Fitbit’s Fitforgood Challenge

Ten days ago I received an email in my inbox about Fitbit’s fitforgood.  I hadn’t heard anywhere about this activity but upon going to the Fitbit website I found that it was actually a fun way to be motivated and help a good cause.  And before I continue, yes, fitforgood is all one word and all under case.  At least, most of the time.  The Fitbit website alternates.

The fitforgood Challenge

fitforlife example

Imagine all the people using their Fitbits every day like the woman in this picture.  That is tens of billions of steps per week.  What if you could put those steps to a good use.  This is where fitfor good comes in.

Fitbit set aside one million dollars to go to charity but their method for deciding what charity the money goes to is a little different.  They want users to determine by how many steps they take.  From the 9th of November until the 20th Fitbit users have the option to choose a charity to donate their steps to.  The charity with the most steps wins the largest piece of the donation money.

The fitforgood Charities

Here are the three charities that are participating in the event:

American Heart Association

An organization dedicated to building a world without the worry of heart diseases or strokes.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

An organization that focuses on providing research and resources to fighting the disease known as multiple sclerosis.

American Diabetes Association

An organization that focuses on aiding those who have disabilities and improving their lives.

The fitforgood Charity Prizes

The fitforgood prizes are determined in a standard contest method.  The 1 million dollars will be split between the three charities with the winner getting the most money and the charity with the least steps, getting the least amount.

First Prize $500,000

Second Prize $350,000

Third Prize $150,000

My fitforgood Choice and Status

I am supporting the American Heart Association.  My family has a history of heart-related problems, including my birth mother passing away due to a heart related problem.  Additionally, the AHA has provided some of my first aid/CPR training in the past.  It’s an agency that I have some experience with.

As of my last sync I contributed 93,296 steps.  Fitbit informs me that that is the equivelant to walking around the Coney Island Boardwalk 18 times.

With about a day and a half left in the competition I am happy to say that the American Heart Association is winning with 8.625 billion steps.  This is about 41% of the current 21.133 billion steps that have been taken already in the competition.  The other two charities are neck and neck with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society taking a 1% lead over ther American Diabetes Association.

Fitbit Connected App:Wokamon

Website | Android | Apple


 

NooDum, which I find suspiciously close to No Dumb, is an app company that created Wokamon, a Fitbit Connect App turned game.  The idea behind the game is that you have a collection of creatures that grow the more that you walk.  The more your creature grows, the more crystals you earn.  You can also get more creatures based on how much you walk.  These aren’t just normal creatures, that are the weirdest creatures you could think of.  Here are just a few of them:

Three Wokamon - Fitbit Connected App

You can also upgrade your Wokamon with clothes and accessories that are unique to each Wokamon.  Each Wokamon can have three different clothing items.

Spyke Clothes - Fitbit Connected App

As you can see each one of these accessories has a price in crystals below it.  Crystals are earned through drops of boxes but also through tapping the screen.  Whenever you buy one of these accessories it multiplies the amount of XP that you gain from walking, making it easier to level up.  There is also a star system that allows you to earn stars to unlock large amounts of crystals.  Stars can be earned through random drops and by unlocking in-app achievements.

You may be thinking, I don’t have a Fitbit so this app won’t do anything for me.  Wrong.  There are a variety of ways to log your steps for Wokamon.  You can use it as a Fitbit Connected App like I do, a MI Band, Google Fit, or your phone itself.  Of course, a fitness tracker is the more accurate way of tracking your steps but you can join in the fun as long as you have an Android or Apple phone.

What I Think of Wokamon The Fitbit Connected App Game

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I love Wokamon.  And once again, the reviews I do here are NOT paid.  Wokamon is the reason that I had over 28,000 steps on Saturday the 12th.  It is also the reason why I had over 17,000 steps yesterday.  In their press release Kit NooDum says that over 60% of users became more active when using Wokamon and I don’t doubt it.  Like many other apps out there it manages to hook you and make you want to level up.  The more you walk the more you can play.

The characters and accessories are also really inventive.  I enjoy seeing what I will get next.  So far each character has had fairly unique accessories, the only similarities that I have seen have been one has had an acoustic guitar while another has had an electric bass.  The only reason I noticed this was because I choose two characters that both happened to have guitars.

One big benefit that this app has: lack of pay-to-win.  There is the ability to buy stars but why would you do that when walking will help you level up and earn more crystals?  Buying stars isn’t required for the game in any way.

The only problem I was able to find with this game is that you don’t get credit for sharing the Wokamon like you are supposed to.  I don’t have much of an issue with this, although it would be nice.  Overall everything else works and I haven’t had any issues with the app crashing.  Much nicer than the other Fitbit Connected App game that I tried, FitRPG.  Stay tuned for more reviews of Fitbit Connected Apps and other informational content.

