Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Living Healthy with the Jawbone UP from Best Buy {Review}

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

As The Reynolds Dad, and as a self-proclaimed fitness guru, I begged The Reynolds Mom to let me review the Jawbone UP for her. I’ve been watching the ‘quantified self’ movement grow over the past few years, but I never saw the need to get an activity tracker. Boy was I wrong! Using the UP is fun and has some major benefits, and just minor drawbacks. 

What does the UP do? The UP tracks all your movement and sleep to help you take a more holistic approach towards a healthier lifestyle. You can also add your food, mood, and a number of other things through connected apps. All the data is presented in an easy to read and understand dashboard that is presented on your smartphone. For a detailed look at the UP's features, here you go.

  • Tracks motion, distance, location and speed
  • For efficient monitoring of your workout
  • Measures steps taken and calories burned
  • Helps you keep track of your progress
  • Watch-style design
  • Keeps your information within easy reach
  • Up to 10-day battery life
  • Allows long-lasting use
  • Syncs with your iPhone
  • Organizes your long-term data (requires app download)
  • Water-resistant up to 3.3'
  • For use in most weather conditions

A couple of killer features on the UP really sets the product apart from other trackers. The first is an idle alert. As an office worker that sits for a good 8 to 10 hours a day, remembering to get up and move can be a challenge. I found the idle alert to be the perfect reminder. The band vibrates at intervals that you can set to remind you to move during the workday. I set mine to remind after 15 minutes of being idle from 8am to 5pm. It’s a little annoying for the band to vibrate twice during a long meeting, or while commuting on the bus, BUT THAT’s THE POINT! The vibration is similar to a quick alert on your cellphone. And, when I needed to, I could easily ignore the reminder. However, the reminder is persistent, and it really will motivate you to at least stand up and stretch while at your computer. 
What surprised me the most was how often the UP reminded me to move on the weekends. I thought I got plenty of movement playing with my son, shopping, and just doing house chores, but I was totally wrong. The UP kept buzzing me while I was watching my morning shows, sports, movies, surfing the net, eating at grandpa’s house… I quickly began to realize how idle my weekends were. I was moving more often while at work! That was an eye opener.

And, I always thought I took the recommended 10,000 steps per day. I only averaged 6,000 after the first 10 days wearing the UP. This really got me motivated. I started walking around in circles in my cubicle. Just kidding, I have started taking some walking breaks though. The UP app delivers some real life insights after monitoring your patterns for a while to help keep you moving forward.  

  Here's at look at my steps taken and calories burned, and also my sleep patterns.

The other feature that I loved is the ability for the UP to connect to other apps on my iPhone. I was previously using MyFitnessPal to track all my meals and calorie intake. The UP seamlessly connects to the app to import the data!  It was a lifesaver in terms of saving me from learning how to use another app, etc.  There are also a number of other apps you can connect to. I especially liked that it connected to RunKeeper, MapMyFitness and Lose It! These are some of the most popular apps in the Apple App store for health and fitness. 

I also loved not having to charge the device every day. Nuff said! The battery lasts a full 10 days Jawbone promised.  

As for a few of the drawbacks, they are mainly personal. Firstly, I hate wearing anything around my wrists or on my hands. I stopped wearing a wristwatch and any rings a while ago. Wearing the UP was a challenge for me, but nonetheless, it was incredibly comfortable. I used it while doing some heavy yard work one day, and the band got fairly sweaty and dirty. The band cleaned up very well. The band was also comfortable while sleeping. I only had to take it off once during a nap. I also couldn’t bring myself to wear the band while showering even though it’s water/soap resistant.  

The band looks cool enough to wear anywhere. So good in fact, I suggest Jawbone make UP earrings, necklaces and toe rings. Please add a belly button ring for my cool mother in-law. No, but I do wish there was a pocket setting just for the times that wearing the bracelet was unbearable. 

As a second drawback, the UP is personalized to you. I kept wanting to put this thing on my 4 ½ year old son or share it with other people. (My son would send all the graphs and charts into outer space! Steps taken? 25,000 per day at least.) I did despise having to check my progress throughout the day on my phone, I wish there was some sort of indicator on the band to tell me if I was at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of my step goal, etc. I did not always have my phone handy to check.

In short, the band is a lot of fun to wear and monitor you. You’ll get a kick out of watching your sleep patterns, steps taken, etc. Collecting data and watching trends develop over time is a slow and tedious process, but if you want lasting results… it’s the best way! As someone who was previously obese, I know how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking you move enough, eat correctly and sleep enough. Don’t fall into that trap, the UP band is a good way to keep yourself REAL. 

Live Better. Start Now. Jawbone UP. Track your sleep activity, steps, calorie intake and more with the Jawbone UP wrist sensor and free mobile app. UP gives you meaningful, personalized insights so you can make lasting improvements to your everyday life. You can purchase the Jawbone UP from Best Buy for $129.99.

The Reynolds Dad


Jennifer Young said...

Wow, that sounds really interesting. We went to a Girl Scout Day of Play event at a camp on Saturday and they gave out pedometers to the adults. I wore it yesterday and was surprised at how much I had walked in a day. This sounds like it would be really informational!

Janet W. said...

This would really be so neat to have! I'd love to track my steps and see how many I take in a time period.

Amie said...

Interesting. I wonder how it really does with water? I would be worried about ruining it every time I washed my hands or did the dishes.

Laura Miller said...

Wow! This is super cool! I would love to try this, especially since I just had a baby and have some pounds to shed!

DP said...

I want one! Looks great