I’m no stranger to fitness and a little bit of a geek at heart, so it was only a matter of time before I jumped on the Fitness Tracker wagon. Which I did, two years ago actually – logging every last bit of my active Aussie lifestyle via my trusty Fitbit Flex. Simple in design, and definitely durable enough to withstand more than a few knocks and galah pecks from this little rascal, this piece of kit has tracked my basic steps, distance and sleep data on and off for the past couple of years.
But alas, my Flex was beginning to look a little sad and defeated… So when a brand spanking new Fitbit Alta arrived in the post for me to review last month I was *just a little bit* excited to upgrade my wrist candy tracker.
The Alta is one the of the more premium members of the Fitbit family – there are currently seven models and a Wi-Fi smart scale to choose from, each ranging in spec and cost – and since it’s Aussie release earlier this year, retailing at approx. $199, the Alta has already proved to be a firm favourite.
So what’s so exciting about this latest Fitbit release? Well, quite a bit actually. With a chic touch sensitive OLED display screen, The Alta tracks your steps, distance and calories burned as standard, but what really gets the active juices going (and logged) is its ability to record active minutes – automatically recognising and keeping track of exercise and workouts. The Alta also has reminders – giving little nudges when you haven’t moved in a while and celebrating when you do… You can’t help but give a little satisfied smile when the Alta’s celebratory 10,000 step firework celebration starts blowing up on your wrist!
I set my daily step goal to the recommended 10,000 steps – but achieving this each day hasn’t been as easy as you’d think. I blame my long legs. I swear if I had a shorter stride, I’d be logging more steps! Okay, enough of the excuses already. Over the last twenty eight days (6 June – 3 July), I’ve logged approx. 239K total steps – about 85% of the 280K steps I should have taken based on taking 10K steps each day.
My main passions for exercise are Body Combat, Combat CX and HIIT, which can clock anything between 4-6K steps per workout. Body Pump, Balance, Yoga and Pilates however struggle to qualify ‘Active Minutes’ – which I found a little frustrating. I could still log my workouts in the app, but it’s not quite as satisfying as the Alta automatically registering my active time for me (is this passive laziness a tad ironic?). Perhaps this is a feature Fitbit will consider developing in the future.
A simple tap or flick the wrist wakes up the Alta, bringing its digital touch sensitive screen to life. Tapping the bottom or the side of the display allows you to scroll through your top line daily stats (time/date, steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes), with a more detailed analysis of activity accessible via the iPhone app. The app is super easy to use, providing detailed data on how close I am to achieving daily goals, and even allowing me to log food/water intake – although this novelty wore off after a few weeks. One of my favourite features about the app was it’s ability to share comparative stats with my Fitbit-friends. It’s amazing how accountable I felt about my fitness when I knew my friends could see my steps! *Refers back to ‘long legs’ excuse…*
The Alta band is as slim as the Flex, making it comfortable to wear daily. I tend to loosen it off when sleeping at night, but otherwise the fastening and general comfort was no different to wearing a snug cuff or bracelet. Sleep tracking has evolved brilliantly since my experience with the Flex (which was so temperamental I stopped bothering with it). The Alta automatically tracks how long and how hard you sleep – and the silent alarm is the perfect way to start the day peacefully, rather than the usual panicked, groping for the very-loud-and-not-at-all-serene iPhone alarm at 6:30am! Although there have been a few hairy moments due to the fact that I’m a chronic snooze-button abuser… And the Alta doesn’t have a snooze option. Go figure.
All in all, the Alta’s functionality and data offering is pretty sweet. But what about aesthetics?
You have to commit to wearing this band every day… Sweating together at the gym, running errands together, taking lunch at the same time… hell, you’ll be sleeping together every night – and getting breakfast after. So surely looks count for something, and it’s not all riding on personality?! Totally. Whilst the Alta won’t quite pass as a piece of jewellery, it’s definitely slicker than your average fitness tracker/device in the looks department. ‘Fitness and Fashion on display’ is one of the Alta’s visionary straplines – and it’s easy to see why. It’s slim, sleek and subtle in design, with brushed silver metalware, glossy OLED screen and textured wristband – which doesn’t show up scuffs like the Flex did. This new wrist squeeze is way hotter than its predecessors – and probably the only piece of rubber you can wear on a night out with the girls and not be called out for a fashion faux-pas 😉
(BTW, do you have any idea how many steps you can clock up on a night out?! Going out dancing is officially the new gym class hero!)
