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.
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
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 suuplements I take on a regular basis:
Inositol – 4g per day. There is some really strong research supporting it’s 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
The 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!
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 Motvates Me
I 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!