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7 Ways my Fitbit helps me manage my PCOS

I recently got a Fitbit for my birthday. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted and they were on sale and I thought why the heck not.

For those of you who don’t know what the Fitbit is, it’s basically an activity tracker that is worn like watch. It tracks my heart rate, sleep patterns, steps taken throughout the day, number of flights of stairs I’ve climbed and how many calories I’ve burned during the day. It’s pretty cool, I have to say.

But, I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by it. It’s helping manage my PCOS in more ways than I would have thought.

Let me tell you a little bit about how I’m using my Fitbit for PCOS.

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Tracking activity level

Now, as a mom of two small children I really thought that I was more active than I am. I very seldom reach my goal of 10000 steps a day. WHAT? How is that possible with 2 young children?

So, my Fitbit helps me to track my activity level and become generally more active. And this is important for so many reasons, many of which I explain here.

Tracking my sleep patterns

7-ways-my-fitbit-helps-me-manage-my-pcos-sleep.I have the Fitbit Charge HR. The one that also tracks your sleep. What I’ve found is somewhat scary. According to my Fitbit, I’m only averaging 4 and a half hours of proper sleep a night. Well that’s not good.

I am a couple of times a night for my children so that definitely impacts on my sleep quality. I also try to be up at about 5 so that I can have some time to myself, catch up on emails and do some work. Try as I might though, I just can’t get to bed before 11.

Well, that is definitely impacting negatively on my PCOS. You see, research has shown that not getting enough sleep decreases your body’s sensitivity to insulin. If I’m more insulin resistant, my ovaries are going to produce more testosterone and make my PCOS symptoms worse.

Moral of the story? I need to be in bed much earlier to maximize my sleep (not sure I can do a whole lot about my son’s sleep. I’m sure it will improve with age).

Making sure I drink enough

I can use the Fitbit App on my phone to track how much water I am drinking. So, I have a goal to drink at least 8 glasses a day. My Fitbit helps me to keep a tab on this.

How does that help my PCOS? Well, water is really important in clearing out excess toxins and substances from your body. Now, the liver breaks down excess hormones and makes them water soluble so that they can be excreted (1).

Drinking enough water allows the body to clear itself of these excess hormones and toxins and will help improve your PCOS symptoms.

Making sure I take my Supplements

You can set an alarm on the Fitbit. So, I have an alarm that goes off every morning to remind me to take my supplements. Sometimes I forget so this is really helpful for me.

For those of you who might be inserted, these are the supplements I take on a regular basis:

Inositol – 4g per day. There is some really strong research supporting its use in PCOS.
Vitamin D – 5000 IU per day. 80% of women with PCOS are deficient in it.
Omega 3 – At least 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA. It helps to lower testosterone levels in women with PCOS.

High-Intensity Interval Training

7-ways-my-fitbit-helps-me-manage-my-pcos-exerciseThe Fitbit Charge HR comes with a heart rate monitor. I love the idea of this because it can help with workouts, especially when doing HIIT, which we know has huge benefits for women with PCOS.

Now, I must confess that I’ve not used my Fitbit for HIIT yet. I’m about to have surgery so my exercise routine has been put on pause until I’m fully recovered but I can’t wait to give it a go!

Counting Calories

The Fitbit is a really useful tool to count calories. You can track how many calories you have a day versus how many calories you’re using. That way, you can use it to help you lose weight.

For those of you who do want to lose weight, a calorie-restricted diet has been shown to be really helpful in improving PCOS symptoms as well as losing weight (2).

My Fitbit Motivates Me

7 ways my fitbit helps me manage my pcos successI love numbers and statistics. And I love how my Fitbit gives me all of that information. It motivates me and helps me to keep going, particularly with things like exercise and daily water intake.

It’s just plain fun!

Do you have a Fitbit? If you do, how are you using it manage your PCOS? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

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24 Responses

24 Responses

  1. I have done some research and it also might be able to help pinpoint when you ovulate. Your resting heart rate will increase just before ovulation and during from what I’ve been told! This is my first month monitoring it but I’ve started to see a rise in my rhr and I am due to ovulate soon. So this is BIG for us PCOS ladies or even just TTC ladies.

    1. I was diagnosed when I was 21 and now I’m much older. I have struggled with my weight since puberty. I used to be able to sleep anytime, anywhere. I had a little girl 7 years ago and she was a huge surprise for us. Ever since she was born, my quality of sleep has declined steadily. Every noise wakes me. How can I improve my sleep quality?

    1. Hi, I took Inositol for 20 days (4g/day) and I had terrible side effects. I really wished it worked for my PCOS, but it didn’t.
      Just a warning in case you see your daughter is sleeping too much, with brain fog, bloating, fatique, moodswings..
      All of those symptoms seems managable, but at certan point I was tired of feeling tired and “hangover” all the time.
      I gain 3kgs in 20 days because I had no energy to work out!

