My Fitness gadgets for 2013

So everyone, over the past year, I’ve been slowly putting weight back on… GRR… The 200+ LBS that I worked really hard to shed, is slowly creeping back onto my ass!  — NO BUENO!  —  I’ve also been having many false starts on “getting back on track”; however, I’ve really been noticing the OLD-FAT-ASS look coming back.

WSELLERS-BeforeAfter

 

I DEFINITELY DO NOT want to get back to where I was in 2009!  The guy on the left side is me, circa 2009.  The guy on the right side is me, circa 2011 – Since 2011, I’ve put BACK on approximately 50 LBS!

SO, for 2013, It’s time to  get this weight BACK off and continue working towards my goal weight of 200LBS.

 

From the beginning of my weight loss, I’ve found that using technology helps keep me focused on my goals.  Social Media keeps me honest and motivated, getting encouragement from people in my social circles and hearing about others weight loss successes.

Here are some of the fitness gadgets and applications that I’m using now:

 

WiThings Wireless Scale – $129
I’ve been using this scale for years — never had a problem.  I’ve found it a GREAT tool for keeping an eye on how my weight I’m losing or gaining.  It’s expensive, relatively speaking, but TOTALLY worth it.  This should be the first gadget you buy if you are serious about keeping track of your weight.  Also comes with a free iOS or Android application — so you can graphically see your progress.  Here’s a video of me on GeekBrief.TV. — Thanks to Cali Lewis for interviewing me!  A worthy alternative is the new FitBit Aria — If I was buying a new one, I’d try the Aria — just because I LOVE the Fitbit One so much! — Both devices can push your data into your social media circles.

 

 

 

Withings-Blood-Pressure-Monitor

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor – $129
So if you are overweight (or not), It’s important to keep an eye on your blood pressure.  High Blood Pressure is a tell-tail sign of possible cardiovascular disease.  The WiThings Blood Pressure Monitor accurately measures and tracks over time your BP.  As you lose weight and exercise, your blood pressure SHOULD improve.  Consult your MD if you have high BP — you may need to be on medication.   In my case, after losing weight, I was taken OFF of high blood pressure medication!  This device also can push data to your social media circles.  iPhone 5 users will need the Apple Lightening to 30-pin converter, unfortunately.

 

 

 

FitBit-One-in-ClipFitBit One – $99
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with these devices since I’ve started.  However, I’ll say the FitBit One is pretty cool…  Like a mogwai, JUST DON’T GET THEM WET!   A little sweat is OK — but just remember to take it off before throwing your clothes in the wash… I say buy!  The new version that syncs via Bluetooth rocks!

Here is a review I just did:          http://www.watchwilllose.com/2012/12/fitbit-one-review/
And, one of the original FitBit:  http://www.watchwilllose.com/2011/07/my-fitbit-review/

 

 

 

 

WahooBlueBRWahoo Fitness Heart Rate Monitor – $79.99
What can I say?!?!  It’s a Bluetooth 4.0 heart rate monitor.  This device will actively monitor and record your Heart Rate as you run, walk, cycle, etc.  Works well with Apple iPhone 4S and above— not sure about Android though… GRRR…  There is a dedicated iOS app from Wahoo; however, this device also integrates with Runkeeper and many other mobile apps.

 

 

 

RunKeeper-Logo

RunKeeper – FREE, $19.95 per year for an “Elite” Account.
This iOS or Android app let’s you track your workouts…biking, cycling, walking, etc… It also integrates well with other sensors and applications, such as the above Wahoo sensor, Nike+, FitBit, LoseIT, and Withings scale — just to name a few.  After using this app for a while now, it really works best when you are outdoors — and the GPS can track your location and distance.  If you are in the gym or indoors on a treadmill, you’ll have to manually enter some of the data.   I bought an “Elite” account — so that my followers can track me in real-time as I workout.  The Elite account also gives you access to more detailed reporting and fitness plans.  SEE HERE – For most people, the FREE account works just fine!

 

 

 

LoseIt-LogoLoseIt – FREE, $39.99 per year for a “Premium” Account.
Of all of the apps I’ve been trying over the past few years — I really believe that THIS ONE will help people the most with weight loss.  Why you ask!?!?  Many studies have shown that proper diet has more to do with weight loss than exercise.  I can attest to that personally!  One weeks where I’ve NOT exercised; but ate right — I actually lost weight.  However, I think that for overall health; YOU MUST do both.  Keeping an accurate food log helps you keep track of your caloric/carb intake.  LoseIt will definitely make this task easier.  It provides an easy way to log your food intake (food bar code scanner included) AND physical activity!  What I like MOST about this app is that it integrates EXTREMELY well with other fitness devices and applications.   This app also can push data to your social media circles.

