?  No, but I do believe it’s more accurate than machines at the gym… 

Interestingly enough I found this article about how Sara Hall only burned 1500 calories during her marathon.  I know smaller framed runners burn less, and I don’t burn 100 calories per mile.  I’m 130 pounds and 5’7.  I normally “guestimated”, I burned about 75 calories per mile and so I ate between 2500-3000 calories daily.  I don’t track it because it’s honestly too much work and I was running fine and not losing/gaining weight.

I decided to take a deeper look into my Broad Street 10 mile data.  I ran Broad Street in 1:01.59, however, since my heart rate was high, FitBit concluded my run was an additional 30 seconds longer.  For 10 miles, you would think I burned 1000 calories or in my “guestimating” 750.  In reality, I burned around 583. 

broad street calories

Second surprise: Distance I walked at work

Sometimes at work I end up walking 10,000 steps. I wouldn’t have thought I walked that far. We have two floors at several locations, and I find myself climbing steps more than I expected.

Third Surprise: My Steps/Mileage isn’t always accurate

I wore my Fitbit during the Broad Street 10 miler.  After the race, FitBit said I ran about 9 miles for the entire day.

Broad Street is a certified 10-mile course, and I had probably walked another mile beforehand.   For me, I have a shorter stride, and FitBit doesn’t always pick up on it.

I don’t think FitBit is 100% accurate in picking up steps and distances traveled.

Fourth surprise: I’m way more invested in Sleep and Heart Rate

Fitbit Charge with Heart Rate

I run with my Fitbit on and to be honest; I don’t care about steps.  I know I’ll hit 10,000 most days I run but even if I don’t…I don’t get upset or try too.  I don’t ever feel more or less motivated to get up and walk.  I didn’t purchase Fitbit to motivate me to move, I purchased it to track data and learn more about my habits.  Since buying my FitBit about a month ago, there hasn’t been a day I’ve paced around the house or walked around at night to get more steps.

I’m also far more invested in my heart rate.  I’ve always wondered what my heart rate is like while running or resting.  It’s been great data to track.

Do I like FitBit?

FitBit Charge

I do. However, it’s not data I get overly concerned or lose sleep over.  I like to know my sleep habits as well as my heart rate the most.  It’s interesting but like any technology, it’s not 100% perfect.  It’s a better picture of your overall fitness.

Disclosure: I purchased my own Fitbit and am not getting paid to review it. 

Funny Articles Related to FitBit:
19 Real and Emotional Struggles to Having a Fitbit
What it’s Actually Like to Own a FitBit 

Click to Tweet: 4 Surprises I had While Using FitBit

Questions for you:
Are you part of the Fitbit World?
Do you monitor your sleep or heart rate?