Good morning! Today is my first day of classes. To be honest I’m kind of looking forward to having a set schedule again. As much fun as the holidays are, it’s nice to have a routine again.
Since I’m sure that there’s a lot of resolutions that have been made that apply to getting into shape, I thought now would be the perfect time to write a Fitbit Charge 2 review. I got it for my birthday in November, so I’ve been using it for about six weeks now. I’ve really enjoyed it, and it definitely keeps me accountable in terms of making sure I get my steps in everyday. Read on for the details!
I had the Fitbit Zip for a year before I decided that I wanted to get the Charge 2. Since the Zip clips onto your clothes, I wasn’t sure how I’d like wearing a watch. It didn’t take long for me to get used to it though. The other big differences are that the Zip only measures steps, while the Charge 2 can also measure heart rate, stairs climbed, active minutes, workouts, calories burned, KM/M walked, heart rate, and active minutes.
Display // I like that the screen is significantly larger in the Charge 2 so that it can display more information. You can customize what you want to be shown on the actual Fitbit, though more information is always available in the app. I have steps, heart rate, stairs, KM walked, active minutes, and steps per hour displayed on my Fitbit. You scroll through the different screen by either pushing the button on the side or tapping the screen.
Create your own goals // As with other Fitbits, you can customize your goals for each day – everything from steps to active minutes. I like that you can change it to fit where you are on your fitness journey. If you’re just starting out you can set your steps to 7.500 per day. If you workout six times per day you can set your steps to 17,000 per day to challenge yourself.
Challenges // You can also add friends to the Fitbit app and create challenges. They vary from simply challenging yourself to get in your goal number of steps to seeing which person can get the most number of steps during the workweek. It’s a lot of fun and a great motivator. I have to admit that I tend to get competitive. If someone passes me and takes the top spot I want to get back into the number one place!
Track workouts // You can also track your workouts on the Charge 2. Options are running, weights, treadmill, elliptical, bike, interval workout, and a general workout. It displays your heart rate in in relation to your HR target zones so you have an idea of how hard you’re working. The target zones are divided up into fat burn, cardio, and peak. I’ve found it helpful in pushing myself a bit more when I’m not feeling very energetic. The nice thing is that if you forget to start the workout on your Fitbit, it can also automatically detect a workout and track it for you. The Charge 2 also has a built in stopwatch which is handy when doing intervals.
The strap // There’s a few different choices of strap colors when you buy your Charge 2. I went with black, but there’s also blue and purple. In addition there’s also two sizes in each color, small and large. The straps are removable, so you can change them out if you want to.
The app // I have to warn you that the app can get addicting. I find that I check it throughout the day to see how I’m doing and if I’m on track to hit my goals. It displays everything from steps to the quality of your sleep. Although the sleep tracking part has been accurate most nights, there were one or two particularly restless nights where it didn’t track anything for hours at a time. It shows the time that you fell asleep, woke up, as well as how often you were restless and even awake throughout the night. I was surprised to learn that I was getting about an hour less of sleep most nights than I thought I was. You can also set sleep targets, and your Charge 2 will remind you half an hour before your bedtime to start getting ready for bed.
You can also set how many workouts you’d like to get in every week, and you can keep track of how many you actually do workout. It’s a great way to stay accountable and monitor your progress throughout the week.
Another feature of the Charge 2 is the ability to track how many hours you get in 250 or more steps. You can pick how many hours per day you want to count – I have mine set from 8 am to 8 pm. In addition to tracking your heart rate throughout the day, it also tracks your resting heart rate. It does this throughout the night while you’re sleeping so that it’s more accurate than trying to measure it during quite periods during the day.
You can also track water and food with the Charge 2. My goal each day is 8 glasses of water. If you use MyFitnessPal to track your food, you can connect it to the Fitbit app and the food you log in MFP will show up. It’s a pretty cool feature, as I use MFP to log food. I’ve found that it’s quick and convenient.
Charging // Since the Charge 2 isn’t waterproof, you wouldn’t be able to track any swimming with it. I have been able to wash my hands with it on, no problem though. Since it’s not waterproof, that means that I take it off for showers and let it charge. It comes with a cable that plugs into a USB slot in your computer to charge. I’ve been doing this for the entire six weeks, and it’s never been below two thirds charged.
Conclusion // All in all I’m really happy that I upgraded from the Zip to the Charge 2. Although it was quite a bit more money than the Zip, I can track so many more things and I think it keeps me even more accountable than the Zip. I get a better picture of my activity throughout the day, allowing me to get in more steps on days that I need to be more active to reach my step goal. If you’re in the market for a fitness tracker, I would definitely recommend the Fitbit Charge 2 (affiliate link).
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