 

 

So there you go… Of all of the apps/devices I’ve researched, IMHO, these are the ones that work best.  Plus — WORK WELL TOGETHER… which is important of you are trying to keep an overall view of your fitness and weight loss.  As I find new Apps or Devices, I’ll be definitely be posting on this site.

If you would like to “friend-me-up” on these apps, here are the links to my profiles:

WiThings Wi/Fi Scale Profile
WiThings Blood Pressure Monitor
FitBit Profile
RunKeeper Profile
LoseIt Profile

Hope this post helps you get started with your 2013 weight loss (or fitness) goals.  If you have any questions, comments, etc, PLEASE feel free to leave a comment or email me.

William Sellershttp://about.me/wsellers
http://twitter.com/wsellers
http://twitter.com/WatchWillLose

FitBit One Review

Here’s the new fitness tracking device from FitBit…. The FitBit One

Here’s my quick review:

So far, I’m REALLY liking this device… If you are familiar with the older version, this is definitely an improvement.   The device basically does the same thing as the previous device; however, adds these new features:

  1. Bluetooth Syncing:  NO LONGER do you need a clunky “dongle” to sync your Fitbit to.  If you have an updated smart phone, you can now sync wirelessly via bluetooth 4.0.
  2. Alarm Clock:  You can now set what time you would like to wake up, and the device will buzz waking you up.  Similar to how the Jawbone UP worked.
  3. New form factor!  Unlike the old FitBit, the FitBit One is just a single module.  The One just slips into the supplied silicon clipping mechanism.  I REALLY REALLY like this better because you can now just slip your One into any piece of clothing you want.   For instance, if you have a shoe or piece of clothing with a small pouch, you can just slip the device in there.

I still think you have to be pretty careful when it comes to getting the device wet.  DO NOT leave on your clothes and put through the wash!  The device just isn’t waterproof.  However, it’s been said that it’s “Sweat proof.”

Here are some photos, showing off the new form-factor:

FitBit-One-in-Clip FitBit-One-Module

So, I’ll make the statement that the FitBit One, in my opinion, is the BEST activity tracker on the market today.  I still haven’t testing the Nike Fuel Band — however, I’ve never really been a fan of the wrist-type tracking devices.  Most are just VERY uncomfortable.   I had the Jawbone UP — and it was uncomfortable over time.

My verdict:  BUY ONE!  Retail price is around $99 — Local retailers:  Best Buy, Brookstone, Apple Retail Stores

Here’s a link to my review of the original FitBit:  http://www.watchwilllose.com/2011/07/my-fitbit-review/

 

FYI:  If you are looking for a cheaper version of this, MINUS the sleep tracking, checkout the FitBit Zip:  http://www.fitbit.com/zip — It retails for around $60.  It is a different form factor — I’m not a fan of this new look —but it is cheaper.

My Jawbone UP review

*** UPDATE:  After about 1 month of use ***

Although, I still LOVE the ‘idea’ of the UP (and other lifestyle monitoring gadgets), I’ve found that these devices are really more trouble (and cost) than I’m willing to deal with.  So far, I’ve lost the end cap to the device — and it’s pretty much sitting up in my closet shelf.  Not using the end cap — leaves the 1.8″mm connector exposed— and ends up snagging on everything. —- Hopefully Jawbone will update the device with a better design.   The “SOCIAL”  aspects of this device/app also needs ALOT of improvement.

I like the design/usability of the Jawbone UP — over the FitBit — however, I would say your smartest option is to hold onto your $$$.   I am still a HUGE sucker for tech/fitness devices, though.   So, I’m sure I’ll be doing more product reviews soon — so be on the lookout for more posts.

Verdict:  Hold onto your $99!  Spend your money on new shoes, gym membership, — or an iPhone app like RunKeeper, LoseIt, etc.  A yearly RunkeeperPro account MIGHT just be more beneficial to you than a $99 gadget.

 

So far, I’m really liking the new pedometer/fitness tracker from Jawbone.   The Jawbone UP:  http://www.jawbone.com/up  Unlike the FitBit, this device is water-resistant up to 1M! — It attaches to your wrist; so, you probably will be less likely to run it through your laundry wash.

