July 28, 2014 11:23 pm

Fitbit: New on Windows Phone 8.1

Heads up, fitness enthusiasts! You can now better track your exercise, meals, and sleep with Fitbit, a new Windows Phone 8.1 app with real-time Bluetooth syncing.

fitbitdashboard Some studies say that we should take at least 10,000 steps per day — that’s about five miles — to help maintain weight and health. Yet most people take far fewer steps and lead sedentary lives as a result. Chances are, you’re sitting down right now! (And if you are, stand up; it’s healthier!).

Well, the new WP 8.1 Fitbit app — paired with a Fitbit device such as the Flex or Zip — helps you move more by logging the number of steps you take, the distance you travel, and the number of calories you expend per day. In addition to cardio, you can also track other exercise, such as circuit training, cycling, and even dancing.

fitbitfriendsFitbit gives you incentives by rewarding you with achievement badges, such as a virtual trophy for losing five pounds, or, if you’re especially gung-ho, an “astronaut” badge for climbing 28,000 floors. Another incentive is friendly competition: Compare how you fare against Fitbit friends and family on daily and weekly steps via the app’s leaderboard. Depending on your leaderboard status, you can “cheer” or “taunt” them, and even send them a quick private message.

Neat tip: With WP 8.1, you can set Fitbit as a Live Tile, so a quick glance at the home screen of your Lumia or other smartphone will show your daily step count so far.

Dessert: Yay or Nay?
After dinner, should you have that enticing slice of cake or a second glass of beer or wine? Via Fitbit, you’ll know if you can afford it by setting daily calorie goals and tracking your food and water intake. The app has an extensive database on a variety of foods and drinks, so you usually don’t need to manually enter calorie or nutrition info.

And if you have the Fitbit Force, Flex, One or Ultra device, you can also monitor the the number of hours and quality of your rest to see if you’re getting the requisite 40 winks.

Last but not least, Fitbit’s easy-to-understand graphs make it simple to track your fitness and set goals over time. I’m especially excited about this Windows Phone 8.1 app because I have been using Fitbit for almost three years, and it’s been a great motivational tool!

If you use Fitbit, be sure to download this app. And feel free to add me as a Fitbit friend — let’s see if you can beat me on number of weekly steps!