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Fitbit devices exist to help you live a healthier life by tracking your fitness goals. The brand’s message is inspiring, and there are many examples of Fitbits changing people’s lives once they started walking a certain number of steps per day or monitoring their sleep schedules.

After hearing stories, it’s likely you’ve considered purchasing one for yourself! Maybe you’re trying to lose weight Diet vs. Exercise: What's Better for Quick Weight Loss? Diet vs. Exercise: What's Better for Quick Weight Loss? When you want to lose weight, there are two options Either you can start dieting or start exercising. Ideally, you should do both. But which of the two helps you lose weight faster? Read More , training for an event, or just want to make healthier choices every day.

There are now several models of Fitbits available. The most basic model, the Fitbit Zip ($60) offers step and calorie tracking. The most intense model, the Fitbit Surge ($250), is a smart watch dedicated to holistic fitness tracking — including GPS functionality and multiple sport modes. There are also several other models (including the Blaze, Charge HR, Alta, and Flex) that offer combinations of features to appeal to different customer bases.

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There’s no denying that Fitbits are interesting gadgets that may be an ideal workout companion for many individuals. But is a Fitbit the right choice for you?

No matter which model you choose, you’re making a pretty significant investment. Before you go out and buy one, ask yourself these four simple questions to make sure it’s worth the cost!

1. Are You Exercising Consistently?

This is the first question to ask yourself because it’s a trap that many people fall into. Simply put, a Fitbit is not a magic bullet that will suddenly give you motivation to exercise.

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Some people give every excuse imaginable for why they aren’t working out. They claim that they can’t start until they have the right clothes, or until the weather changes, or until they have the right gadget 5 Gadgets You Should Get to Make Working Out Less Boring 5 Gadgets You Should Get to Make Working Out Less Boring Bored at the gym? Yes, working out isn't always fun. A bit of variety goes a long way. These five exciting gadgets are some of the best fitness investments you can make right now. Read More (a Fitbit). But the truth is that it’s not the things they’re claiming that prevent them from starting — it’s themselves.

If you don’t have the motivation to consistently work towards your exercise goals without a Fitbit, buying one is not going to suddenly change your ways. A fitness tracker is meant to track your habits and give you actionable data.

Know yourself and whether you’ll actually commit to a plan. Someone who won’t go for a walk today because they’re waiting for their Fitbit to arrive in the mail tomorrow will always find an excuse to avoid exercising.

If you aren’t exercising regularly and are planning on a Fitbit alone to motivate you to do so, don’t buy a Fitbit.

2. Will You Actually Wear It and Use It?

Now that you know you’re committed to exercising, you need to decide if you’ll actually wear your Fitbit regularly. If you don’t like the feeling of wearing a watch or bracelet, you won’t like a Fitbit either. For a fitness tracker to do its job, you have to wear it almost all the time. Failing to wear it during a walk or at night means it won’t record your steps and sleep accurately 10 Android Apps for Tracking and Improving Your Sleep 10 Android Apps for Tracking and Improving Your Sleep These apps will surely help you get a better night's sleep. Read More . And if you buy it only to have it sit in a drawer, what’s the point?

The Zip tracker can be worn in your pocket, but the basic device can only tell you so much. The other less-expensive devices like the Flex and Alta simply snap in with a little connector, while the higher-end devices like the Charge 2 use a strap similar to a watch. Those with sensitive skin could end up with irritations from wearing the Fitbit all the time. Or, if your job prevents you from wearing a watch, you won’t wear your Fitbit during the day either.

No matter which Fitbit tracker you use, you’ll need the free Android, iOS, or Windows apps to access all of the information it collects. Will you install those apps on your phone to keep up with your progress, or ignore them?

Fitness tracking tips and tricks 13 Fitbit Fitness Tracking Tips You May Not Be Using Yet 13 Fitbit Fitness Tracking Tips You May Not Be Using Yet Your Fitbit is there to help you achieve your fitness goals. There are a few more things you can get out of your favorite fitness tracker. Try these Fitbit tips today. Read More won’t matter if you aren’t regularly interacting with your device and app.

If you can’t commit to wearing the device almost all day, every day, don’t buy a Fitbit.

3. Do You Enjoy Data?

The basics of losing weight 6 Tips to Finally Lose Weight with a Fitness Band 6 Tips to Finally Lose Weight with a Fitness Band A personal trainer can keep you focused, but it's expensive. Increasingly, people are turning to fitness bands instead. They can monitor your workouts, track your calories, and measure your body's cardio performance. Read More and becoming healthier are simple, but the specifics for each human’s body can vary wildly. Some people benefit from using the Fitbit device and app to track exactly how active they are and what they’re eating, keeping track of that data over time. Other people just try to eat fewer unhealthy foods, go for a jog every day and don’t worry about it.

If you’re in the latter camp, you might not care about everything a Fitbit offers. Most of the devices can tell you exactly how far you ran, how high your heart rate goes during a workout, and how active you’ve been during a day. If you don’t care about any of those specifics and are happy with just getting some exercise in, a Fitbit might be a waste for you. On the other hand, if you need to keep an eye on certain statistics for a medical condition, having organized and detailed information at your fingertips can be a fantastic resource.

