About two weeks ago, I invested in Jawbone’s UP Band after being introduced to the concept of activity trackers by a customer service rep at a local mobile shop. It’s just a simple, black, electronic band I wear around my wrist that tracks my steps and sleep. At first, I was a little underwhelmed but what it did… but the more I pay attention to it, the more eye-opening it has become for how I live my life.
For the first week I wore it, I was working in NYC, so I was getting in tons of steps. Between running from meeting to meeting and walking to get lunch or dinner, it was awesome to see the numbers rise each time I synced it up. (It connects easily to your iPhone via the headphone jack without need for any additional attachments) I was hitting the recommended 10,000 steps per day without a problem.
Then I returned home, where I work from a home office. There’s no walk to and from my car. No walk into an office building. No stairs to take. The first day I checked it at home shocked me. Literally shocked me. I barely cracked 3,000 steps. For an entire day.
How could that be possible? In comparison to the average person, I’m pretty active. Between workouts with my personal trainer and my own cardio schedule… I’m in a gym 6-7 days a week. Sometimes twice a day. But it isn’t enough to offset the hours I sit at a desk, working. Or the nights I curl up in my big chair and read or watch a little TV. It made me panic a bit. I’ve been borderline obsessed with measuring what I put in my body and making myself accountable for what I eat, I completely neglected to accurately measure my movement.
Now, there are some factors to consider. My cardio workouts are primarily on a bike… which doesn’t register “steps” on the band. I do keep track of my workouts using other apps, so I have a realistic view on my activity level. Even still, it’s pretty eye opening and is motivating me to make it a point to get up and be more active throughout the workday.
The other cool thing about the UP Band is that it tracks your sleep. How long you sleep, how deep you sleep and how many times you get up at night. Sleep is key to a healthy lifestyle and is perhaps one of the easiest things to do… however I am TERRIBLE at it. The UP is making me accountable.
I’m often asked by people starting out on their own journey to a healthier life, what the key is. And that’s just it – accountability. I didn’t start seeing results in myself until I kept myself accountable. No doing it halfway. If I have a bad day, I make record of it and learn from it. I don’t pretend it didn’t happen, because before you know it, you aren’t realizing how many “bad” days you are having. And one bad day eventually turns into a lifestyle.
The good news is that the flip side is also true. One good day can turn into another and into another. Before you know it, that one good day becomes your lifestyle.
No one else can do it for you, though. No one device is going to be that magic solution. People and things can help you along the way, but YOU have to keep you in line, no matter what.
Go get it.