Is knowledge power, or is ignorance bliss for you?
Do you enjoy data, numbers and hard facts to help you in your fitness regime? Or do you just workout and hope it’s working.
In this age of technology, it can’t hurt to arm yourself with some facts and data to aid your fitness and your life in general. Two “fitness fact gatherers” I am profiling today are the Fitbit and the Nike Fuel Band. This is a “one or the other” concept; you can’t do both. You must pick a camp and decide. I have asked two women to aid in this process with their reviews of both products.
Nike Fuel Band
The key to doing more is knowing more. (Nike ad for the Fuel Band).
Retailing for about $149, this water-resistant bracelet can be worn continuously by the user. It tracks steps, calories burned, time and your goal achievement. Each day, you set your goal and the lights on the band will progressively illuminate from red to green until you have achieved your goal. The band tracks your “Nike Fuel” which is your overall daily activity. This information syncs to your smartphone or computer to give you your data in real-time.
I first spied two of these bands a month ago on two women who both love them. Here is a review by Tara Anderson:
What prompted you to buy the Nike+ Fuel Band?
I’ve always been interested in fitness and I love statistics. Data, facts, hard knowledge are all useful for me. I can think that I’m getting a lot of exercise but if I’m not keeping track of it somehow, I may not be doing as much as I think. I read about the Nike Fuel Band and thought it sounded like a cool way to track all my activity, not just whatever “workout” I may be doing each day.
Why do you love it?
It’s easy to use, it has a sleek look that goes with everything, and there are just enough little “rewards” to keep me motivated. When I push the button and it lights up, other people go “ooooooooh” because it’s so surprising. It’s a well-designed product.
Have you lost weight using it?
No, although that wasn’t my goal. In my experience, weight loss (or gain) has more to do with food intake than activity. Exercise is important in other ways, but what I eat is really going to have more impact on what I weigh. If the Nike Fuel Band also measured calories in, then it would be perfect.
I’ve been wearing it for about a month now, and it does make everyday life more fun. I find myself more willing to run upstairs to get something because it’ll help me get to my daily goal. My 4-year-old daughter and I sometimes do jumping jacks in the evening for that last 50 points — she thinks it’s fun to “help” me. If I arrive someplace 15 minutes early, instead of sitting and reading Twitter on my phone, I go for a quick walk and get a few more points. That’s got to be good for me.
That said, some kinds of exercise are not tracked well on the Fuel Band. Abdominal crunches, for example, don’t move your wrist around a lot, and holding planks doesn’t move your wrist at all. Yet I’m still sweating and panting when I finish, so I’ve worked muscle and burned calories. So it’s not entirely accurate.
All in all, I like it. I was at a restaurant the other night, and the waiter noticed it and showed me his. He said, “It makes life into a video game.” Yeah, kinda! And it’s also this nifty little secret club.
Make every step you take a step toward better fitness (Fitbit).
Retailing for around $99, this easy to wear (and conceal) device measures all caloric expenditure activity, including walking, steps, floors climbed and even just breathing. It also tracks your sleep activity: how long you slept, how often you awoke during the night and how well you slept. The Fitbit uses a digital flower that grows or shrinks depending on your activity for the day. It syncs with your smartphone and computer to help you manage your activity data.
Here’s what Susan Brown has to say about Fitbit:
I joined Weight Watchers in May of 2011 and by December had lost a good amount of weight, but I hit a point where I needed to crank up my exercise. A friend showed me her Fitbit that she had received as a Christmas present. I was in awe. It spoke to me!! It is tiny. It keeps track of my steps, stairs climbed and calories burned and sleep efficiency all in one small gadget that even syncs wirelessly to my phone. What more could I ask for?
I purchased it at Best Buy for $99.00. It was super easy to set up. I placed it on the waist of my pants and took off. I had read that the sedentary American walks 3,000 steps a day. The moderate person walks 6,000 and it is recommended we walk 10,000. Well, challenge accepted! I put it on and took off. In my first day with just normal daily chaos I had walked 8,000 steps. I found myself climbing the stairs during commercials, taking the trash out, (my kid loved that one), all to reach 10,000. It even sends you little badges when you hit mile markers, like climbing a certain number of stairs or walking so many steps. It is so motivating.
I refer to it as my Jiminy Cricket. It is always on me, good or bad. I have to admit, some days I don’t do so well, but there are others when I am a superstar. After 6 months of using it, I try to average 70,000 steps a week.
I really like the weekly email summary. The most stairs climbed in one day for me is 50 flights. My motivation? I walked the Cardinal Club Golf Course for my son’s tournament and logged 18,000 steps and 48 flights of stairs. Knowing there would be a badge for 50, I came home and climbed the stairs twice. How is that for keeping you going?
As for sleep, it just verified what my husband has said for years. I sleep GREAT! It said I take an average of 5 minutes to fall asleep, wake about two times and have a 98-100% sleep efficiency. At least I excel at one thing. <smile>
We bought one for him and it has helped him be conscious of how little he can move at the office. He has started walking the stairs when he needs a mental break. We have a competition going on our daily steps. For the record, I sleep the best.
I would recommend these for everyone. It is so effortless, small, discreet and easy.
Thanks Tara and Susan for giving us great reviews of both products.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t pick.
To see a great comparison chart between the Fitbit and the Nike Fuel Band, here is one from the blog That Molly Girl.
Have you made your decision? I’d love to know if you have either product and what your thoughts are. Leave a comment below and enlighten us!