Those who thrive on information — how many calories you’ve consumed 5 Best Android Apps for Tracking Calories 5 Best Android Apps for Tracking Calories If you're looking to keep track of your calories, these Android apps make it super easy. Read More and how far you’ve walked — will love what a Fitbit offers. But they’ll be wasted on someone who estimates those things and doesn’t care to take the time to track them. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the latter mindset either.

If you don’t care exactly how many steps you’ve taken today or what your heart rate is, a Fitbit probably isn’t worth it for you.

4. Would a Lighter Alternative Do the Job?

Did you know that if you have a smartphone, you can try out a lot of what a Fitbit does without paying anything? You’ll find hundreds of fitness apps on both Android and iOS that can help with your health goals. Google Fit (our review Google Fit Review: Will This App Make You Healthier? Google Fit Review: Will This App Make You Healthier? Google's entry into the smartphone health craze is here: Google Fit. Let's take a look at what makes it unique and how it stacks up against the competition. Read More ) is the native solution on Android, while the Apple Health app is built into iOS (our guide Making Sense of Your iPhone's Health App Making Sense of Your iPhone's Health App Apple's Health app can help you take control of your well-being. Here's how to begin. Read More ). In fact, the Fitbit mobile app can perform some basic tracking even without a device connected.

Before you commit to buying a Fitbit, try using the app without a device and either Google Fit or Apple Health for two weeks. Perhaps they do everything you’re interested in — great! Then you don’t need to spend money on a Fitbit. On the flip side, if you can’t commit to using one of these apps regularly for a few weeks, buying a new device won’t change that.

If a free health-tracking app does everything you need, or if you can’t commit to using one consistently, you don’t need a Fitbit.

5. Do You Handle Competition Well?

There’s one key aspect of Fitbit that we haven’t touched on: the social factor. The Fitbit app allows you to add friends The Best Social Media Apps for Working Out with Friends The Best Social Media Apps for Working Out with Friends Social media fitness apps may be one of the best ways to stay accountable to your friends, but you need to find the app that works best for you! Read More and check out how their step counts compare to yours. You can choose to post status updates to your friends letting them know that you’ve hit your goal for the day, or earned a milestone badge. Beyond that, you can create groups and challenge your friends to specific challenges. For instance, Workweek Hustle challenges two to 10 people to get as many steps in as they can from Monday to Friday.

These are great features, but are they for you? If you don’t seek out friends that also use Fitbit, you won’t be as accountable for your goals, which could sap your motivation. You don’t have to know other people who use Fitbit to enjoy having one, but you’re missing out on a whole sphere of the service if you don’t take advantage of this. Taken to the extreme, though, the competition could become unhealthy if you obsess over it! 5 Signs That You're Working Too Hard (And How to Fix Them) 5 Signs That You're Working Too Hard (And How to Fix Them) Do you suffer from an insatiable desire to work? Here are some of the signs to recognize this ailment and how you can overcome it. Read More

If you don’t have other friends using Fitbit to keep you accountable or obsess over competition, you may want to avoid buying a Fitbit.

Decided to Buy a Fitbit?

We’ve covered five big questions that you should seriously ponder before investing in a Fitbit. A few other questions are worth considering (but aren’t as vital) such as whether you’re OK with a company keeping track of your health data Is Your Fitness Tracker Putting Your Security At Risk? Is Your Fitness Tracker Putting Your Security At Risk? Is your fitness tracker secure? A technical report highlighted a series of serious security flaws in their designs, theoretically allowing potential attackers to intercept your personal data. What are the risks? Read More , whether your Fitbit will match your fashion, and if you’re OK with remembering to charge one more device.

After thinking about these questions, if you decide to buy a Fitbit, congratulations! Hopefully you enjoy it and it assists you in becoming healthier. With some additional services, you can create a complete automated health tracking setup Use Automated Health Tracking to Lose Weight and Live a Healthier Life Use Automated Health Tracking to Lose Weight and Live a Healthier Life Health tracking is about taking care of your food, your workouts, your productivity, and your moods. Modern fitness trackers can now automate it all to help you lose weight and live a healthier life Read More to get even more data about your body. We’ve explained which apps to pair Get More Out of Your Fitbit: 10 Android Apps You Should Be Using Get More Out of Your Fitbit: 10 Android Apps You Should Be Using The simplicity of a Fitbit is one of its biggest selling points, but there's a lot more you can do with a Fitbit than you might have realized. Read More to get even more out of it.

Read all this and don’t think you’re interested in a Fitbit? We’ve compared Fitbit devices to similar Garmin ones Fitbit vs. Garmin: Differences Between All Fitness Bands and Trackers Fitbit vs. Garmin: Differences Between All Fitness Bands and Trackers Can't decide between Fitbit and Garmin fitness wearables? We've compared Fitbit vs. Garmin and come up with six of their best wearables for fitness tracking. Read More if you think another brand might be a better fit!

Did these questions help you decide if a Fitbit is right for you? What other questions would you ask to potential buyers? Let us know if you love your Fitbit, or other questions you have, down in the comments!

Image Credit: lev radin via Shutterstock

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