The warm weather is encouraging Keene State College students to trade in their winter boots for running sneakers, and for what feels like the first time since the fall semester, runners can be seen on Appian Way. The latest on-campus fitness trend that is growing in popularity with the weather? Fitbits.
Fitbits, wrist bands that come in different models and can track daily steps, sleep cycles and calories burned have taken KSC by storm. The device syncs to either a phone or a laptop and reports detailed information that is collected while the user wears the device.
Students spoke up on how they feel about the new fitness trend.
Jenny Allison, a first-year at KSC, said she has had her Fitbit a little over a year.
“I got it because I wanted to know how many steps I was taking. The app is really helpful with letting you know about how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day as well,” Allison said.
KSC Sophomore Alex Hess said that she got her Fitbit in January because several of her friends had recommended the device.
Hess said, “Mainly I was hoping to see how active I already was, but now I love hitting my goal each day, and it really does motivate you to get up and walk when you might otherwise think ‘nah’.”
Sean Stinehour, KSC junior said that he wanted to be able to get a better grasp on his average heart rate, activity and sleep.
Stinehour added, “It’s been extremely handy to keep track of runs, as well.”
KSC Sophomore Lauren Marple has had her Fitbit since December and wears it 24/7, only taking it off to charge it and shower.
Marple said, “I got it so that I could see how active I am. The main reason is to make myself feel bad about it and be more active so I can lose weight.”
Ana Whitehead, a KSC senior, said that she wears her Fitbit every day to track her steps and sleeping habits.
Whitehead said, “I love the Fitbit. I would definitely recommend it, because I think it’s a great way to keep track of your health. There are tons of features that are part of it and even some like water and calorie consumption that I don’t use, but could start to track as well.”
Whitehead, who has the Fitbit Flex, said that she knows the more money a person is willing to spend, the more features are included in the device.
“I got it for my birthday from my mother because she has one,” Whitehead explained. “I am trying to lose weight, and it definitely makes me more conscience of my activity every day.”
In addition to tracking activity, students seem to love the Fitbit’s sleep-tracking capabilities.
Allison said, “I think it’s great with how it tracks your sleep and lets you know when you were restless throughout the night.”
Hess explained, “I also love the sleep tracker, it’s nice because it shows me how well I’ve slept and for how long and I feel like I can be more conscious of my sleeping habits.”
Stinehour said the main reason he invested in a Fitbit was to keep tabs on his sleep cycles.
Stinehour said, “The sleep tracker is definitely my favorite feature. I didn’t know about how in depth it was until I got it…It breaks down sleep night by night, by weeks, by months. It automatically detects when you sleep and when you are restless during the night.”
Stinehour explained that his Fitbit is helping him improve his performance at school. “It’s great in making sure I get a decent amount [of sleep], even with classes, work and all. Seeing my sleep habits, I can really start making minor adjustments to get in a better routine,” He said.
Another feature allows Fitbit wearers to keep tabs on their friends who also wear the devices and participate in friendly challenges during the day.
Whitehead said, “I have a few friends with Fitbits. My mother has one and is an intense woman and very active. It’s fun to send or receive a ‘taunt’ through the app to motivate me to try to be as active as her.”
Hess said, “My close friends here at school have Fitbits, and sometimes we do the challenges, but I don’t really enjoy those because then I feel like I’m doing stuff just to win or I get frustrated when I’m very far behind. I haven’t won one yet.”
The Fitbit Charge HR seems to be the one of the most popular models, and Allison reported recently upgrading to it to be able to track her heart rate.
Allison said, “I really like it, I recently upgraded to the charge HR as opposed to the Flex and I enjoy it much more. With the Charge HR I am able to track my heart rate which is pretty neat to know. I also really like that it has a face on it so I am able to see the time and my stats, instead of having to check my phone.”
Allison said that she’s a huge fan of Fitbits, and will continue to use hers to better herself.
“It’s a great device that is only pushing you to get more steps and be healthier. I think knowing how many steps you have taken a day pushes you to do more the next and so on,” Allison said. “Everyone should get one and join the Fitbit community.”
Jill Giambruno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org