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August 18, 2014
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Product Review: Get your fitness on with FitBit

It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of the military lifestyle, but taking time to focus on your own well being is important

By Kristine Schellhaas
PoliceOne Contributor

It’s hard to believe we're already more than halfway through 2014. I typically don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I decided I wanted to live better. Simply put, I wanted to just try to do things better in general this year without having to put a specific label on things.

Many of us living the military lifestyle can easily get caught up with the crazy schedules and absent spouses. Sometimes it’s because our servicemember is in the field training or getting ready to deploy. Other times we’re just doing our best to try to keep the kids’ spirits high because daddy has been gone for so long.

For me, part of the frustration came from moving across the country and the challenge of adjusting to our new home. As soon as we arrived, there was an entire house to unpack, new schools to register for, new doctors to locate, and new habits to create. Since moving, my focus has easily fallen into taking care of everyone else to make this transition as easy as possible on our family, but now I need to start focusing my efforts on me.

Moving more with the FitBit
Beginning with the general goal of moving more, I decided to buy a FitBit.

I can honestly say that I love this little device.

At just under $99 from Amazon, it keeps track of how many steps you take each day, calories burned, and how you sleep at night. It only needs to get charged every five days or so, and you can sync it up to your smartphone or computer. What’s more, the band is comfortable to wear around the clock since it’s made from a flexible, waterproof material; though getting the band to close the first couple times can be a bit tricky.

The FitBit is very motivating and the sync option allows for a quick check of daily progress. It’s made a huge difference for me in my goal towards taking 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly five miles. In order to reach that goal, I’ve been hitting the gym for an hour. Most days I achieve my goal, but on those days I don’t, the device is a huge motivator to get moving; whether it’s a walk in the neighborhood, a trip to the grocery store, or something else.

Celebrating the small victories
One of the best things I’ve found with FitBit? It actually celebrates with you.

When you reach 10,000 steps, you get a little party from the band vibrating, sort of like it’s giving you a high five on your wrist. Additionally, the little device sends little reminders or motivational messages when you’re getting close. There’s also the added bonus of alerts for when you reach major milestones, such as your first fifty miles completed over time. You can even set the FitBit up to compete or keep a friend accountable so your stats are shared.

What I really appreciate perhaps the most about this band is that, unlike other similar products, there’s no monthly subscription cost. If you’re looking for an alternative, I’ve also heard good things about the Nike Fuelband; though it’s not as highly rated as the FitBit and costs more too.

I have zero regrets after purchasing this device and for me it’s been a really simple way to get my health back on track while keeping up with chaos in our military world.

What kinds of resources have you found to help you move more?

About the author
Kristine Schellhaas founded USMC Life in 2009 as a way to help inspire, connect and educate Marine Corps families. As a public speaker, she created the “Live, Laugh, Learn” military seminars and speaks regularly about her experiences as a Marine spouse for Operation Homefront, changes of perspective for families in military culture, and recovery from loss. Kristine has been recognized as a finalist for Marine Corps Spouse of the Year and has received two military base Spouse of the Year awards. She recently served on Military Officer Association of America's (MOAA) Spouse Advisory Panel, where she is a champion for our children who have been drafted into the military lifestyle and has dedicated more than 10,000 volunteer hours serving military families.

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