fitbit zipJoanna wrote an article a while back on wearables, and it got me thinking about buying a Fitbit. I’ve had it for about a month and a half now, and I’m quite fond of it.

I opted for the Fitbit Zip, the one that doesn’t have a wrist band. Since I wasn’t sure how consistent I’d be at using it, I went for the least expensive option. Also, I didn’t care about sleep tracking.

The Zip is easy to set up. Download the app to your phone, pop in the battery and pair them. I leave Bluetooth on all the time on my phone, and they find each other easily. You can set the Zip to sync periodically or only when you tell it to. I’ve tried both ways. Syncing constantly does drain my phone battery noticeably. Leaving Bluetooth on and syncing on demand drains lots less.

Unlike the pedometers I’ve used in the past, the Zip is forgiving about where you put it. Pedometers only worked clipped to my belt. The Zip works fine in a pocket or clipped to my shirt or belt. Also unlike pedometers, it doesn’t pick up many “junk” steps. Driving around would get me anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand steps in a day. The Fitbit, however, doesn’t register steps while driving. It does, however, register when I’m on the exercise bike, so I have to remember to take it out of my pocket.

It’s durable. Over the weekend, I forgot to take it out of my pocket, and it went through the washer. It was in its case, and fortunately, it survived the experience. Incidentally, a wash cycle was about 500 steps. :) I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it, but once didn’t seem to be a problem.

Does it work as an exercise motivator? Definitely. I find myself finding excuses to get in “just a few more steps.” I can’t achieve 10,000 every day, but, unless the weather is miserable for several days in a row, I usually average 10K for the week. There have been days when, without the Fitbit, I would have skipped exercise, so it’s doing its job of getting me out when I’m feeling lazy.

The app has extras like food tracking, which I don’t use. I have another app for that. I only use the Fitbit app to track steps. If you’re into gamification, there are badges you can earn. I’m getting close to the 250 miles badge.

I like it, and I think it’s worth having. I made the right decision to get the Zip. I don’t like wearing anything on my wrist, and I think those versions would have annoyed me.

There’s been one more impact of the Fitbit. Because I’m walking more, I’ve gotten back into listening to audiobooks. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed them.

What about you? Do you have a Fitbit or other health wearable? What do you think of it?