Remember that New Year’s resolution you made a couple months ago? How’s that going? If you are looking for some motivation to get back on track, I would highly recommend a fitness tracker. With so many options on the market, there really is something for everyone. But, with the abundance of choices, it can be totally overwhelming to decide which one to get. You could spend hours researching the articles online that provide comparisons on every single feature; ultimately, it comes down to what is most important to you. After a lot of research, I decided on the Jawbone UP24 and I have loved it! Here’s what I was looking for in a fitness tracker and how this band matches up…
Looks Good – If I was going to wear something 24/7, it had to be something I would want to wear. I chose the Jawbone UP24 because it was one of the sleekest options, with a thin band and simple design. There are plenty of options that are a bit more fashionable, but I wasn’t really looking for something that would stand out. I wanted neutral and understated, so I chose the black (Onyx) color. I only wish they would offer an even more neutral light gray option.
Feels Good – In terms of comfort, the band fits perfectly and I barely notice it anymore. I used the measurement chart on their website and got a medium (my husband’s large fits him well) – it does stretch slightly over time, so keep that in mind. It’s easy to take on and off when you need to, which I really only do when I shower (it is splash resistant, but I’d rather not risk it). Wearing it at night while I sleep hasn’t bothered me a bit. My only two annoyances are: it can be irritating to type on a laptop -my husband actually takes his off at his desk- and it can get caught up in sweaters or jackets as I’m putting them on. This tracker does not monitor heart rate – while that does improve accuracy, I was never going to wear a band around my chest every day.
Easy to Use – From the time I opened the package to get this set up, this tracker has been effortless. I simply downloaded the free app, my band synced via Bluetooth and it was ready to go. The app is easy to navigate and intuitive. All of the information I want to know is in one place and the goals & reminders are easy to set up. Plus, the homepage acts kind of like a newsfeed, showing you what your friends are up to and how you & they are meeting set goals. The band itself has a button on it that you press to go into sleep mode or to turn off the alarm – it’s super simple and you don’t need to open the app to perform those commands.
Syncs Automatically – This tracker connects via Bluetooth to the app on your phone. No need to remember to plug it in at the end of each day or connect to your computer. I know where I am at throughout the day just by opening the app on my phone or through the notifications I’ve chosen for it to send. The app also ties in with MyFitnessPal to track your calories and MapMyFitness to track your exercise. I’m not really a calorie-counter (read why here), but I do like to keep a food diary for personal accountability, so it’s been helpful to see how I am balancing food intake & movement.
Battery Life – One of the reasons I chose the Jawbone UP24 is its battery life. It lasts a solid 7 days and notifies you when you have a day left to charge. Plus, it only takes about 30 minutes to fully charge again. It comes with a connector that I plug in directly to my iPhone USB charger adaptor, so I didn’t have to purchase anything additional. One TV-show or morning commute worth of charging and you’re good to go for the week – I love it!
Sleep Monitor/Alarm – Does anyone else hate their alarm clock? Okay, I knew I wasn’t the only one. This tracks your sleep and will wake you up at the most ideal time in the morning. I simply set the alarm for the time I must wake up by and within 30 minutes of that time, if I transition into light sleep, it will begin vibrating to wake me up gently. This has been magical for me as I no longer have that panicked alarm wake up anymore. It feels natural to wake up. I was also curious to see how many hours and the quality of sleep I was really getting each night. This tracker has been great for keeping me on a consistent bedtime schedule and making sure I meet my 8 hours per night goal – it reminds you when you should get ready for bed each night. Then, each morning, I can see how long it took me to fall asleep, how much deep sleep I got, how many times I woke up, etc. – it’s been enlightening.
Cost – There can be quite a range of price for fitness trackers. Honestly, I really wasn’t looking to spend over $100 on one of these. On Amazon, this one cost $99 and if you find it on sale at Best Buy, you can get it even cheaper. I think it’s been a great value and have no regrets.
Motivating – Ultimately, the whole reason I wanted one of these was to keep myself motivated and accountable to move more, sleep consistently and eat healthier. And, honestly, it really has helped with each of those. The buzz every 30 minutes of non-movement reminds me to get up from my desk and keep moving throughout the day. My competitive nature makes me want to take the stairs, park further away, and go on more walks to get more steps in. Not only can I see how I compare with the friends I am connected to, but I can see how I am meeting my goals each day – that keeps me far more accountable than some overarching resolution. Whether or not the step count is exactly right, I really am moving more each day and that’s a win for improving my health.
Have you been considering a fitness tracker? What features are most important to you?