Fitbit For Dummies

Fitbit For Dummies

by Paul McFedries


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Take a complete tour of the Fitbit ecosystem

From Fitbit features to the Fitbit app to the social features of, this approachable book covers everything you need to know to get the most out of your Fitbit wristband or watch. Whether you’re a fitness newcomer, a regular walker, or a long-time exerciser, your Fitbit is a powerful device that can tell you much more than how many steps you take each day. This book offers easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for tracking all that data and getting the most out of your Fitbit investment.

  • Go beyond steps to track sleep, heart rate, weight, and more
  • Set up your health and fitness goals — then go for them!
  • Connect to third-party apps such as Strava and Weight Watchers
  • Stay motivated by sharing your activities with friends

It’s one thing to simply wear your Fitbit, but it’s quite another to use your Fitbit to reach your personal health goals. Whether that goal is to get fit, lose weight, eat better, or reduce stress, your Fitbit has settings and features that can help you get there. And this book shows you how!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119592310
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/11/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 548,448
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Paul McFedries is a lifelong runner, hiker, fitness nut, and self-tracker with a downright ridiculous collection of Fitbits, GPS watches, heart-rate monitors, fitness apps, and other health-related tracking gear. Paul has written nearly 100 books that have sold more than four million copies throughout the solar system.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Introducing Fitbit 5

