Workin’ On My Fitness

Just like the rest of the world, I’d like to lose a few pounds. And by a few, I mean like 20. But I know that it’s not going to happen overnight. Or probably for quite some time. Also, just thinking about wanting it isn’t going to make it happen. So I’ve accepted that some lifestyle changes need to take place.

The biggest culprit is food (i.e. snacking). Still have a long way to go on that one but I’m easing into it. The more realistic one? Fitness. It doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym every day because I’m not about that life. Although I have been taking spin classes for about 10 months (usually twice a week), my focus has really been just making sure that I keep myself active every day.

Cue the fitness trackers that you’ve been reading (and probably seeing) all about. I hopped on the bandwagon with the FitBit Flex in 2013 and absolutely loved it. That is until I started having major charging issues with it and then lost it in the airport because the clasp just wasn’t holding up any longer. So I made the switch to the Jawbone UP24, another fitness tracker, because there were some pretty fancy features catching my eye.

Well, after a solid 6 months with the Jawbone UP24, I’m completely sold on it. So if you’re on the fence about which fitness tracker to go with, I’m pushing you on the Jawbone side.

Most noticeably, the dashboard is the best! I love the clean look and the fun colors indicating progress in the 3 areas Jawbone measures: sleep, activity, and food score. Each category is shown in a solid color and changes to include a psychadelic effect once you’ve reached your goal for the day. You’ll noticed I did great with my sleep and activity earlier this week, but notsomuch with the food score. Hey, gotta start somewhere. Each day new notifications pop up as well giving random health tips and my favorite – personalized info based on my personal stats.

The sleep tracker is really interesting as well. I like how it tracks sound vs. light sleep (note: you’re supposed to get less sound sleep apparently) and am always curious how one night compares to the next. My sleep goal is 8 hours per night – ambitious, I know. On this particular night I slept just over 8 hours so I reached 101% of my goal. How does it know you’re sleeping? You can press the button on the side of your UP24 to indicate sleep/wake up or manually add the time in the next morning.

There’s a built-in food diary in the Jawbone app too, but it’s not the most comprehensive. Fortunately, the app syncs up with my favorite food-tracking app, MyFitnessPal very seamlessly. I do love the detail in the food section though (which is updated with MFP data). It shows you how much you should be eating of things like fiber, sugar, sodium, etc., and where you’re at based on your logged food.

The activity detail is another neat feature, giving you a visualization of your activity level for the day. It also shows you total steps/miles, calorie burn, and my favorite, total active time + longest active/idle. I also configured my band to buzz during the workday if no activity has been detected in an hour. It’s a great reminder to keep moving throughout the day – even if it’s just to take a bathroom break or fill up my water (which the app also tracks intake of).

Fitness trackers typically start around $99, a small investment really. But to me, it’s been 110% worth it. My daily step goal is 10,000. It doesn’t require a legit workout everyday, but it makes me mindful of how active I am, which is key. Before my fitness tracker days, I definitely wasn’t getting as much movement as I needed. So it’s not a lot, but it’s a start!

Do you use a fitness tracker? How are you mindful of being active throughout the day?