Monday, 21 December 2015

Fitbit Charge HR review - Updated

Having had my Fitbit Charge HR for a month now I can safely say that I'm still inseperable from my Fitbit One, which I never notice wearing because it clips onto my clothing, and I wear my Fitbit Charge HR on days when I'm out and about, or spending quite a lot of time exercising and want to have an idea of my heart rate without having to wear a chest strap.

I've always said that I don't want to wear a smartwatch and that hasn't changed, and this is very much a half way house.  If you don’t already wear an activity tracker you’re probably about to, and this is a good one if you don't mind having it on your wrist you'll probably love it. The Fitbit Charge HR is not over priced and it works extremely well although it needs charging quite regularly. you actually unbox the thing, charge it up and download the app on your smartphone is entirely up to you, but if you’re anything like me once you do you’ll probably be hooked.

I’ve been wearing the Fitbit One for the past three years, and we’re now pretty inseperable.  Why I particularly like this neat little device is that it clips on to a bra, your waistband, or sits happily in your bag, counting your steps and floors climbed as you go.  You can forget about it.

Why I decided it was time for my Fitbit One to have a partner was because although it’s excellent, it doesn’t have a heart rate tracker and therefore can’t give a complete picture the way the Charge HR does.

I wear it on my right wrist as I’m not giving up my watch just yet, and it works perfectly well, after a while you forget about it although the strap can be uncomfortable until you get it in exactly the right place.  You can click the side button to get your metrics or take a quick look on your smartphone, where it also records your heartrate over the day in terms of fat burn, cardio and peak rates.

That’s the one that makes the most difference to me, as I’m well aware that getting your heart rate up (quite often for short bursts) is very efficient exercise.  This makes the Charge HR quite a motivational tool.  You tend to walk faster whilst wearing it, and it will record you stairs, runs and hill walks.

Recent articles have appeared to say that treadmill desks don’t work if what you want is to lose weight.  No surprises here.  Because walking slowly doesn’t work, and how you can walk at a cardio speed or uphill and work at the same time I have no idea. 

You lose weight by a combination of getting your heart rate up and by resistance training speeding up your metabolism.  Not by slow walking.  It may be better for you than sitting all day but not if your aim is to seriously lose weight.  And probably after walking all day you’ll be too tired to do the real stuff in the gym……

PS If you want the heart rate functionality make sure your Charge has HR after the name.  There's a Fitbit Charge which costs a bit less and doesn't have the heart rate.