I have been part of the Fitbit Squad South Africa (@FitbitSAfrica #FitbitSquadZA) for over three months now and it has really motivated me to step it up when it comes to my health and fitness. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a Fitness Fundi, but Fitbit made me realise that Health and wellness belong to everyone! Being able to set and achieve goals that I can track with my devices has really helped me on my fitness journey especially during this past year where we have found ourselves more indoor and at home than before.
I enjoy being part of a squad to motivate and challenge each other with our beloved leader Letshego Zulu that personalised workouts for us and is so energetic! We have a weekly workhustle group (A built-in challenge in Fitbit App) where we try to either beat each other on steps or AZM during a work week – a fun and interactive way to ‘meet’ and ‘compete’ virtually. Some of the other members of the squad are Tumi’s Wellness, Fit Like Mummy and Mascaras and Mimmosas. Follow them via their Instagram handles to follow their journeys as well.
I have been fortunate to test out two awesome Fitbit devices to date. The Fitbit Charge 4 which is one of their most popular fitness trackers on the market and the newer smartwatch – the Fitbit Versa 3. Both these devices have a built-in GPS, Active Zone Minutes and a bunch of other core fitness and smart features. What I really like about these devices is that they were easy to use from the get-go. I did not have to read up on the functions before being able to access them, with a tap, swipe or press of the side buttons, you can navigate most of the functions easily.
Active Zone Minutes (AZM)
Did you know that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends 150 minutes or 75 vigorous minutes of exercise per week? Fitbit has recently updated OS and have now added the AZM goal to all their devices. It has now replaced the old active minutes that has been an industry standard for quite a few years. To get an Active Zone Minute you must increase your heart rate into the fat burn zone and if you go beyond this you can get two minutes for each vigorous minute of exercise. This new goal means that you can literally have an effective work out anytime, anywhere even indoors in the comfort of your own home.
Track where and how far you have gone with the built-in GPS function. The built-in GPS is now available in the Charge 4 (the first fitness tracker with this function), Versa 3 and Sense. The GPS automatically starts and stops using automatic run recognition, you can track your real-time pace and distance on your device and your route via the Fitbit App.
Sleep Score is a thing!
This mommy loves her sleep and really found the Sleep Score super helpful and interesting. I can view my Sleep Score on my device and on the Fitbit app to see my sleep quality based on various factors that include my resting heart rate, restlessness, time awake and sleep stages. And if you have the Fitbit Premium subscription you get added Sleep metrics and helpful tips to improve your sleep score. Because better nights’ sleep leads to more productive days!
This is one of my favourite functions, if your bank is supported, you can add up to 6 credit cards to your watch, choose a security pin and access your card info with the secure pin to tap and pay with your watch instead of having to fish around your bag for your card. It amazes me every time I use this function (and the people that see me do it!).
No, this is not an acronym, stress is something that is affecting more and more people around the globe and October is mental health month. According to http://blog.euromonitor.com/ -‘Over 50% of global consumers claim that they are currently suffering from “moderate”, “high” or “extreme” stress levels.’
Fitbit has done a lot of research and innovation around the management and reduction of stress and has made some really innovative tools available via the Fitbit devices and the Fitbit Premium subscription. Both of the devices that I have tried, offer on-device guided breathing sessions based on your own heart rate. There is a mindfulness section on the Fitbit app with added tips and exercises that you can follow.
What are some of the differences between the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Versa 3?
You just have to play around with the Versa 3 for less than a day to realise that this smartwatch has loads more features than the Charge 4 fitness tracker. I have not yet explored them all, but here with some of the key differences and some of my favourite finds:
- The most obvious difference is the look of the device. The Fitbit Charge 4 fitness tracker is a straight slimline design, whereas the Fitbit Versa 3 is a smartwatch that has a larger screen.
- The Versa 3’s screen resolution is also better and has a full-colour display, this paired with the bigger watch face makes it easier to read.
- The Fitbit Versa 3 has a slightly shorter battery life (6 days vs. 7 days) but in just 12 minutes of fast charge, you can top the battery up with 24 hours. (Note that using the GPS function and the always-on function will affect the standard battery life.)
- The Fitbit Versa 3 has a built-in microphone which you can use to do quick voice note replies on Android only when your phone is close by and paired with Bluetooth (this feature is yet to be made available).
- The Fitbit Versa 3 has hundreds of clock faces (Free or some paid) to choose from whereas there are only a few on the Fitbit Charge 4. Because the screen is full-colour I was able to choose a pretty coral and white clock face.
- The Fitbit Charge 4 fitness tracker does not have a temperature sensor.
- The Fitbit Versa 3 has an app that helps you find your phone!!!! One that I will be using very often as this mommy seems to lose her phone multiple times a day.
- I like that you can log your water intake on the Versa 3 device itself instead of via the app.
- The Fitbit Versa 3 also has a Coach app with some on-device exercise videos that you can follow anywhere any time.
Fitbit Premium Subscription
They are currently offering a 90-day free trial (you can even subscribe if you do not have a Fitbit device). What I like about the subscription is having access to loads of targeted workout videos, there are even dance party videos with a family approach that is aimed at doing exercise for the whole family even if you have small kids. They also have loads of extra activities and challenges that you can participate in.
Find out more about Fitbit and their devices via www.fitbit.com and follow @FitbitSAfrica, devices available for purchase via Takealot.com, Dis-Chem Pharmacies, Total Sports, Incredible Connection and Cape Union Mart.
Images by Hello Love Photography.
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