JawboneUP
JawboneUP

 

Your activity data is sync’d via the iPhone — by plugging into the headphone jack.  Once sync’d with your phone, your data is stored on the Jawbone servers.

 

 

 

 

Here are the main features:

Track your Activities:  Allows you to track your steps taken per day (pedometer) — including workouts, etc.  However, I think it’s more accurate just counting steps.  If you are using this device for cycling, etc — your results may be less accurate.

Track your sleep patterns:  I think this is one of the features that I like the most!  Here, the device will track your sleep patterns — including deep sleep, light sleep, and awake time.  It also has a cool feature that allows you to be woken up when you are not in deep sleep.  This allows you to be woken up at the best possible time — making you feel less sleepy after waking.  It vibrates on your wrist and intelligently wakes you up at the ideal moment in your natural sleep cycle just before your desired wake time.

Track your meals:  This is the feature that I like the least – however it can be fun.  Unlike LoseIT, DailyBurn, and other calorie tracking apps, — this only allows you to track what you’ve eaten via photos.  NO CALORIC/NUTRITIONAL DATA.   However, this feature will allow you to track how you feel AFTER you’ve eaten:  Energized, Stuffed, etc.  — I think in time this feature will improve.

One thing that this device lacks is “social” — There is no-way to have this device update Twitter OR Facebook, currently.  You can “friend” other UP users — and keep up with their stats.  However, each person MUST mutually accept the friend request; there is no way to ‘follow’ another UP user.   Also, there is no web-based portal for you to manage — all social activities are done IN-APP.  The FitBit does allow your daily stats to be published out to Twitter/Facebook.  I’m thinking that in the future this feature will be added.

There is also no integration with other devices or applications.  I’d love to see UP integrated with the Withings Scale, Runkeeper, Lose-It, etc… I think, in time, these will be added.

So… Should you spend the $99 on this device?  YES… It does a great job at what it was built for—- and being water resistant is a HUGE plus!  If you are interested, you can purchase online — or from your local Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Apple Retail Store or AT&T.  I would recommend purchasing from AT&T — because of their 1-year in-store warranty!

JawboneUP
JawboneUP

 

 

Hope this helps
Will

My FitBit review

I have mixed thoughts on the FitBit Tracker.  This is my review of the FitBit — after having one for about a month.  Here is some background information on the FitBit:  http://www.fitbit.com

Via Wikipedia:  “The Fitbit Tracker uses a three-dimensional accelerometer, similar to that in the Wii Remote, to sense user movement. Like many pedeometers, the Tracker measures steps taken, distance walked, calories burned, and activity duration and intensity. It uses an OLED display to display this and other information such as the battery level. It also measures sleep quality: how long it takes the wearer to fall asleep, how often they wake up over the course of the night, and for how long they are actually asleep.”

FitBit Tracker
FitBit Tracker

 

The device retails for about $100 dollars US — which is a bit expensive for a pedometer/sleep tracker — even if it pushes your data to the company’s website.  I would spend the $100 on a personal trainer OR other applications/services like Runkeeper, DailyBurn, etc.

The main problem I’ve found with the Fitbit is it’s size—- WHICH is GOOD AND BAD…

GOOD = It is VERY small and lite… You won’t even know you are wearing it.
BAD = It is VERY small and lite… You WILL forget about it—and put it through the wash!  I DID.  $50 for a replacement unit.

Once washed— FORGET IT… If you are lucky, the device will start working again after a few days—- However, in my case, the battery’s life was significantly decreased, making it a pain in the ass to keep charged.

With that said, I DO believe that it’s a pretty cool device.  It totally works as advertised — and if you are a gadget lover; you’ll like it.  —- however, worth $100?  IMHO, I just don’t think so.

Here are some better suggestions about other Tech/Health devices to spend your $$$ on:

Withings Internet Enabled Scale:   http://www.withings.com/en/bodyscale – $159 – I have one, LOVE IT!
RunKeeper Elite:  https://runkeeper.com/elite – $20 per year
IRONMAN Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor – http://tinyurl.com/3gqfup6 – $100 – I have one, LOVE IT.
IRONMAN GPS Global Trainer w/HRMonitor – http://www.timex.com/dp/B003P65RVI – $360 – I want one!
Membership at your local YMCAhttp://www.ymca.net/ – $50-100 per month.  WELL WORTH IT!

Hope this helps,
-Will