I wasn’t really thinking about birthday gifts after our awesome weekends staycation last month, but Josh mentioned a fitness tracker and I immediately started checking out options. I had heard about the Bodybug and similar tools, but hadn’t really ever thought about one for myself.
I had a few requirements as I started looking into my options. I didn’t want to wear it on my arm. In the winter it may be fine, but during the summer months, when it’s hot and I’m sweaty, it’s prime chaffing time. Even the armband for my iPhone has been known to cause some chaffing. I also wanted it to be easy to use and track my sleep patterns in some form.
I narrowed it down to two options, the Fitbit Flex and the Jawbone UP. Little problem with the Flex, it is nowhere to be found. Not in stores, not online. There is a wait up at least 8 weeks at this point. I thought about waiting because I liked the bracelet, but with no definitive date of when I could get my hands on one, I was over it.
A few weeks ago I picked up the Jawbone UP. So far I’m digging it. Setup was super easy and it plugs right into my phone for syncing. I’m rarely without my phone so it is convenient. It would be nice if it had a bluetooth connection, but that’s ok.
The first thing I did was set an alarm for inactivity. Working in an office at a desk, I am stationary a lot during the day. Now every 30 minutes it vibrates to tell me to get up and move around a bit. I’ve started taking the long way to the bathroom and printers just to make sure I log some extra steps as well. I also setup my sleep goals and an alarm to vibrate when it’s time for me to get up. I like this gentle vibration way better than my alarm.
With the end of running, I wanted another way to track just how active I’m really being. It has become so easy to use being tired to not get my body moving. I’m being held accountable now. That is what I really needed and wanted.
My only complaint is that it doesn’t let you give much information about your body type other than height and weight. It would be nice if it gave you some more options like entering your measurements. It would really be icing on the cake if it let you enter that you are pregnant or nursing, but I’m sure that applies only to a very small minority of users.
You can also connect it to MyFitnessPal if you want to track calories in vs. calories out. I’ve found it to be fairly accurate in terms of my sleep and activity patterns with a few exceptions. I’ve found that if the bracelet moves up on my arm while I’m grocery shopping or pushing the stroller, it doesn’t get all my steps.
So far so good though. I’m averaging about 13k steps a day and 6.5 hours of sleep every night. It will be interesting to see how my activity levels average over the next few months.