So, I don’t really remember what kind of tech would have been used in the in the 80’s for all you active lifestyle readers but I highly doubt that it’s anything like what we have today. At best I remember having a Timex Iron Man watch only because I liked the way it looked lol. Other must haves would have included a portable cassette or cd players and a scale, all the essentials you need right? Well today all those essentials are SMART enabled with the exception of your shoe laces. The question is, does it really help?
I’ve battled with weight the last 7 years. At my worst I was 203 pounds (by the way I’m only 5’3) and at that time I made the decision to finally step into a gym. At the time I didn’t have anything SMART and the besides the elliptical telling me that I had suffered 40 minutes and only burned 300 calories, my only other piece of high tech was my Juicer. I didn’t keep a log of what I did, I had a cheap scale, I went to the gym 5 days a week, cut out junk food, no juice, no pop, carbs bla bla bla and 8 months later I lost 50 lbs.
Fast forward to 2018 and here I go again, except this time I have all these amazing tools to help me lose weight, right!? Now I’m analytical by nature so I have to establish this point: I love stats and man do I get a lot of them!
Watches & Scales
I have a Withings Activite, Body Scale (a quick note that Withings is owned by Nokia now) & a Garmin Vivosmart 3. My Withings watch has this simplistic elegance yet smart enabled and I hate that I love it. We all know the goods here, sleep monitoring, activity tracking, waterproof all things that I absolutely love. So, what do I hate? Unfortunately, this means that my collection of watches is rendered useless and are now accent furniture in my room. I never take it off, why would I? I like seeing how I slept, how many steps and it’s waterproof so I never take the thing off. You may be asking well why do you have a Vivosmart? As nice as my Withings is, it’s limited to tracking walking and running so I decided if I get a band type tracker that quenches my data hunger then I can wear both watches and benefit from all this rich information. Without this sounding like a product review I will just say it didn’t work as seamless as I would have liked and I didn’t like wearing two watches. Sadly, back to the jewelry box you go.
Regular scales have done the job and continue to do the job if all you care about is how many pounds you lost last week. The Scales of Justice unfortunately give evidence that not only am I overweight, but exactly what that means with a full body composition report. Now I can really get depressed, for example BMI (Body Mass Index) is wayyy over so my heart has to work extra hard (more details on BMI here). In short it’s not enough to know that you’ve lost weight but that you’re doing it with a balanced and healthy approach.
Not kidding when they say there’s an app for that! By far my favorite part of this process, I use 2 apps My Fitness Pal & Under Armour Record. One tracks my calorie count and macros, the other tracks calorie consumption specific to the activities. Both are easy to use, you can create challenges with your friends and keeps you on track. Downside, you need to actually enter the data for it to give you a report thus adding another task to your day. But if you don’t mind and are looking at the big picture entering what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner or spending that extra 15 seconds to start tracking your workout isn’t such a big deal. I highly recommend you using one of these to start you on your way.
Image: Under Armour screen shots from my iPhone
I won’t use these forever, I just need to reach my goals and most importantly make lifestyle changes leading to healthy habits. This is just a small sample of products out there, much of it seems redundant like smart clothing to track your heart rate, smart headphones that do the same, smart shoes to track your running patterns, umm your smartphone, the list goes on and on! I’m happy with my top 3, watch, scale and my iPhone (Apps & Music) until the smart shoe laces come along! Most of you can probably do without the granular info but I bought into the eco-system and can’t imagine going through this process without these tools. To know that you’re on track at the end of the day with real time data gives me that sense of accomplishment.
What tech do you use? I welcome any recommendations to help me meet my goal!