Fitbits products just seem to be getting better and better these days. Many of their more advanced trackers have a lot of bells and whistles, such as heart rate monitoring or GPS tracking. But their budget line of trackers has remained mostly the same. And that’s a good thing too, because they are an incredible value for the money. Especially the Fitbit Flex.
The Fitbit Flex is solid budget tracker that has many interesting and unique features. If you’re new to Fitbit trackers, and don’t know where to begin, this guide should help you figure out how to use the Fitbit Flex.
First Things First: Set A goal
The whole idea of owning a Fitbit is so you can stay active and/or lose weight, right?
On the dashboard go to the button marked set new goal. The app will ask you to input your current weight and a goal weight that you would like to achieve. The Fitbit app actually has several plan intensities that will allow you to lose weight at a slower or quicker pace depending on what you select. I prefer the medium tab since it tends to give me the best results and a deficit of 500 calories is not that hard to achieve.
Set Up Email And App Alerts
I’m sure you’re excited to use your new Fitbit tracker. But before you can begin using your Flex, the device has a few setup screens that you need to go through. In particular, you should pay special attention to the Device settings. make sure you have the email and application alerts checked. Essentially, this will send an email and an alert to your phone whenever your battery is beginning to run low. For someone like me, this is a very useful feature as I often times forget to charge my device because it’s on my wrist pretty much 24/7.
Relocate The Tracker For Better Accuracy
This tip is for all those people out there who like to wear their tracker 24/7.
Your tracker may have no problems counting your pace and distance when you are doing a jog or a full on sprint. But what about low intensity activities like pushing a shopping cart or walking a dog? If you are wearing your tracker on your wrist when performing these activities, often times it will fail to pick up any steps. So what’s the solution? Where the device on your ankle or your shoe. That’s right; this will allow the flex to track even the most mundane of activities.
Set A Silent Alarm
One of the most useful features of the Fitbit flex is the ability to set aside alarms. This is especially true if you’re going to be wearing the device for most of your day.
On the main app screen, click on the button where your Fitbit Flex is displayed. Select the first option, which should aptly be titled "silent alarm". If you do not have any set yet, set a new alarm. Select the hour and minutes and hit save. Wait for the device to sync and then you’ll be all set.
Your fit pit will vibrate silently when the alarm goes off. This is especially useful if you wear your device to bed.
A Trick For Setting Your Device To Sleep Mode
You may be asking yourself: How does the Fitbit Flex track sleep?
Well, Fitbit states that in order to put the Fitbit Flex in sleep mode you simply tap the top of the band twice. In theory, this sounds very simple. But in practice it is just the opposite - I had a tough time getting the Flex to enter sleep tracking mode and often times I had to shake it or pound on a really hard.
But there’s an easier way. The top of the flex band above the LED strip has somewhat of a bend to it. If you tap on the top of this bend twice then you will have no trouble getting the Flex to enter sleep mode.
Add Some Friendly Competition
It can be a little boring when you’re just plugging away by yourself. To remedy this, the Fitbit app allows you compete against your friends and family for some extra motivation.
On the dashboard scroll all the way to the bottom and go to find friends. A screen will pop up with two options: you can choose to link your Facebook account with your Fitbit tracker, and the app will show you a list of your Facebook friends that you can invite to compete against. If you do not have a Facebook account linked to your device, you can also send emails to invite other people.
Once you have some friends added, the App will show your rankings in relation to whatever goals you have set. Selecting a friend will like you to view his or her badges and step counters. The app also allows you to send cheers and taunts for a little friendly competition.
Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your Device!
But if you do lose it don’t worry, there’s hope. If you have the app Find My Fitbit installed on your smart phone, you’ll be able to find your device no matter where it is. The app works by syncing with your fit bit through Bluetooth and displaying a bar graph to indicate how close or far away you are from the device. This can be handy if you drop your Fitbit and it happens to roll under something into a hard to reach place. With this app installed you will never lose your Fitbit device again.
Have A Smart Scale? Don’t Let It Go To Waste.
Smart scales like the Fitbit Aria are able to calculate and log many things, including of course your weight. That’s why it’s important to get your smart scale synced up with your Fitbit right away. This makes keeping track of your weight a breeze, as stepping on the scale each day will automatically update your weight inside the fit bit application. No more need for manual updates.
Save On Battery Life
One of the greatest features of the Fitbit Flex is its ability to automatically sync whenever you come in range of your smartphone. While this feature is highly convenient, it puts a tremendous strain on your device’s battery. Turning this feature off will allow you to wear your tracker for a few days before you have to recharge again.
You can turn this off by going to the apps home screen and tapping on the Flex icon.
Consider Some Third Party Applications
While the Fitbit app itself is fairly detailed, your Flex has a wide range of compatibility with many third party applications. Things like Strava, Mapmyrun, and Myfitnesspal contain many useful features and will complement your Fitbit app very well. Many of them will share details with the Fitbit app too.
I am especially big fan of Mapmyrun, which allows you to use the embedded GPS on your smart phone to chart out your runs and keep a detailed log. This coupled with a good tracker like the Fitbit Flex will allow you to have a much better picture of your overall fitness goals.
Well that’s it for my tips for now anyway. The tips in this article will help you learn how to use your Fitbit Flex. Just because the Flex is a basic budget tracker, doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. With the above tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to being a Fitbit Flex expert.
If these tips aren't quite enough, for you take a look at the video below for an in depth tutorial: