With winter nearly here, it’s hard to resist the urge to go into a sort-of winter hibernation here at DRD HQ. After all, we tend to spend a lot more time putting the mag together than we actually put in out in the dirt than we’d like.
Check it: www.fitbit.com/nz
Test: Mat and Paul
With that in mind, the folks at Fitbit NZ decided that we needed a little motivation to keep us fighting fit for when the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and we naturally return to skiving off out of the office and into the hills around Paeroa on dirt bikes!
So in order to help us out, they sent us a pair of very cool Blaze Smart Fitness Watches to strap on and get moving – a Special Edition Black/Gunmetal Blaze for Paul (being the boss has its perks) and a more traditional Black/Silver for me.
Now I’ve used a Fitbit before, having started using the entry level Charge 2 earlier this year, but the Blaze is a huge step up from that unit. Not only do you get all the fitness monitoring, reminders to move, and a decent battery life of around five days between charges, but it’s also got a smart looking colour display and links up with our iPhones to display notifications (such as text messages in full, or a who’s calling) and can control our music playlists on the move.
Now as good as having a neat new watch is, we were both given one for a reason, and that is to get moving and break the winter sluggishness. The Fitbit app, which you have to use to get the most out of your Fitbit goes into detail about your heart health, sleeping habits as well as features the useful Fitstar personal trainer programs for you to use to get in a decent workout.
Then there’s the leader board function which lets you see how you’re doing against your friends who also have a Fitbit. According to the team at Fitbit NZ, having just one person to compete against raises the number of steps (a pedometer is one of the base functions of a Fitbit) by the average user by a huge 27 per cent.
It’s been a motivator to get out and about, and while it’s not waterproof so won’t be seeing much time on the bike while its bucketing down, you can turn it off temporarily which makes sure you don’t accidentally get a boost in your daily stats from riding your bike up a mountain.
Now while a couple of fat journos might not convince you that keeping your fitness up is important, former Kiwi international James Robinson just might…
“I use Fitbits for my own training along with my motocross coaching schools. Your heart rate is a convenient, reliable, personal indicator of the intensity of your exercise. It is important to know the intensity of exercise so you can vary it depending on your fitness level so you don’t under train or burn yourself out. Riders I have been working with now realise how important it is to know what their heart is doing, whether it is during off bike training (running/cycling), riding or resting.”
“There are riders out there who train too hard and end up burning themselves out leading up to a major event, or on the other hand, there are riders that think they have put in all the hard work without knowing how hard they really have been pushing their heart/body. They then find that their fitness is not where it should be.”
UPDATE – March 24th 2018: Sadly the BLAZE is no longer on the roster for Fitbit. Their new smart/sport watch options are the Iconic and the very new Versa. Click HERE here for more details and specs on the Fitbit range.