9 Must-Know Fitbit Hacks

9 Must-Know Fitbit Hacks

If you have a Fitbit, do you know all of the magic it can perform? Whether your Fitbit is new, or it's become like a longtime workout buddy, there might be some functions that are still foreign to you. If you're not familiar with certain Fitbit hacks, then you're not taking advantage of all these great functions. And you might not be getting as much information about your workout as you could be. Want to get the most out of your Fitbit?

Optimize Your Workout Data with Fitbit Hacks

The following Fitbit hacks are must-knows to getting the greatest benefits from your tracking device.

1. Wear It Right

The key to getting your Fitbit to track accurately is to know how to wear it. It might not be as simple as just slapping it on your wrist and calling it a day. For example, your dominant hand might be swinging harder, lifting heavier and just generally doing more of the work. So be sure your device knows where it is on your body. Go to the Settings menu in the smartphone app, choose which hand on which you plan to wear your Fitbit, then keep it there. Also, you want it to be properly positioned on your wrist. To do this, measure a finger's width from the wrist bone and strap it on there. Be sure it's not too tight. This can affect circulation and screw up your HRM results.

2. Go Small

Micro, that is. Yeah, you're probably used to the "Go big or go home" mantra when it comes to your daily workout. And studying those graphs that show you your heart rate, the number of steps taken and other valuable metrics, helps you to understand trends in your activity. But there's a lot to be said for zooming in on those metrics. Want to know exactly when your heart rate spiked during that workout? One of the great Fitbit hacks is to choose a stat from your dashboard and then select a specific day. Tap the graph at the top of your screen to expand it. Then hold your finger down on the graph so you can see the specific time of day associated with each data point. With this pinpointed information, you'll be able to determine exactly when your heart spiked.

3. Up Your Health Data... and Your Fun

Once you've figured out all the great things your Fitbit's own app can do, explore some third party apps. They can seriously boost your data visualization experience. Whether you're working with Android or iOS, there are various Fitbit extension apps that can do more than just show you your stats. They can allow you to play games with other Fitbit users to boost those stats and discover new ways to get active.

4. Set Your Stride Length

Fitbit trackers calculate distance by multiplying your stride length by the number of steps you take. But how does your Fitbit know your stride length? It doesn't. Not really. It actually estimates your stride using your height and gender. Or it will figure it out by evaluating any runs done using GPS. Whatever the case, to get accurate stats, you need to be sure your Fitbit has your correct stride length. That's why determining this length is one of the most important Fitbit hacks. And it's so simple. Just go to a track or another area where you can mark off a set distance. Count your steps as you walk that distance. Just be sure it's a distance that takes more than 20 steps for you to travel. Then take the distance you traveled (in feet) and divide it by the number of steps you took. That's your stride length. If your Fitbit has a different estimate, update your settings. Go to the Fitbit app dashboard, tap the Account icon, then Advanced Settings, then Stride Length.

5. Get Cued

If you're not running on a marked track, you might occasionally wonder how far you've gone. Or perhaps you're curious about how many calories you've burned. Your Fitbit can actually tell you. Just turn on the voice cues and get ready to feel some extra motivation. Tap the stopwatch icon, Cues and then turn on Play During Exercise. You get to choose the cues you want. You can choose from:
  • Distance
  • Time
  • Average Pace
  • Split Pace
  • Calories Burned
You also get to decide how often you want to get them. So, for example, if you wanted to know calories you burned for every two miles, you'd check off Calories Burned under Cues and that 2.0mi is chosen under Frequency.

6. Compete with Your Friends

If the voice cue isn't quite enough motivation, you can compete with your friends to motivate one another. Even if they have different fitness tracking devices. With different apps, you can now connect with your friends who are sporting wearables from companies such as Apple and Garmin. That way, everyone can stay on their toes without a tech brand war breaking out.

7. Lengthen Battery Life

This is certainly the simplest of Fitbit hacks. Want to be sure you're getting the most out of your already efficient battery? Boost it by switching off All-Day Sync. That way, it won't waste any juice interacting with your smartphone all day. And you can update it manually when you choose to do so.

8. Get Credit for the Commute

Are the steps you're taking to and from your car to the office or the bus stop getting tracked? What about if you're riding your bike? If you've got SmartTrack, you can adjust your settings so that you get credit for all of that movement. Here's how:
  1. Go to your exercise settings.
  2. Tap the exercise tile on your dashboard and then the gear icon at the top right.
  3. Find the exercises of your choice.
  4. Lower the default time setting so that your tracker will log that activity as an exercise if you do it for at least 10 minutes.
You might be surprised just how active you are!

9. Strut Your Stuff

You already know you can share your dashboard, right? But one of the Fitbit hacks you might not be aware of is the ability to celebrate a great workout. Just click on the specific workout tile and then select the share icon at the top of the screen. Choose a background, take a photo or grab one from your library. Tap Share to upload the image to the Fitbit community or another social network of your choice. And now you're a rockstar.

Get out There and Start Moving

Once you've incorporated all of these Fitbit hacks to get the most out of your device, you'll have a better idea of just how much you're getting from your workout. If you want to personalize your Fitbit further, consider any of the special watchbands available for your device. And if you have other Fitbit hacks you'd like to add, feel free to comment below!
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