The Alta isn’t the first fashion focus for Fitbit however – they previously teamed up with Tory Birch for the Flex, and if the rumours are true (I hope they are), a similar collaboration will see a range designed exclusively for the Alta hit retailers later in the year… In the meantime, the band can be changed for a classic blue, teal or plum fitness band ($49.95), or upgraded to a luxe soft leather band in blush pink, graphite or camel ($99.95). There’s even a stainless steel bangle available for $169.95 (sans tracker, ouch) – although this is getting a little exxy if you’ve just splashed out nearly 200 smackeroonies on the tracker itself.
FITNESS ESSENTIAL FLAYLAY
Quick links: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
As a fitness, Fitbit and flatlay fan I thought I’d share the top things I reach for when it comes working out. I hit the gym for Combat/Pump 3-4 times a week, with a couple of Yoga/Pilates sessions thrown in for good measure and a coastal run/hike if I find the time. Having the right kit with me makes working out so much more fun!
1. Science In Sport GO Electrolyte | Feeling a little tired but really need a work out? I swear by this stuff – just half a sachet dissolved into your water bottle really gives your energy levels a boost!
2. Tunes | Latest beats? Beyonce ‘Lemonade’ and Drake ‘Views’. My definitive work-out go-to albums have to be MOS Running Trax and Triple J’s Hottest 100.
3. Water Bottle | Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I love the Lorna Jane slogan Camelbak water bottles – I have three which I rotate between at the gym and work.
4. Neon pieces | I just love working out in brightly layered colours. Totally adore this hot cotton tank from Running Bare.
5. Lorna Jane Mercury Tights | Obsessed with these beauties from the A/W 2016 collection. I actually bought them for Yoga, but have been using them for Winter beach runs are they’re just so darn cosy and comfy! When it comes to Combat though, I have to wear shorts – I sweat too much otherwise! It has to be baltic for me to rock up to a class in tights.
6. Fitbit Alta | My favourite work-out buddy. I love seeing how many steps I’ve taken, how many active minutes I’ve recorded and setting exercise goals.
7. Nike Runners | These Air Zoom’s were a recent purchase. I switch up my runners once every six months – and always try to rotate between styles to keep myself on my toes and not dependant on one set style/fit.
8. Berocca | I like to hydrate with one of these post-workout, when my body needs fluids more than ever. They’re like a little injection of goodness into the soul! Mango & Orange is my fave flavour.
Read more on my Flatlay Fit blog!
With its heavy focus on data, convenience and fashion it’s clear that The Alta wants to be seen as a device as versatile as your lifestyle, rather than just another gimmicky fitness band. With date/time, fitness stats, reminders to move and even caller ID all crammed onto the sleek black and white screen, the Alta boasts one of the most informative Fitbit displays yet. The sweet battery life lasted almost a week (two days longer than the promised five), and the super-fly recharge time earned the device extra brownie points in the convenience department.
The reminders to move every hour really encouraged me to get up and active, even more so than the daily step goal. Coupled with the progress emails popping up in my inbox every few days, I found these to be both really motivating features. At first, I enjoyed the novelty of synching mobile notifications to my wrist, but this only lasted a day before they became really annoying and I had to turn them off – and synching calendar notifications to my band (as a girl working at a busy marketing and advertising agency) was just taking it a, ahem, step too far. Sorry, sorry – I work in advertising, I can’t help myself.
All in all, I wanted a tracker that would provide me with stats on my daily physical activity and track my workouts/exercise – and the Alta does just that. Perhaps the only let down is the absence of a heart rate monitor and GPS, but it can deliver on the basics and it can deliver them well, all the while looking chic and understated.
Motivation is the best accessory for this little bit of kit – which for my active life and style, has proved to be a very good fit.
2 Billion Steps. $100,000. 1 Great Cause.
This month, Fitbit Australia have teamed up with the Heart Foundation to fight Australia’s biggest killer, heart disease. The #FitForGood race is underway for the Fitbit family to collectively reach 2 Billion Steps… and Fitbit’s $100K donation goal! Show your support and find out how you can get involved for this awesome cause at Fitbit.com/FFG 🙂
Thank you Fitbit Australia for sponsoring this post! x