I’m the worst type of person when it comes to keeping fit. I generally think doing 20 minutes on the steppy machine thing is a good work out. Or try and convince myself that’s good anyway. Usually going to the gym after work, I give up when the personal trainers even glance at me. Seriously, in the gym I go to I’m not sure if the personal trainer woman loves me or hates me, but either way she freakin’ mythers me no end when I’m there. Hence my own personal pat on the back when I do crack that 20 minute steppy workout out.
Wearable tech is the new ‘buzz word’ around the internets for all this ‘new year, new me’ health kick palava. And I must admit, when Giffgaff sent me this Jawbone wristband to keep track of all my fitness (or non fitness) activities just before Christmas, I did get a little bit excited.
I’ve gone through stages of using apps like My Fitness Pal and becoming obsessed with cheating the system on there. I’d be quite a good candidate for that Secret Eaters programme, as I do tend to ‘forget’ to log the odd Big Mac or two. Alas, with the Jawbone UP app, there’s no cheating when it comes to the amount of physical activity it tracks. Basically acting as a fancy pedometer, the Jawbone wristband is a lightweight, rubber bracelet which you wear all day and all night. It tracks your steps and shows information such as how many calories you’ve burnt both during the general day and during times of ‘active burn’. You can also see chunks of the day where you’ve been idle too, which is actually surprising when you’ve convinced yourself you’re not that lazy. Aiming to complete 10000 steps per day, you find yourself almost competing with your own results to do better.
One of the main features about the Jawbone which I love, is the sleep tracking part. It shows how many times you wake up during the night, including how long for, whilst also showing how much deep or light sleep you’ve had too. I never realise how much my cat messing around during the night disturbed my sleep, but you can actually pin point the times where she’s going mental and chasing around the room during the early hours! The screen shot below is actually from one of the days I’ve been suffering from my cold, hence the rather low amount of hours of slumber I managed.
You can also add your food straight in to the app so it can calculate your total calorie intake each day, although I have found that it’s a bit more American based than English within the app itself. However linking apps such as My Fitness Pal soon solves this issue, as you can still use that to track you eating activities. As the data within the app becomes more advanced and collects more information, the Smart Coach feature provides information and motivation along the way. It will set you little challenges or even tailor work out techniques against the trends of your activity.
The model of Jawbone I have is the basic one, where you manually plug the end of the wrist band in to your phones headphone socket to sync the device. This isn’t much of a bother, although it can be a little bit temperamental when it comes to syncing straight away. It sometimes fails, but unplugging and plugging it back in works every time. Although this is only a minor inconvenience, there is a more advance model called the Jawbone UP24, where you can bluetooth sync all the data directly to the app. Even if a wrist band isn’t your style, there’s also the Jawbone Move tracker which you can just clip on to your clothing somewhere!
All models are packed full of features, which you personalise within the app on your phone. You can set alarms for when you’re idle for a certain amount of time, as a little kick up the butt to get on your feet and you can put little reminders on for anything you like. The reminder feature is particularly useful if (like me) you want to make sure you remember to drink water! I always get to the evening and get really thirsty because I’ve literally forgotten to drink all day.
I can’t fault the Jawbone in any way. And believe me, as a lazy person, I’ve tried. I’ve really tried. The features and novelty of the device are the perfect motivation to get you going. If you look in the right places online, you can find this standard model for around £40-£60 (but you have to really look, as the only place I found them was Currys and they are forever out of stock). If you want to invest in the other Jawbone models though you can find them online at Argos here. Just be aware that if you get the Jawbone Move from Argos it doesn’t actually come with a wrist band in the box, like it does on the picture. I bought one for a friend and took it back, as the wrist band to put it in is £11 separately.