Fitbit Cons – Three Things Fitbit Should Change

You probably saw my last post Fitbit Benefits – Three Things I Like About Fitbit and since you are reading this you are probably already aware that I am a big fan of Fitbit.  Fitbit isn’t perfect though and there are several things I wish to see from Fitbit or to see Fitbit improve upon, these are the Fitbit Cons.  Don’t let yourself be discouraged by these Fitbit Cons, the Fitbit is still a great device.  These just serve to let you know where Fibit could stand to improve.

Fitbit Cons #1 – Skin Irritation

The Fitbit Force, which is very similar in appearance to the Fitbit Charge HR, was pulled from shelves due to skin irritation.  Rereleasing their product under a new name didn’t fix the problem.  Big surprise.  The Fitbit Charge HR has a band that can still cause irritation to the skin.  The irritation caused by the fitness tracker can be annoying but isn’t permanent.  It is known as contact dermatitis.  The amount of irritation varies and seems to be mostly only if I sweat.

IMG_20150827_041734

Despite the fact that it looks like my Fitbit tracker was on too tight, it isn’t.  That redness is from irritation due to the tracker.  It doesn’t hurt though and as far as I can tell has no health impact so I put up with it.  I still can’t wait until Winter when this will stop happening.

Fitbit Cons #2 – Not Always On Display

In my opinion Fitbit would greatly benefit from an Always On Display.  This would allow users of the fitness tracker to see their progress.  I could care less with it providing me the time.  I want to see the progress bar whenever I look down at my Fitbit.  I don’t want to have to tap my Fitbit or hit the button every time I want to watch my progress.  As I have said before, I find progress bars very motivational because I feel like they are just begging to be filled in.

Fitbit has gotten this question before it seems and they have answered by stating that the always on display would eat up the battery life.  With battery life of around a week though it wouldn’t be that bad if you cut the battery life by 3/4 or even a half.  You would still have multiple days on the same charge.  Others may not agree but this is a feature that I would like to see implemented.  Fitbit could also set it up so that users could decide whether they wanted to have it always on or not.

Fitbit Cons #3 – No Get Up Reminder

This may be the biggest one of the Fitbit cons mentioned, simply because I am a forgetful person.  I would very much like it if the Fitbit tracker included a get up reminder that tells you if you have been sitting for too long.  Several other trackers have this feature.  Sitting for too long can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts because you aren’t giving your body the power it needs to process the intake of foods.  Studies have shown that getting up regularly can help you lose weight  and is better for your body than sitting at the computer for hours straight.

Now that you have seen my Fitbit cons list you probably are a little quizzical about buying a Fitbit.  I have to say, it is the best fitness investment that I have made so far.  I look down at it and feel motivated to make more out of myself.  Still wearing it despite the fact that I get negative reactions from the band should show you that I love my Fitbit.  If anyone knows of a fitness tracker that might be better, let us know and I will consider looking further into it.

Fitbit Benefits – Three Things I Like About Fitbit

Those who have read my posts probably have already guessed that I love my Fitbit.  Before I go any further it should be noted that I do not get paid for talking about my Fitbit or the Fitbit Benefits.  I truly believe that the Fitbit was an amazing invention with a lot of work put into it with room to grow even further.

I have the Fitbit Charge HR, the one that is capable of reading your heart rate throughout the day while being worn on the wrist.  Knowing your heart rate better allows it to calculate calories burned and helps me to determine what level of exercise I am getting when I am working out.  If I am running/jogging/walking on the treadmill I will keep the Fitbit app open and leave my phone propped open so I can see it.  This allows me to monitor steps, heart rate, and calories burned in real time.

Fitbit Benefits - Fitbit Charge HR

There are many Fitbit benefits out there.  Here are three of my favorite Fitbit Benefits.

Fitbit Benefits #1 – Simple, Motivational, Phone Interface

The phone interface for Fitbit is the first benefit that I truly enjoy.  There is no scrolling to find most of your stats, which is a huge plus.  Having to open the app and navigate to stats makes it less likely for me to want to use the app.  I don’t like having to look for things that should be displayed front and center.

Throughout your day the stats will be updated and if you leave the app open with the screen on your Fitbit will constantly update the page.  As you get closer to achieving your goal the color of the progress bars changes which is extremely helpful.  This allows you to see roughly how far you are at only a glance.  I also find this extremely motivational because with my ADHD I can’t just leave progress bars unfinished.  I have a craving to make the bar reach the end.  Some would say I am easily entertained…

Screenshot of Fitbit Stats - Fitbit Benefits

Fitbit Benefits #2 – Long Battery Life

I’ll be honest, I tend to forget to charge things, even my phone sometimes.  Most often my watch or Fitbit.  The Fitbit battery will last for up to a week sometimes but at the least I will get five days out of one charge.  This means that I don’t have to worry about plugging the device in every night and allows me to actually track my sleep.  Actually, I can get enough of a charge from plugging it in while I brush my teeth and shower that it will be good for the day.

