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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

My weekend with a Fitbit

Even President Obama and Ryan Reynolds wear a FitBit, a small device that tracks your exercise, steps and sleep patterns to encourage a healthier lifestyle while still looking discrete and stylish. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor
Even President Obama and Ryan Reynolds wear a FitBit, a small device that tracks your exercise, steps and sleep patterns to encourage a healthier lifestyle while still looking discrete and stylish. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor
Even President Obama and Ryan Reynolds wear a FitBit, a small device that tracks your exercise, steps and sleep patterns to encourage a healthier lifestyle while still looking discrete and stylish. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor
Even President Barack Obama and Ryan Reynolds have worn a FitBit, a small device that tracks your exercise, steps and sleep patterns to encourage a healthier lifestyle while still looking discrete and stylish. Desiree Halpern | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kathleen Baltazar.

I spent my weekend how I usually spend it: up before sunrise and running around until way past sunset. The only difference in my hectic schedule was that I was accompanied by a Fitbit.

My friends asked me, “What is that thing?” staring at the wristband that tracks activity, calorie intake and sleep. Like other fitness apps, Fitbit asks for data like gender, weight and fitness goals. The tracker – tucked into a sleek band that comes in colors like black, orange and bright pink – is about half the size of my thumb.

Fitbit has grown in popularity in the last year. Actor Ryan Reynolds was caught wearing a Fitbit Flex while walking his dog. Television personality Star Jones was sporting a red Fitbit Flex on “The View.” And just a few weeks ago, President Barack Obama was spotted wearing the Fitbit Surge while meeting with Ireland’s prime minister.

Normally, I think people should listen to their bodies without the help of technology, but I decided to try it out and downloaded the free app on my phone.

Even with the Fitbit wrapped around my wrist, I forgot I was wearing the tracker until I took a look at my phone and noticed that I’d taken more than 1,000 steps from my class on E Street to Fulbright Hall. My walk to Dupont Circle for a yoga class was about 2,000 steps.

Rather than checking Instagram and scrolling through pictures, I found myself scanning the Fitbit dashboard to check how many calories I had left for the day and what time I would need to go to sleep to get those perfect eight hours.

And while it may seem strange, it was fun to watch as my counter climbed past the 10,000-step mark. On my busiest day, I walked over 18,000 steps without even realizing how much I’d moved around. I wanted to take the stairs in every building just for the satisfaction of getting another badge, which meant I’d hit another goal.

Fitbit feels like a healthier alternative to apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt that encourage you to obsess over every calorie consumed. It’s made for people who just want to live a more active lifestyle and have a subtle reminder to skip the elevator ride or a second donut.

You can get the basic Fitbit for about $60. A Fitbit Surge, which includes a GPS and a feature to stream music from your phone, costs about $250.

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