It is a new year, and a great time to focus and give yourself a fresh start at your fitness goals. With all the new fads in fitness out there, it can be overwhelming to find something that you will enjoy, and that will fit your lifestyle well. As a trainer I always want to take a look at all the trends coming available for myself and my clients. From fitness equipment, to new gym classes, to heart rate monitors, even training for a run, I have discovered something that I use all day, each and everyday.
It is my Up Band from Jawbone. This band I wear around my wrist records all my steps and my sleep. It calculates how many calories I have burned each day. I can also sync it with My Fitness Pal and track my food diary. I am so loving it.
Sleep was a big problem for me. I run and start working early in the morning. My days can start as early as 3:30 am. That has lead me to many 4-5 hours of sleep a night or less. After using my Jawbone and monitoring my sleep I now get 7-8 hours of sleep per night because I am aware of my sleep history and can make changes. Now that I am aware of my patterns and make the necessary changes, I am a different person. I tried to be very active each day, but with Jawbone I increased my 7000-8000 average steps a day to 14000-15000 average steps a day. Some days I hit 20,000!
I find the awareness is wonderful. Life gets very busy very quickly. The truth is hard to take sometimes, but important to deal with so you can improve your health. When you want a different outcome, you must choose a different action. First order of business was, I had to make myself a priority in my life. I have always felt if you want to do your best in your work, relationships, your life in general, you have to do your best taking care of you first. You can only deliver what your body is strong enough to give.
Instead of just blindly going through the motions of my day, I needed to have a way to stop and see what was really going on with me. If you had asked me months ago if I was taking care of myself I would have said yes. I ran most days, got in my strength training a few days a week. My diet was good. I know now I was not taking great care of myself. I was just on survival mode. Blazing through each day blindly doing the best I felt I could. Head foggy, body in a constant state of fatigue that just seemed normal. Getting myself into situations where I was eating when I was starved instead of fueling my body. I truly thought this was as good as I could do. My intentions of what I wanted to do was clouding the reality of what I was doing.
Now that I have felt the difference that monitoring and awareness can give, I can not imagine living without my Jawbone. I have worn it for 5 months now and I still love it. It gives me tips of encouragement each day and summaries of my weeks progress. I was so unaware of what I was doing to my body by lack of sleep that it lead to poor choices in food, a lack of energy and the ability to take care of myself the way I should. I feel on top of my game now that my sleep is a priority. I feel I can think clearly, and handle stress better. My running has improved. My strength trainings are more routine and better. I am also excited and motivated to find and continue new healthy eating choices. I am aware of how I am doing each day so it is hard for me to get off track for more than a few days because I am looking right at what I am doing, or not doing with the data the Jawbone give me.
There are many devises like this out on the market right now. I am not trying to promote a particular brand. I just wanted to promote the benefits of using one. If you are looking for something that is easy to use, motivates you and basically works as a truth teller of how you are treating your body, then this is for you.