Fitbit Benefits - Long Battery Life

Besides the Fitbit I also wear a Moto 360 that I have talked about before.  The Moto 360’s battery simply sucks.  It needs to be charged every night and often needs a boost during the day.  This is unacceptable.

Fitbit Benefits # 3 – Challenges

I love the Fitbit Challenges.  They are one of the best Fitbit benefits out there.  The challenges that are currently available are Goal Day, Weekend Warrior, Daily Showdown, and Workweek Hustle.  All of these challenges involve step counting in one form or another.  These challenges allow me (and other users) to pit my step count up against other people.  I like to think of it as trying to beat the high score on a video game.  Must get the best high score.

Fitbit Benefits - Fitbit Challenges

 

When it comes to challenges there are only four of them and they focus on step goals.  I wish that Fitbit would come out with more challenges.  Challenges targeted towards calories burned in one day or most weight lost in a month or something similar would be exciting and helpful.  With any product there is room for improvement and Fitbit takes that to heart.  Just today I got a notice about a Fitbit update.

 

If you are interested in getting a Fitbit look at Fitbit’s Website or Amazon.com.  I purchased my Fitbit through Amazon due to the fast shipping.  You can also find Fitbit at a lot of retailers now.  It would be fun to be able to challenge visitors of my blog on Fitbit!  On Thursday look out for my post on”Fitbit Cons – Three Things Fitbit Should Change”.

 

Weekly Weigh-In (Late/Delayed)

I know I posted the schedule for the weekly weigh-in last week being on Monday.  Yesterday I had two issues though that kept me from doing a weekly weigh-in and will continue to delay the normal weigh in.  First, yesterday when I went to weigh myself I got five different weights, varying as much as 8 lbs.  I had planned to go out and look at new scales but I got a call in for work.  This week’s official weekly weigh-in should happen either tomorrow or the next day.  However, here is a summary of my weekly activities.

I currently have a scale that uses the Weight Gurus system.  I got it because it promised wireless smartphone weight tracking.  What it didn’t say was that this was via taking a picture of the screen.  The scale when it comes to weight has never worked that well.  The picture capture feature for the weigh in is difficult to capture depending on the lighting of the room.  The lighting needs to be just right to prevent glare.  I have been thinking of getting a new scale for a while now and getting a “smart” scale probably won’t happen this time.

On to Normal Weekly Weigh-In Stuff

I was down in step count a little bit due to injuring my back on Saturday the 15th, but all of my low days were higher than previous low days which was nice.  I feel like while I didn’t achieve the level that I could have I improved on my daily overall levels.  I will be pushing even harder this week.

What I am happy to notice is that my duty belt at work is now looser than it used to be.  It will yet again be time to tighten it up.  My regular belt is also one hole shorter.  This is some of the best motivation that I have been able to get during my journey to a better me.

Over the weekend I participated in another Weekend Warrior Challenge with my Fitbit.  Unfortunately, I came in second place.  I am not unhappy about it and the group of people I have found on Fitbit have been very motivational, sharing encouragement regularly.  It doesn’t hurt that I was about 10,000 steps above the closest person to me.  Groups like this are great!  I hope to continue to find more people like this on Fitbit.

weekendwarrior

 

I managed to get out on Sunday and find a couple of Geocaches too.  I will post those later in the week with a Geocaching update.

In summary for the weekly weigh-in so far, it wasn’t a bad week but it wasn’t the best week.  All that can be done is to have a better week though!

Workweek Hustle Results and New Challenge

Workweek Hustle

The results are in for the Workweek Hustle Challenge on Fitbit this week.  I didn’t come in on top, but I am fine with that.  I came in in 7th place with 55,175 steps.  I was only about 900 steps away from coming in 6th place, but the challenge did its job.  Over the week I felt motivated to get more steps in.  I probably would have been fifth or fourth if I hadn’t slacked one day this last week.  I successfully got in more steps than the previous week though.

For more on the Workweek Challenge check out my post on the start of the challenge.

Weekend Warrior

In order to continue the motivation I started a Weekend Warrior challenge with some of my Fitbit friends.  The Weekend Warrior Fitbit Challenge is exactly the same as the Workweek Hustle Challenge except that it is judged by your total step count for Saturday and Sunday.  There are only four people participating but I am currently in the lead and plan to stay that way.  I will be the Weekend Warrior (this weekend at least).

Weekend Warrior Challenge