Tag Archives: motivation

The Chihuahua Effect

Fitness is important in our house. I’ve written in previous blogs how my husband and I both wear the UP Band by Jawbone to track our daily activity. Since then I have added four more people to my team on the UP app and we’re all ‘competing’ to be the most active.  (No one will say it, but we all secretly want to beat everyone else).

The UP app gives you a base goal of 10,000 steps to reach each day. It’s really not that easy, especially if you’re not into cardio. A gut busting boot camp or weight session barely makes a dent in your daily step goal. Doing 100 push-ups is pretty impressive but since it doesn’t give you any steps, it doesn’t help in your daily feat to win the step game.

The people on my team who run, hike or take daily walks are the ones who are the lead steppers. I do cardio about four days a week and these are the days that I easily reach anywhere from 12,000 to 17,000 steps by the end of the day. I have an advantage over most of my teammates when it comes to topping the stepper chart on my cardio days.  I call it the ‘chihuahua effect’.

chihuahua-and-big-dogPhoto credit: http://www.chihuahuawardrobe.com/is-it-safe-to-raise-a-chihuahua-around-larger-dogs/

I’m 5 feet tall and my husband stands at 5’6″.  When we go on a weekend hike, we travel the same distance, but time after time I end up with significantly more steps than he does.

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This doesn’t go over very well with him most of the time. I really can’t blame him! He traveled just as far. He worked just as hard.

After each hike he will ask me how many steps I took and as he’s groaning I will say (with much pleasure), “It’s the chihuahua effect”. Simply: He has longer legs. He has a longer stride. I have to take more steps to keep up. We figured that I take about one and one-quarter to one and one-half steps for every one of his. This adds up over time.

Below, my stats are on the left, and my husband’s are on the right. (Somehow it shows he traveled farther than I did. This happens a lot when we use RunKeeper).

My stats His stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the course of continuous activity for an hour the UP band calculated I took about 600 more steps than he did. So what does this mean over the course of an entire day?

Well, it’s hard to say exactly because we didn’t walk everywhere together. However we did take pretty similar paths. At the end of the day I ultimately took about 1,200 more steps than he did. (Again, I’m on the left).

His final stats My final stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does all this mean exactly?

Well, not much really.

For me it’s one reason to be thankful for my very short legs. Is this fair to all my tall teammates?  Sure!

The Nike+ FuelBand – Yay or Nay?

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I absolutely love fitness gadgets!  About a year ago I started hearing people talk about the Nike+ FuelBand, so of course I had to get one.  I’ve been wearing it pretty much ever since. In a nutshell, I love the instant motivation it gives me.

It’s not the only fitness band on the market, and may not be the best one, either. However, I say Yay!

What Is It?

  • A band you wear around your wrist
  • Comes in 3 colors: black, black ice, white ice
  • Comes in 3 sizes: small, medium/large, extra large
  • Price tag: $149.00

What Does Nike+ Say it Does?

  • The band translates your every move into a single number they call NikeFuel
  • NikeFuel reflects your level of effort throughout the day
  • NikeFuel is calculated the same for everyone so you can compare with your friends
  • It estimates calories burned through movement, estimates steps taken, acts as a digital watch and all of this information is easily accessed through the LED display with the press of a button.
  • It’s water resistant (you can wear it in the shower), but not waterproof (don’t wear it swimming).
  • Battery Life is 1-4 days
  • The Fuelband has a limited one-year warranty

My Experience – Does it Deliver?

What I like most

Visual Data

This is what I like most about this band.  Motivating information at the touch of a button!

Syncing to the phone app is a snap once you connect your band via bluetooth.

Excellent Customer Service

You never expect your purchased item to fail, but if it does, it’s nice to know that the Customer Service rocks and the Company stands behind its product.  Nike replaced my band after 11 months. It was easy!

Battery Life

Although the battery life is not as long as other activity tracking bands, it has improved . The battery on my original band lasted 2 days tops.  My current band lasts 3 to 4 days, which is what Nike claims.

What I don’t like

It’s not always a good measure

Although I love racking up my NikeFuel, the band has definite problems distinguishing between the intensity of certain movements. For example, I could possibly earn more fuel during an hour walking around Disneyland or shopping than I would during an hour of heavy weight lifting. As hard as I’m working and sweating, doing squats and pushups has never earned me very much fuel. That makes me sad!

Also, it’s very easy to rack up extra fuel by simply sitting in a chair and waving your arm around. It’s definitely not cheat proof!

Nevertheless, it is a good measure of you against you, from day to day. I happen to like a little friendly competition with myself!

The app doesn’t specify how much fuel you burn for individual activities

In other words, you can’t log a workout anywhere.  The best you can do is look at your current NikeFuel before you begin an activity and again at the end…if you remember.

Price 

Of any comparable product on the market right now, the Nike+ FuelBand is definitely the most expensive.

There isn’t a food journal

The lack of a food journal in the app is the biggest drawback for anyone who is seriously looking to lose weight using this band as a motivator. Other bands do have this feature in their apps. You’re on your own with calorie tracking with this band!

The ReCap

It does seem my reasons not to love the Nike+ FuelBand outweigh the reasons to love it. I mean, it’s lacking in many ways. However, I do really enjoy it. It was my first band and I’ve come to rely on being able to check my progress during the day at the touch of a button. I’m a visual person who is easily motivated by seeing my LED number light up!

On a scale of 1 -5

I give this 3.5 sit-UPS.

Next UP

My next blog will about the UP band by Jawbone.  I really love this one! Stay tuned!