Part of the reason why I wanted to start reviewing these fitness gadgets is because, as I’m still deciding what I want my personal training business to look like, I need to find the tools that are best going to help me help my clients. And, aside from that, there are people out there who genuinely want to know how I think these gadgets could (or should) fit into their daily lives… or if they’re even worth the fuss.
That being said, after spending a week with the Jawbone Up, I can definitely say that I don’t think this kind of tool is for everybody, but… if it’s for you, it’s really for you.
When you look at what the Up has to offer, you realize it’s not really about weight loss – the lack of a heart rate monitor and a more comprehensive analysis of activity levels tells you that – but so many of the regular components of the Up help you keep track of things that contribute heavily toward successful weight management.
Take, for instance, the settings that allow for you to keep track of your mood. Each time you log into your Up’s phone app, you get to input your mood. Do you feel “bummed out?” “Drained?” How about “Excited?”
Suppose you’re diligent about updating every aspect of your life into your Up, and let’s say that today, you’re having a bad day. Before you head to bed, you sync your Up and realize that what’d really contributed to your bad day was the fact that you only got four hours of sleep, ate very little today, and wound up getting in 19,000 steps, anyway. You clearly had a busy day, but it’s obvious that you didn’t get in enough rest to prepare you for the day, nor did you get in enough energy to fuel the activity.
Perhaps, over the course of a week, you realize that you’ve had good days that were fantastic, and bad days that made you feel like curling up in a ball, fetal position style, and stay there for a few days. Well, you can track that by looking at the Jawbone Up app’s “Trends” tab, which allows you to compare any two sets of data to see how they relate:
Because of the way the data is set up, with everything being tracked by calendar day (as input by you), you can compare just about anything by day:
The Up, if you’re committed to the input of data (and many of us are and can be), is an invaluable means of understanding your life and how it affects your health. If I were working with a person who was completely new to the idea of living a more fit, healthier life, I’d use this.. specifically for this purpose. When I ask you, “how did you feel about today?” and you respond, “not good,” what’s the first thing I’m going to tell you? “Go into your Up app, and look at your trends.” Did you only eat two bananas today? Did you not get enough rest?
To me, the “Trends” is what makes the app. This is the part that can really serve as the life changer. Did you gain weight? Look at your trends, and compare this week to last week. Have your steps gone down? Have you been skipping workouts? Let’s compare your “calories burned” each day to your “workouts logged” each day. (Though I’ve complained about the inaccuracy of the “calories burned” metric, the app still tries to give a rough estimate of your caloric burn…which is still better than the goose egg that’d be there if you skipped your workout entirely.) Not going number 2 enough? Let’s compare that “fiber consumed” with the “calories consumed.”
However… because the wristband fails to do valuable things like monitor heart rate during exercise, or give accurate caloric burn, or even track important things like body fat percentage… the app fails to meet basic needs of someone serious about fitness. Someone like me, who really tracks her heart rate zones when she’s doing cardio intervals or uses heart rate to gauge just how challenging a lift is, I need that immediate information, and the Up isn’t built for that. In reality, it’s clear that it wasn’t meant for that, either.
All in all, I’d use it… I’d just have to pair it with my trusty rusty heart rate monitor. It’s my baby, anyway. Me and her… we never part.
You can review earlier posts about the Jawbone Up here:
- First Introductions To The Jawbone Up
- What Does A Day’s Worth Of Data Look Like?
- What’s Wrong With The Jawbone Up?
You can also purchase the Up – for almost $40 cheaper than what I purchased it for – at Amazon.