Over the past few months I have noticed people wearing black wristbands and wondered what they were. I finally asked someone and learned that it was a Fitbit Flex health tracking system. I have had pedometers before and wasn't that interested, although the people raved about the difference these devices were making in their lives. One friend had lost 20 pounds the first month using it.
The main purpose of the device is to track steps, sleep patterns, and to log calories. It runs about $99 and is very light and comfortable to wear on either wrist (you program it for your dominant or non-dominant wrist). It has very good reviews for quality and accuracy. I was quite impressed with the fact that once a person buys a Flex it is almost always used and highly rated, unlike other trackers I have used which sit in a drawer.
Then I learned about a feature on this device that caught my attention. I am almost completely deaf. When I remove my hearing aid and my BAHA (bone attached hearing device) I cannot hear much at all. I can barely hear a smoke alarm going off and I cannot hear a wake up alarm at all. Over the years I have purchased several shaking bed alarms, but they are expensive, bulky, hard to travel with, and wake up my spouse. I was told that the Flex has an alarm system that can be programed on your computer easily. It is a wrist device that is very comfortable, not very noticeable, and is waterproof. It has a gentle vibration that can be programmed for waking up or simply to remind you of things.
I figured it would be great for travel as I have several trips coming up in the next few months, but I got a delightful surprise. This is very, very motivating for me not only to exercise, but to manage sleep and calories. I have lost 5 pounds since the day I got it 2.5 weeks ago and normally it takes me longer than that to lose weight. I am also sleeping better because I saw some patterns in the sleep tracking and was able to make those adjustments. I found out that I am more active than I thought by about 20% but that I also consume about 20% more calories than I would have estimated. The calorie log system is very accurate and easy to use and has an index of hundreds of thousands of foods. You can also create your own "new" food to keep in your log.
As the day progresses it compares what you have burned to your intake and what should have already been obvious becomes a visual reminder. It is kind of like filling your tank with gas (at each meal) and then having a speedometer to show all day long how much you have burned so that you don't "fill up" again before you need to. Progress also is shown right on the device itself so if you are out for a walk/jog and want to know if you are nearing your goal, you can just tap it to see the results.
Did I mention that it syncs with your phone? For this reason you don't have to be near a computer when you are on vacation in order to keep it updated.
When you first get it, you program how much weight you want to lose over how much time, how much activity you want to get per day, and it calculates a plan for you and tracks your progress. You can also share progress with "friends" through the system if you wish.
I also like that it calculates your fiber, carbs, sodium, protein, etc. so you can see if you are getting what you need over each day.
I am delighted to say that this item is really, really worth the $99 I spent for it at Amazon. You will be surprised how suddenly you notice others wearing them all over the place once you get your own device.
It is waterproof and can be worn 24/7 except for the weekly 2-3 hour charge it needs.
I give this item 5 full stars and can highly recommend it.