Tag Archives: motivator

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 New UP App (Try saying that 10 times fast!)

I’ve had my Jawbone UP band for just about a year now, and of the 3 activity tracking bands I own, it’s my favorite so far.

Jawbone just introduced the UP24, the wireless version of the UP band (sold for $20 more – $149.99) and the new 3.0 UP App. While I’m not about to run out and get the new band yet, I’ve been playing around with the new app for about a week and want to let you know what I’ve found so far.

Last week I received an email telling me about the update and in very general terms what to expect.

The first change is the “Today I Will” Challenge and Milestones. The email said, “What will you achieve today? New insights help you conquer daily goals and celebrate meaningful milestones. Small changes today add up to big achievements over time.”

This excited me! I love a challenge and more importantly I love to conquer it. My excitement began to dwindle though because it turns out that you have to wait for the app to prompt the daily challenge. Total bummer! About 4 days later (after my update) I was finally prompted.

My first challenge was to add 500 steps to my biggest stepping day since my app update. I was asked if I would accept the challenge of moving 13,868 steps the next day. Challenge accepted! I like how the app keeps track of how many steps I still need to take.

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It took a little extra effort to conquer the challenge on this particular day. It was a Wednesday after all, and usually it’s a struggle just to get to my daily goal of 10,000 steps. I felt pretty good about this.

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So on to the next challenge!  Wait…what? You’re asking me to do the same challenge tomorrow? I wasn’t expecting this, but OK. Challenge accepted…again. So I clicked the ‘Tomorrow’ button. photo

Challenge conquered, again! Yippee! Again, it took a little extra effort, but it was worth it to get this little pat on the back.

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Now on the the next challenge! Wait…what? You’re offering me the same challenge a third day in a row? Sorry, ‘No Thanks’.

I declined the challenge, but wasn’t offered another one yet. It’s a little disappointing, but it’s just an app after all.

My husband received a different challenge: to drink 8 glasses of water that day. I love how the app keeps track of your progress!

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And of course, after completion of his challenge, he got a little pat on the back too!

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Of course after he completed his challenge, he was offered the SAME challenge again the next day. I suppose the app is trying to create habits with the repetitive challenges, which is good, but where’s the element of surprise?

Another change to the app is the activity log. I like this!

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Just scroll up and it gives you a list of your recent data. This is just YOUR data. When you have a ‘team’ like I do, everyone’s activity shows up on your ‘timeline’ similar to a Facebook newsfeed. The activity log is just like your home page. Your recent data at a glance.

The last change worth mentioning is the sleep recovery mode. Raise your hand if you occasionally forget to set you band to ‘sleep’ mode. Me, Me! Just last night in fact! The updated app lets you easily recover your sleep summary and even breaks down your light and deep sleep just as if you had set it. Awesome!

All in all I think the new app has a lot of great potential. I was a little disappointed with the repetitive nature of the challenges, but who knows, it could really help someone else. I also wish I could prompt the challenges instead of having to wait for the app to get around to it. I do appreciate the beautiful graphs and the occasional pat on the back though.

I can’t expect too much from it. It is just an app after all!

What’s UP with the UP Band by Jawbone?

I got the UP band in December, 2012. Granted, I had been wearing the Nike+ FuelBand for 6 months. But the UP promised to be different. Maybe even better. More features and less   money?  Sold!

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What is it?

  • A wristband you can wear 24/7
  • Comes in 8 colors: onyx, mint green, blue, light gray, navy blue, red, orange, hunter green
  • Comes in 3 sizes: small, medium, large
  • Compatible with Apple iOS devices (5.1+) and Android (4.0+)
  • Price tag: $129.99

What does Jawbone say the UP does?

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The home screen shows progress of sleep, activity, and meals throughout the day.

         Band + App + You = the UP System

  • The band tracks your movement  and sleep
  • The app displays your data
  • You add things like meals and mood
  • The result = insight into YOU

The Features are Numerous! Here are some that initially peaked my interest:

  • Tracks sleep – light vs. deep sleep and waking moments
  • Tracks activity – distance traveled, calories burned, both active & idle time
  • Tracks food & drink
  • Smart alarm – wakes you at the right moment in your sleep cycle so you feel refreshed
  • Idle Alert – gently vibrates if you’re idle too long
  • 10- day battery life
  • Water resistant

My Experience – Does it Deliver?

What I like Most

(Click on the images for an enlarged view)

The UP App

Graphs and Logging Workouts

The graphs in the app are pretty amazing and give you quick insight into what you’re doing all day (or night).  Take a look at the middle graph. The long orange bars near the end of the day indicate my run. I was able to log it as a workout afterwards. That action produced the 3rd graph which gives details about my run.

Also, unlike the Nike+ FuelBand, you can log and get credit for non-step-based activities including yoga, spin, weights and so much more. (Sorry Nike, they beat you out on this big time).

And this just in: The UP app is now compatible with popular weight loss apps. You can link your accounts through the UP Ap.

Tracking Food & Drink is a Snap!

Logging food is an important part of a weight loss journey and the UP app makes it so easy. It has a massive food data base, and also the option to scan the bar code on an item’s package to input the nutrition info. – Cool!

Adding Teammates to your App Makes it fun!

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I got my husband an UP for his birthday and we’ve been in a friendly competition ever since.

When you add Teammates you can view their activity as well as your own. But don’t worry, you don’t have to share everything.

Here is our activity on a particular day.

Oh, so close!

Long Battery Life

The UP does have an impressive battery life and averages 8-9 days. It also sends a reminder on your phone to charge it when you’re within the last two days of battery life.

Excellent Customer Service

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to talk about contact customer service at this point, as I’ve only had the band for 5 months. However, about 4 months in, the battery wouldn’t hold a charge for even a day.

I contacted Customer Service by email and I had a brand new UP on my wrist within a week. I was super impressed! No hassles at all.

What I don’t Like

Power Nap Feature

This feature is suppose to wake you at the optimal time, anywhere from 25-45 minutes after you fall asleep, so you feel refreshed.  I tried it twice, you know, for research.  Well, it’s true there’s no sleeping on the job.  Both times it gently vibrated 25 minutes from the time I set it. There is too much pressure to fall asleep so fast and actually get some shut eye in such a short time. This feature doesn’t work for me.

No Visual LED Display

Checking your progress throughout the day isn’t as easy with the UP as with the Nike+ FuelBand. There is no display you can see when it’s on your wrist. You have to take it off , plug it into your phone, and wait for the data to upload. This is a drawback for the impatient.

Is the Sleep Data Really Accurate?

If you generally lie awake at night for hours on end, like I do, I think the UP will paint a much brighter picture of your ‘restful’ night. Unless you actually get out of bed, the UP tracks the time you’re lying there awake as light sleep. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see the breakdown of your sleeping pattern.

The ReCAP

All in all, I love this band.  It has more features than I’ve shared here. It has features I haven’t even used yet. In my opinion, the strengths greatly outweigh the weaknesses. It’s a motivator in getting enough activity in each day and it’s really fun to add and compete with teammates. Although the sleep feature isn’t perfect, it is helpful.  The bottom line is that this little band can aid in leading a more balanced life.

On a scale of 1-5

I give the UP 4.0 sit-UPS