While I’ve been aware of smart watches, I have only very recently made the jump from a ‘standard’ tell the time watch, to something more technical. Jumping in with both feet, I opted for the Versa Lite, one of the latest products from the crème de la crème of fitness tracking devices, FitBit.
Initially I was disappointed to retire my old watch, however two months down the line and I am a full convert!
Taking it out the box, I quickly set it to charge and downloaded the companion app. More comfortable with apps and websites, I was pleased to see that the tracker screen itself is quite basic and easy to navigate around. All the technical detail with the data can be found on the app and with options to delve in and out of the app, it makes sense that it’s there to view at your leisure while the wrist device is monitoring and highlighting just the key details such as heart rate and step count, not forgetting the obvious date and time!
I am trying (said loosely) to push myself with my fitness, after all holiday season is upon us; however I have been struggling and life just seems to get in the way. The device itself isn’t as fitness focused as I worried it would be and is more of a handy tool to track general life actions.
One thing I have found is that the Versa Lite gives me the technical insight into my body and how I am utilising it. I regularly lie in bed and review the stats, which encourages me think more about how I can use my body to better effect, not necessarily from a weight management element, although this is possible, but to ensure I am fuelling it correctly and the outputs.
One of the big things for me has been to review my sleep patterns. Since trackers have grown in popularity and I have heard about people feeding back on their sleep, I have been intrigued about mine. With three children and being a light sleeper I have often thought I don’t sleep…. well, it turns out I was right! Tracking patterns over time put a bit of science behind my thoughts as it shows my time spent awake, in deep/light sleep and REM state. I must admit, sometimes there’s very little I can do to change it, especially with children involved, but even going to bed a little earlier can positively change the pattern.
Another biggie that I love is the encouragement for being active. The tracker promotes up to eight active hours per day and pushes for 250 steps per hour. If you haven’t reached this target 50 minutes into an hour you get a little reminder, which is quite often all I need to get up from my computer and take a brief walk around the office. Step count is also celebrated on the device. I have set mine to 10,000 per day but you can alter this dependant upon personal targets. If it’s late in the day and I am far from off target I have recently been taking some walks in the evening just to push it up a little higher.
If I do want to interact with the watch, there’s a menu of choice that you simply swipe across that includes breathing exercises, timers, alarms and weather updates. I must admit I probably haven’t used these too much, however if I do undertake any exercise such as a run or gym class, there are seven settings that you can click on (such as Run, Workout, Bike, Walk) when you start and end your exercise and this monitoring provides a brief summary on the watch and a more detailed insight on the app that gets into the cardio zones, helpful if you’re trying to hit targets.
For women it also features a tracker for your period and after two inputs can start predicting trends so if you are after somewhere discreet to monitor your period, rather than the family calendar displayed in the kitchen for all and sundry to view, then it’s a handy tool to have.
The companion app also has the ability to house data that you may share on other health and wellbeing apps such as daily food intake, water consumption and weight. Very intuitive and easy to navigate round, the plus point is that all your very personal data is stored in one app together so you can eliminate some of the other squares on your phone. The app details these factors very well, for example the period tracker not only registers the dates you input but you can add details that include the flow intensity, body symptoms and mood to get a really precise level of detail.
The device itself is really lightweight, and I must admit I instantly felt part of the ‘cool gang’ once I put it on! Wearing it to bed was a novel concept, but again one I quickly got over! It’s waterproof so I find I only take it off once or twice a week to charge up, however I noticed it irritated my skin once (simply from my skin, not any itching or soreness) so try and do the odd night without it so my skin can breathe. Other than that it’s very comfortable and I barely notice it is there!
The FitBit Versa Lite is priced at a reasonable £149.99. For more information and to purchase, visit https://www.fitbit.com/uk/shop/versa.