Fitness Gadgets: Worth the Purchase?

Hiya friends! For a quick life recap since the last time I chatted with you, I’m in my last semester as a Marketing student at UGA. Still running, reading lots of blogs, trying new recipes, and getting back into a little routine at the beginning of this new, hectic final semester as an undergraduate. It’s definitely a crazy time in life with big life decisions ahead, but I’m super excited about it all. It’s pretty fun to be in a stage of life where I have the ability to look for jobs and move pretty much anywhere. Cheers to that!

While sending out resumes, tutoring some pretty great people, and working on all 18 hours of classes, I’m still trying to gear myself up to train for a race. I’ve already decided to focus much more on speed for the next one, so I’m not registering until I know I can commit to doing my best. In the meantime, I’ve jumped on the gadget trend to keep me motivated to always be moving during the day and to keep an eye on my sleep trends. After researching all the options (FitBit, Jawbone, Nike Fuel, Garmin VivoFit, etc.), I went with the Jawbone UP24.

Here are some things I’m loving thus far:

  • It’s pretty stylish (or at least as stylish as a black band can be). It looks sporty, and it’s not too big. Also, the charging portal is easy to use, and UP24 is comfy enough to sleep in.
  • It’s easy to check the app on my phone to see how close I am to reaching my 10,000 steps goal, and I’ve gotten an idea of what a typical day on campus looks like with regards to my activity level apart from a scheduled workout time.

up24 1

  • UP24 has further reminded me that I don’t get enough sleep, and in turn, it has given me an idea of the ideal bedtime to get a decent amount of rest and feel my best the next day. This is huge for me right now because I’m trying to cut back on the coffee drinking and go for only green tea. Green tea is great and all, but despite comparative amounts of caffeine, it doesn’t give me the morning boost that coffee does. A good night’s sleep is a must!

Up24

  • The app is well designed and connects with other apps like MyFitnessPal for food tracking and RunKeeper for gps and running stats. Though I’m not a huge fan of counting calories on MyFitnessPal, it’s great to set goals and get an idea of where your falling short (too few fruits or veggies, not enough protein, etc), so the ability to look at everything in the UP app is very convenient.

What I have to be careful of:

  • The accessibility of the app can be consuming. The first few days I was constantly checking my steps to see if I had met my goal. The extra motivation is all fine and good, but if it causes you to feel shame or worry when you don’t reach the goal or take a rest day, the good motivation quickly turns to bad obsession.
  • Steps aren’t the best way to calculate overall fitness, so if I don’t go on a long walk or run but go to the gym and bike plus lift weights, my body is happy but UP24 isn’t. This is worth being aware of if you do a variety of fitness activities that don’t always involve taking lots of steps. Enjoy the movement you love. Don’t let a band tell you you aren’t moving enough.

As I journey into a new to me field of Social Media Marketing, I’ll be writing blog posts more regularly and taking a chance to examine how aspects of sociology and social media play a role in how we eat and how we approach fitness. Jawbone approaches social media and connectivity in a range of ways. The devices offer a Team option that allows you to connect, compete, and motivate people you know.

Jawbone is active across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each platform uses consistent pictures, and they have also used the platforms for sharing other information in the fitness and health industry. As we become more immersed in the era of the Internet of Things (check out the link for Jawbone’s take on this phenomenon), activity trackers will become more and more intricate, and we will have even more capability to control and connect with our environment.

How do you feel about being connected through more and more devices? Is the smartphone enough for you, or are you jumping for the chance to buy a Nest thermostat, the newest activity tracker, and Google glass?