The Fitbit Charge HR is an activity tracker. Activity trackers are all the rage. I suppose they are good for someone who is relatively sedentary and trying to change their behavior. But truth be told, if you are highly active, your GPS watch and a log book or spreadsheet is much more useful. I wasn’t in the market for an activity tracker. I didn’t need an activity tracker. I didn’t want an activity tracker. So I bought an activity tracker.
Why would I do such a thing? Well the Fitbit Charge HR is actually a very useful Recovery Tracker. When you are the type of person who is more likely to overtrain then undertrain understanding your state of recovery can prevent injury and declines in performance. There are several ways to keep tabs on recovery but a few of the better ways are:
1. Increase in resting heart rate (a rise of 6-7 beats/minute can indicate overtraining)
2. Amount of time after exercise until your heart rate falls back to resting
3. Hours of sleep
4. Restlessness of sleep (how many times do you wake up during the night).
The Fitbit Charge HR is perfect for tracking these items. It has a battery that lasts for seven days… and mine does. It is a small wristband with optical 24/7 heart rate monitoring… and mine has been quite accurate. Seven days blows all the HR monitor watches out of the water! And no chest strap! It automatically knows when you are sleeping and awake so I don’t have to remember to push a button. When the battery is running low it sends me an email. I’m collecting great data on my heart rate and sleep patterns and I am beginning to see correlations with various workout intensities and duration. Seeing my actual sleep has also helped nudge me to better sleep habits. I was definitely over estimating the amount of sleep I get.
Another great feature are the silent alarms. No more loud alarms… just a gentle vibration on my wrist.
What don’t I like? The web app isn’t up to snuff yet. Lots of room to improve flexibility in how I analyze my data. But this should come with time.
If you want to be more scientific about your recovery, I recommend the Fitbit Charge HR.