Chapter 1: Understanding Health and Fitness Tracking 7

Introducing Self-Tracking 8

Why Track Your Health and Fitness? 8

Putting numbers to feelings: Monitoring your progress 9

Figuring out what does and doesn’t work for you 10

Keeping yourself motivated 10

Challenging yourself 11

Challenging others 12

Figuring out what comes next 12

Performing experiments 13

Breaking bad habits 13

Encouraging good habits 14

Learning about yourself 15

Understanding the Downside of Health and Fitness Tracking 15

Learning about Health and Fitness Tracking Metrics 17

Steps taken 17

Distance covered 19

Floors climbed 20

Active minutes 21

Heart rate 22

Calories burned 23

Sleep time 25

Chapter 2: Choosing a Fitbit 27

Understanding the Different Fitbit Types 27

Clip-On 28

Wristband 29

Watch 30

Reviewing Fitbit Trackers 31

Ace 31

Aria 2 32

Charge 3 33

Flex 2 34

Inspire 34

Inspire HR 34

Ionic 35

Versa 36

Zip 36

Deciding on a Fitbit Tracker 37

Figuring out what you require in a tracker 37

Comparing Fitbit activity tracker features 39

Chapter 3: Getting Started 41

Charging Your Fitbit 42

Getting the Fitbit App 43

Signing Up for a Fitbit Account 44

Connecting Your Fitbit Device 47

Removing a Fitbit Device from Your Account 49

Taking a Tour of the Fitbit App 49

Customizing Your Fitbit Account 51

Configuring the Fitbit app dashboard 51

Configuring your online Fitbit Dashboard 52

Customizing your Fitbit profile 53

Adjusting Fitbit app settings 54

Setting Your Health and Fitness Goals 56

Setting your initial goals 56

Adjusting your goals 58

Working with Your Fitbit 59

Setting your Fitbit’s wrist placement 59

Navigating your Fitbit’s interface 60

Pushing your Fitbit’s buttons 61

Getting app notifications on your Fitbit 62

Syncing your Fitbit 64

Using apps on your Fitbit watch 65

Chapter 4: Getting Social 69

Setting a Fitbit Username 70

Adding a username to your account 70

Setting your username as your display name 71

Connecting with Friends 72

Sending a friend request to your contacts 72

Sending a friend request to your Facebook friends 74

Sending a friend request by email 75

Sending a friend request by using a Fitbit username 76

Handling a friend request 77

Cheering or taunting a friend 77

Messaging a friend 80

Challenging friends 81

Posting a message to your friends 83

Setting Up a Family Account 84

Creating a family account 84

Adding a family guardian 85

Inviting others to the family account 86

Handling a family invitation 86

Creating a child account 86

Joining In the Group Fun 89

Joining an existing group 89

Viewing group posts 89

Responding to group posts 91

Posting a message to a group 91

Part 2: Tracking Your Health and Fitness 95

Chapter 5: Tracking Your Daily Activity Levels 97

Setting Activity Goals 98

Setting your daily activity goals 98

Setting your main activity goal 99

Left, Right, Left, Right: Counting Your Steps 100

Monitoring today’s steps 100

Viewing your steps history 102

Staying Regular: Setting Hourly Activity Goals and Reminders 104

Checking your hourly steps 105

Setting up hourly reminders to move 106

Monitoring today’s hourly activity 107

Viewing your hourly activity history 108

Viewing your stationary time 108

Earning Active Minutes 110

Understanding metabolic equivalents 110

Monitoring today’s active minutes 113

Viewing your active minutes history 114

Going the Distance: Measuring How Far You Walked or Ran 115

Setting your stride length 116

Monitoring today’s distance 118

Viewing your active minutes history 119

Moving on Up: Tracking Floors Climbed 119

Monitoring today’s floors climbed 120

Viewing your floors climbed history 121

Achievement Unlocked: Earning Activity Badges 122

Viewing your badges using the Fitbit app 122

Viewing your badges using 123

Chapter 6: Tracking Your Sleep Patterns 125

How Does Fitbit Track Sleep? 126

Understanding sleep states 126

Checking out sleep stages 127

Calculating time asleep 128

Figuring out sleep quality and sleep efficiency 128

Setting Some Sleep Options 129

Setting your time asleep goal 129

Setting your sleep sensitivity 132

Turning off notifications during sleep 132

Tracking Your Sleep 133

Tracking time asleep 133

Viewing your time asleep history 135

Eyeballing your sleep schedule 135

Reviewing your sleep stages 136

Working with Your Sleep Log 142

Logging a sleep 143

Editing a sleep 144

Deleting a sleep 144

Setting a Silent Alarm 145

Setting an alarm on a wristband tracker 146

Setting an alarm on a watch 146

Handling a silent alarm 147

Turning off an alarm 148

Deleting an alarm 148

Chapter 7: Watching Your Heart Rate 149

Understanding How Your Fitbit Reads Your Heart Rate 150

Beat-itude: Working with Your Heart Rate 151

Checking out your current heart rate 151

Tracking your resting heart rate 152

Are Fitbit’s heart rate readings accurate? 154

Turning off heart rate tracking 155

Zoning Out: Working with Heart Rate Zones 156

Determining your maximum heart rate 156

Understanding heart rate zones 157

Setting up custom heart rate zones 160

Chapter 8: Keeping an Eye on Your Body Composition 163

What’s All This about Body Composition? 164

Weight 164

Body fat percentage 164

Body mass index 165

Lean mass 166

Setting Up Your Aria 2 Scale 166

Setting the Aria weight unit 168

Configuring your Aria user settings 169

