This will be old news to some but once again, I find myself trying to catch up with the modern world. In my haste to feel like I know what’s going on, I got my first Fitbit.

For a long time now I thought it was just a trend old people might use to say they were getting in the steps they needed daily to keep them healthy. Why would a guy like me ever want one? It did strike me though, I am no longer in my 20s and playing for three hockey teams or out doing things every night. So I got one. I gotta say, I love it.

What It Does Is Actually Pretty Cool

There is way more to the FitBit Alta than a pedometer. Yes, my phone offers a free app that could keep track of my steps but the difference is, this is going to tell you when you are sitting for too long and as cheesy as it is, I find it cool that it will congratulate you when you actually meet daily goals. It will tell you the distance you have walked and how many calories you have burned and it will also keep track of your weekly exercise. You can tell it if you’re running, biking and on and on.

It has to help when you’re working toward a goal of doing something five days a week that your tool to do so is right on your wrist, saying ‘hey you did well so far’ and ‘go for one more run’. You can’t help but lead a semi-healthy lifestyle with that kind of motivator on your arm.

via Track2Fit

The Other Apps

The sleep app is cool but I find this one is more useful in telling you how you actually sleep and for how long. Now, I am not sure how it knows that but I would assume the more sleep you get and better the sleep, the healthier you are. Good enough for me.

So too, you can track how much water you drink in a day. I think every single person I know has been told we all need to drink more water, so it is pretty nice to have a log on that.

The real treat is the calorie counter. At first, I thought this was just kind of a joke; look up something generic and then it adds it up for you. Then I tried the barcode scanner and, wow, this thing really works. For fun I punched in a DQ Blizzard and that even came up. This thing is legit, not just some random computer dreaming up numbers. I made a pasta dish and put the ingredients in one by one and it gave me a “rough” total. The next day when I had leftovers, it was smart enough to know what all went together for the same bowl. No, it isn’t going to know your soy double frappe grande coconut drink but it might have something similar.

What I Didn’t Learn

This isn’t a full review because I didn’t open or access the female health app. Really it isn’t for me, nor would I ever use it. However, with how much the rest of the features impressed, I would bet the ladies might find a thing or two in it useful.

Overall Review

For those of you reading this and not familiar with the product, this is just the basic dashboard stuff. They say do 10,000 steps per day and while I’m in an office I have a hard time cracking that goal but it’s not hard to do in most other settings. If it is weight loss you’re looking for, it can help with that. If it’s simply getting more exercise in your life or trying to adopt a better diet, it has you covered. It will show you compatible apps, even offer coaching videos to get you on the way and this is all just in Alta — the basic one!

A quick look and you should be able to find one for about $130. Whether you are setting a health goal or simply trying to look after yourself a bit better this is a pretty neat piece of tech and I think worth the money.