Why You Need A Fitness Tracker For Self-Care

First, I would just like to say that I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that it was your reason for your “Feel-Good Friday” last week. Ours was a good Christmas, albeit a bit quiet; it was reminiscent of our Christmases back in the U.K. when there was an ocean between my family and me. Still, I just wanted to share one of my cool gifts with you, in honor of this week’s Feel-Good Friday event post.


{Before I go on, I would like to say that there is an affiliate link to this product. The product in this post is one that I’m using and I like it so much that I want to recommend it and I can personally vouch for its quality and effectiveness. I do not review, link to, endorse, or recommend any products that I would not buy or personally use.}

Up fitness band image
Healthy adornment

One of my presents was something that I’d put on my Amazon wish list, but I kinda forgot it was there. I received a fitness band called “UP” by Jawbone. It wasn’t the fitness band on my wish list because my daughter did further research and found a better one with more features. She bought one for herself, too, so that we could use them together. I must admit that I didn’t even really know that there were different features, depending on the band, but this one is cool. Before I go into its features, I would just like to say that the band itself is comfortable to wear and comes in sizes {which is always handy}, stylish and it’s easy to manage. You control the settings and features via its accompanying app and then sync the band by plugging it into the headphone jack on your smart phone. While the band is receiving the updated programmed settings, the app receives the updated data from the band, including information about steps taken, sleep patterns, and workouts logged. It comes with a USB mini charger cord. The battery life seems good; I don’t really know how other wristbands compare, but this one will last 9 days on a single charge. It is shower/rain proof, but no taking it swimming. I still would rather not wear mine in the shower, even though I can, so that’s when I usually charge it.

Activity Tracking

The band records your steps, goal percentage, active time, calories burned {both acting and resting}, and idle time. You can set it to remind you to take a break from your desk at 15-minute increments {from 15 – 120 minutes} and the band will vibrate when it’s time for you to get up and walk around. There’s a built-in stopwatch that allows you to time an activity, a team feature {with a leaderboard, if you like a little competition} and even a duel feature that you can try to beat a friend by racking up more steps. You can log a workout, too, so you can keep track of your goal progress and set a target weight if you want help with weight loss goals.

Sleep Tracking

I especially like the sleep tracking feature because it lets you see your sleep goal percentage, how long you sleep, how much of your sleep is “sound” and “light”, how long it takes for you to drift off, how many times you wake up, how long you’re in bed and how long you’re awake. It has a Smart alarm {which you can set up to 4 times} that wakes you up during a light sleep period {up to 30 minutes before your wake-up time} so that you feel more rested. There’s also a Power Nap feature that I haven’t explored yet, but I think it’s to do with automatically setting the optimum Power Nap length, without the grogginess. How awesome is that?

Miscellany Features

Up Band image
Up Band by Jawbone

The band/app comes with a Smart Coach which keeps track of everything you’ve done and offers suggestions, goals, and gentle nudges when you need them. You can vote on these suggestions {up or down} to tailor what you want your Smart Coach to focus on for you. You can also set the band to remind you when it’s time to get ready for bed {based on your time settings} or customize your reminders however you want. You can log your meals/calories by entering a bar code, picture, or restaurant and you can even log your water intake. Heck, there’s even a mood tracker, as if all the other features weren’t enough. You can link it to iOS’s built-in health app, which is cool for the “complete” health picture. There’s an app gallery which will tell you which apps are compatible with your band, should you not want to use the one that comes with the band. Finally, there’s a marketplace that shows you gadgets that you can buy to enhance/add-on to  the existing features. Let me add that my band is the basic model, which is fine by me for now. If you want to shell out a bit more cash, you’ll get more features, I would imagine.


The Self-Care Benefit

Cool functionality aside, I wanted to talk about the benefits I’ve noticed on a personal level. Although I’d been considering a fitness band for a while, I guess I just thought they were kinda cool without really understanding the sort of features available. I never thought I would own one but, now that I do, I’m glad I was curious enough about them to add to my wish list. I know I need to sleep more. I know I need to exercise more. Realistically, I am a bit of a rebel, despite knowing how important it is to do certain things that I know are good for me. It’s not just about rebelliousness and I know y’all can relate to me on this one: there’s not enough time in every day to get it all done. I get busy. Or sidetracked. Sometimes I forget to eat, nevermind sleep or exercise. It’s not on purpose; it just is. Sometimes I just need a bit of a nudge in the right direction, but not in a “lecturing” way, if that makes sense. That’s why I like this band so much ~ it’s not judgmental if I miss my bedtime or don’t reach my step goal for the day; it just encourages me to do better tomorrow. No nagging is a GOOD thing, in my book. {grin}

I like that it’s raised my awareness through tracking. I’ve never tracked my steps before, so I had no idea how many I had every day. It can be a rude awakening if you spend a lot of time behind a desk. My sleep patterns weren’t much of a shock; I’ve been an insomniac for years. Still, the awareness really helps because it makes me want to do more to reach my exercise and sleep goals. Twice already, my daughter and I have been to the park for some walking laps and it’s just cool to see our progress in such detail.  The first visit, I did 2777 steps and the second, around 3200…so over a mile each time. Yay! I’m aiming to go at least 3 times a week, but ideally 4. The exercise is the easy part; methinks the sleep patterns will require more effort to “fix”, but I will.

In summary, my UP band is a good way to make sure I’m practicing self-care. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in owning such a gadget. If you already have this wonderful technology, what sort of band do you have? Which are your favorite functions? How has it helped you? What do you like/dislike about it? Which functions do you wish it had? Which functions could you do without?

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All the Best for a Happy 2016! Here’s to many more Feel-Good Friday posts throughout the coming year!

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5 thoughts on “Why You Need A Fitness Tracker For Self-Care

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