Inviting others to use your scale 170

Setting Body Composition Goals 170

Setting weight and body fat percentage goals by using the Fitbit app 171

Setting weight and body fat percentage goals with 173

Weighing Yourself with Your Aria 174

Ensuring Aria accuracy 174

Weighing yourself on the Aria 174

Reassigning a weigh-in to another user 175

Tracking Your Weight, Body Fat, and BMI 176

Viewing your weigh-in history in the Fitbit app 176

Viewing your weigh-in history by using 178

Working with Your Weight Log 178

Logging a weigh-in 179

Editing a manual weigh-in 180

Deleting a weigh-in 181

Part 3: Using Fitbit to Meet Your Goals 183

Chapter 9: Getting Fit 185

Setting Your Fitness Goals 185

Setting an activity goal 186

Setting an exercise goal 186

Understanding Your Cardio Fitness Score 188

VO2 what? 189

Checking out your cardio fitness score 189

Improving your cardio fitness score 190

Getting Your Fitbit Ready to Track Exercise 190

Configuring Fitbit to automatically recognize exercises 191

Setting up exercise shortcuts on your Fitbit 193

Setting up cues 195

Configuring exercise mode settings 197

Setting up interval training 199

Tracking Exercise Sessions 202

Tracking exercise on your Fitbit 202

Tracking a walk, hike, or run with the Fitbit app 204

Working with Your Activities Log 206

Viewing your exercise history 207

Logging an exercise 208

Editing an exercise 210

Deleting an exercise 210

Chapter 10: Losing Weight 213

How to Lose Weight the Fitbit Way 213

Setting a Weight Loss Goal 214

Setting a weight loss goal by using the Fitbit app 214

Setting a weight loss goal with 215

Specifying Your Food Database 215

Specifying a food database by using the Fitbit app 216

Specifying a food database with 217

Setting Up a Food Plan 217

Setting up your food plan by using the Fitbit app 218

Setting up your food plan with 219

Logging the Food You Eat 220

Accessing your food log 221

Logging food by using the Fitbit app 221

Logging food with 223

Scanning food by using the Fitbit app 224

Editing a logged food item 226

Deleting a logged food item 227

Tracking Your Food Plan 227

Tracking your daily calorie deficit 228

Tracking your overall weight loss 229

Chapter 11: Developing Healthier Habits 231

Healthy Habit #1: Sitting Less and Moving More 232

Healthy Habit #2: Exercising Regularly 233

Healthy Habit #3: Maintaining Your Ideal Weight 235

Healthy Habit #4: Setting Up a Sleep Schedule 236

Healthy Habit #5: Drinking Enough Water 240

Calculating a water goal 242

Set a water goal by using the Fitbit app 242

Set a water goal by using 243

Logging your water intake 243

Tracking your water intake 244

Healthy Habit #6: Reducing Stress 245

Part 4: The Part of Tens 247

Chapter 12: Ten Troubleshooting Techniques 249

General Troubleshooting Techniques 250

Restarting your Fitbit 250

Updating your Fitbit 251

Resetting your Fitbit 251

You Can’t Configure Your Fitbit 252

You Can’t Update Your Fitbit 253

Your Fitbit Won’t Sync 254

Your Fitbit Isn’t Receiving Notifications 255

You’re Having Fitbit Battery Troubles 256

Checking the Fitbit battery level 256

Your Fitbit’s battery life is too short 257

Your Fitbit isn’t charging 258

Your Fitbit Displays the Wrong Time 259

Your Fitbit Can’t Connect to Wi-Fi 260

Your Fitbit Device Can’t Access GPS 261

Troubleshooting GPS with a Charge 3 or Versa 262

Troubleshooting GPS with an Ionic 263

Your Fitbit Device Was Submerged in Water 263

Chapter 13: Ten Ways to Improve Privacy and Security 265

Protect Your Account with a Secure Password 266

Changing your password by using the Fitbit app 266

Changing your password on 267

Check Devices Logged In to Your Fitbit Account 268

Checking logged in devices by using the Fitbit app 269

Checking logged in devices on 270

Control Which Data Can Be Seen By Friends and the Public 271

Customizing privacy settings by using the Fitbit app 271

Customizing privacy settings on 272

Beware of Suspicious Emails Supposedly from Fitbit 273

Block or Remove a Fitbit User 274

Blocking or removing a friend by using the Fitbit app 274

Removing a friend on 275

Lock Your Fitbit Device 275

Locate a Lost Fitbit Device 276

Delete Fitbit Data and Activities 277

Deleting data using the Fitbit app 277

Deleting data on 278

Erase All Your Fitbit Data 279

Delete Your Fitbit Account 279

Chapter 14: Ten Ways to Connect to Third Parties 281

Share Fitbit Data on Strava 281

Connecting Fitbit and Strava by using the Strava app 282

Connecting Fitbit and Strava on the web 283

Share Fitbit Data on Weight Watchers 284

Connecting Fitbit and Weight Watchers by using the Weight Watchers app 284

Connecting Fitbit and Weight Watchers on the web 285

Share Fitbit Data with MyFitnessPal 286

Connecting Fitbit and MyFitnessPal by using the MyFitnessPal app 286

Connecting Fitbit and MyFitnessPal on the web 287

Share Fitbit Data with Other Apps 287

Export Your Fitbit Data 289

Export an activity as a TCX file 290

Export all your Fitbit activities 290

Connect Fitbit to Alexa 292

Connect Fitbit to Window 10’s Cortana 293

Get the Weather on Your Fitbit 294

Listen to Audio on Your Fitbit Watch 295

Connecting your watch to Wi-Fi 295

Uploading playlists to your watch 296

Controlling audio on your watch 298

Pair Bluetooth Headphones or Speakers 299

Glossary 301

Index 305

Customer Reviews