  2. I have the first generation flex and since last August (2016) I ave lost almost 30 pounds through eating better and walking regularly. I live at lake of the Ozarks and where I walk is quite a bit hilly. That seems to have really made the walking a great thing for me!

  3. I have PCOS but was just tested again for thyroid, etc… No issues reported there.
    I was given the Fitbit Charge HR for Christmas last year and have lost 16 pounds so far this year! I was on both a birth control and Metformin since 2009 with no change so I switched doctors and in January got off the medication and with the support of my new doctor am controlling diet. With Fitbit’s help I am exercising more and staying attentive. Thus the reason for the weight loss.
    I know talk of a Fitbit Challenge was a while ago, but I am a very competitive person and would absolutely love a challenge!

  4. Hey,

    I have PCOS, and was just recently diagnosed with vitamin d and b12 deficiency, insulin resistance and celiacs. We were given fitbit at work in appreciation of all we do and it’s helped me monitor my weight loss goals, down 17lbs (whooohooo!!!!), keep track of my water intake and sleeping patterns. If this PCOS challenge gets started, I’m in! 🙂

  5. I purchased and consistently used Jawbone’s UP24 for more than 2 years. It provided many of the same benefits as the FitBit. My Jawbone gave out two weeks ago, and I purchased the FitBit Alta as my replacement tracker. I <3 it! It's more accurate for me, the interface is user friendly, and the statistics/reporting is off the chart! I'm very pleased with it, and it is helping me manage my PCOS symptoms as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Jean,

      I have never been prescribed Metformin. I manage my PCOS with diet, supplements and lifestyle changes.

    2. I live in Texas Im not overweight and have pcos and hypothyriod. I just found out after years of issues and am seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. She has only put me on synthyroid? I dont understand why im not on both? How did you find a good doctor any specific website.

  6. Oh I just got a fit bit. I have horrible pcos. My hair on my chin and neck….weight, hormones, I had no idea it would help with it. That just makes me feel so much better about buying one. I am definitely trying the supplements you take. I bet I will feel better in no time. Thanks for the article!!!

  7. Okay….seriously feel like we’re the same person sometimes. I got my Fitbit for my birthday too and I agree with EVERYTHING in this post. What you said couldn’t be more true. I have a very sedentary job so my favorite feature is the one that reminds me if I haven’t taken at least 250 steps in that hour. I get very competitive with myself and I hate it when I don’t make it all 8 hours without walking at least 250.

    It’s fun and highly recommended. We should start a PCOS Fitbit Challenge. 😀

      1. Hi Tarryn
        To start a Fitbit challenge you would need to add those who want to take part as friends (the easiest way to do this is getting their email address and adding them as a friend through the Fitbit app). Then you can either use the normal weekly step count as the challenge or set your own challenge through the Challenges option in the app.
        Be warned… It can get quite competitive!
        Jo

          1. I would love to do this – I already do a few competitions but they do not challenge me enough…. I am a super competitive person. I am always looking for new Fitbit friends if anyone is interested let me know.

  8. I love my fitbit charge hr. It connects to my doctor’s office and keeps track of my heart rate- which is great becaude I have Tacychardia along with my PCOS. I also thought I was active enough, because I work in a preschool program and I rarely get a chance to sit. It is also great to know when I am getting up in the night- I am prone to sleep walk so it is nice to see when I have done this. I am trying to conceive so it is nice to see ways I can get my health on track to be able to have a healthy baby.

  9. This is actually pretty neat and a huge coincidence just last night my husband said to me babe I don’t use my fitbit charge hr anymore u can use it if u want. Naturally I said I’ll give it a try as I already owned a regular fitbit and sold it. Now that I know I can use this new fitbit to help manage my pcos I am going to use without a doubt. I do not know what HIIT is the exercise you talk about for pcos people. But I am going to jump back into my old routine from my trainer and see how that works as for counting calories I’d have to figure that out and the water intake tracker but thanks for writing this article I can’t wait to see how I’ve managed my pcos b.c of this.

    1. Hello, just wanted to let you know HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. If you Google search that, I’m sure you’ll find lots on it. Also search on YouTube for videos demonstrating various HIIT exercises. If you’re a fully paid member of this website, you do get a free ebook on HIIT. I hope this helps 🙂

  10. I am using Polar M400 for past 4 months and with the help of pcos diet support inside out and calorie tracking I have gone down two sizes from 14 to 10. It is definitely a must have for ppl who really want to track activities 🙂

    1. I use Polar too, made by PACE so the geart monitor is much more acurate than a fitbit.

      Anyone recommend combination 12 salts for getting pregnant along with low Gi diet, daury free, gluten free taking inositol & vit d also & recommended Fertility acupuncture?!

  11. I’ve had a Fitbit Charge HR for a few months now. I knew I want active enough with a sedentary desk job, but the most illuminating statistic I tackled was my sleep. I had no idea I was getting so little. I was averaging 4 hours when I first got it, and now I’m up to about 6.

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