September 03, 2013

Can You Stay Fit with a Smartphone?

By Natalie Papaj

One of my life goals was to run a half marathon before turning 30. I accomplished that goal, so making healthy lifestyle choices was already in my mindset. But I have to tell you the Jawbone UP™ put it in overdrive.
Jawbone UP is a fitness accessory we sell. You wear it on your arm like a bracelet and sync the data to the free UP app available in the iTunes App store and Google Play™. The wristband tracks your movement and sleep patterns, and the app displays the data, lets you add things like meals and mood and delivers insights that keep you moving forward.
You customize the band to you by entering gender, height and weight, so the app can generate goals for you. Basically, you push the sleep mode button at night and the band does most of the work for you.
Entering your meals is the most time consuming, but once you do it few times, it goes much quicker.
Maybe it’s my competitive nature, but it is kind of fun to sync your band and see how many steps you took and how close you are to hitting your goal for the day. It recommends syncing at least twice a day, but I find myself doing it more because I am anxious to see my stats. Yesterday, I totally crushed yesterday with my 4-mile run and more than 16,000 steps!
You can also log workouts and sync to different apps. I had difficulty syncing to some of the apps and haven’t gone back to test this out more.
It also monitors your sleep cycle. It’s pretty neat that it can break out your sleep patterns and tells you how long you were in “light” sleep versus “deep” sleep, hours spent in bed, how long it took you to fall asleep and how many times you woke-up during the night. No surprise my sleep stats aren’t the greatest thanks to my darling 9-month-old – he is much more darling at 4 in the afternoon than 4 in the morning.

My bracelet is a pretty turquoise, but it is also available in black and red. At first  I was a little taken wearing it every day, but I think it flows just fine between my  yoga wear and business clothes. Here’s me rocking my band at the office. 
 Other neat features include a smart sleep alarm, idle alert and power nap  monitor. Setting these will make your bracelet vibrate when you have had just  enough sleep or been sitting too long. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to test the all  sleep features thanks to my darling.

 I’m pretty competitive and wish I had two of them. I really want my husband,  Jason (AKA the accountant), to wear it, so we can squash the debate over  who’s up with our baby the most. I guess I trump for now since I have hard data  that I was in fact up for almost 90 minutes last night. What support do you have  Jason?

Natalie Papaj is a communications manager for the Wireless Devices team at Sprint. Based in Washington, DC, she works primarily with Kyocera and Motorola devices and is well versed in the company’s accessories line-up as well as eco-friendly products and services. Natalie can be reached at Natalie.lariviere@sprint.com.

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