I know I’ve been going on and on about how I’ve been taking a break lately. I swear my thoughts on the subject change every five minutes. Even though I think I needed a break, I still have moments where I feel like it’s a terrible choice. That being said, I have been moving. I have been taking care of myself. I haven’t just thrown it all out the window, ya know? Another plus is that I’m really motivated now to get it going again. I have races planned, I’ve got Twitter behind me, and I’m just flat out ready to get started. For months before this “rest” period, I was really focusing on weights over running. Before that, I was into running more so than weights. I think I’m going to try a more balanced approach now. By balanced, I mean just doing whatever I want to do on that particular day. Sounds good to me. I like doing what I want. When I don’t, I look like this:
Anyway, I actually know I haven’t been really just sitting around turning into a blob of lazy. I’ve definitely just been in maintenance mode. Best Buy recently sent me a Jawbone UP in exchange for a review. (You can find the full disclosure at the bottom of the post.) My first thought was that I have too much technology already. Y’all. Half the time I can’t decide if I want to use my heart rate monitor, my GPS, my phone, my mp3 player, or nothing at all. It can all really be too much at times. I seriously do love each of those things, but sometimes they can add pressure to my workout. Or I just forget to put them on or take them with me. The latter happens a lot.
The Jawbone UP is different. You don’t have to remember to put it on. You wear it 24/7. You don’t have to constantly remember to charge it. A single charge lasts 10 days. You don’t have to take it off to shower. It’s water resistant. It doesn’t mock you while you work out (I feel like my GPS tells me I’m slow). It doesn’t have a screen for you to constantly check. It’s supposed to just effortlessly blend in with your current lifestyle, while quietly tracking what you’re doing. You choose when to look. It’s also reasonably priced. The band itself retails for $130 and the app that displays the data is free. And, trust me, there’s a lot of data.
It tracks your movement.
You can set it up to record a workout for you using the stopwatch setting. You can use it as a smart alarm for the mornings or for “power naps”. If you give it a time frame, it will wake you up based on when you enter your lightest sleep. That means you’re less likely to be totally spaced out and groggy when you wake up. Which is me every single morning. I generally wake up like someone just punched me in the face. This is so much better. I really and truly did not believe that it could actually track my sleep, but it totally does. But then Maddux had a really bad night (see above) and I remembered to note the times that he woke us up. Yep, the UP got it right. That first orange bar was a short little fussy spell he had. I didn’t get out of bed and yet the app told me I was awake then. Insane. The longer orange bar is when I had to get up and rock him. I assumed it would just show that one since I actually had to get up and walk. I can’t believe it tracked both times. This thing is genius. It’s also really, really easy to use. Love that. There’s only one button and yet you can control several different things.
I have been wearing this for two weeks and while I haven’t been doing much working out, it has helped me see patterns in my behavior. The days I do work out have been after really good nights of sleep. I also walk more in general after sleeping through the night. I know that’s not mind blowing news, but I honestly thought I was one of those people who didn’t “need” as much sleep. Nope. I’m human, apparently. I’m really working on getting a full night’s sleep now. I have a horrible habit of staying up for absolutely no reason. I’ve got to cut that crap out. Hopefully, seeing how it’s affecting me will help. Another thing that will help with both moving and sleeping, is that you can build teams. You choose what information you share with your team, but I chose to just lay it all out there. It’s a great way to stay accountable. It’s embarrassing to share that you went to bed at 2:00 am, ate donuts all day, and took about 300 steps. You can track and share all of these things through the mobile app. Which makes it much less likely that you’ll want to have a day like that. Let’s be real.
Now that I’ve share all the pros, let’s talk cons. While it is a small and pretty decent looking bracelet (that comes in several different colors), I still feel like I wouldn’t wear it when I have to wear something nice. I’d probably ditch the Jawbone for a classy event. I’m rarely invited to those, so we’re good to go most days. You can’t use it while swimming either. That doesn’t really affect me at all, but it might change a few people’s minds. Also, I can’t comment on the longevity of the product. It seems really sturdy and made from quality materials, but I’ve only used it for two weeks. Obviously, I’m not going to make any claims. Oh, and something that the Jawbone folks can’t help is that Maddux constantly tries to rip it off of me. That sucks. So, yeah. The pros far outweigh the cons in my book. But if you’re a mermaid with a grabby kid who goes to formal balls a lot, then you’ll probably want to pass.
Do any of y’all have an UP? Let’s be teammates (which means best friends in my book). If not, do you have a similar type band? I’d be interested in hearing the similarities/differences between them.
**Full Disclosure: Best Buy sent me a Jawbone UP free of charge in an exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. All thoughts and opinions are my own. PS: Remember when I said I wouldn’t review things I didn’t need, enjoy, or agree with at all? Well, I really wanted to try this. And I like it a lot.**