Smartwatches, smart bands & other attachable connected trinkets are all the rage now – you can buy them for your dog, attach cameras to your baby’s crib & switch your lights on from the comfort of your office, ready for when you get home. They’re enabling us to do things that a few years ago, simply would have been impossible!
I’m the first to admit that when smart watches first appeared I considered them to be a gimmick that wouldn’t last. I’ll happily eat my words as I have a smart watch & would actually be lost without it now.
It started with wondering how much of a decent night’s sleep I was getting – I was always tired, regardless of the time I went to bed, so I started looking into sleep monitors & whathaveyou, finally settling on the SW10 from Sony – It’d monitor my sleep, as well as notify me about calls, alarms, as well as my steps for the day & other events via the app Sony created for it. It was small & unassuming & only needed to be taken off whilst charging. I had it a few months before I lost it, I hunted high & low for it & genuinely pined for it; I’d check my sleep as soon as I woke up to check my restless periods & deep sleep to try & notice trends, so as soon as it was gone I was in the dark once more about my sleep.
The quest for a new smart band began!
By now, the fitness market had become saturated with smart bands; each promising to be the best for your needs. By the time I’d lost the Sony, I was cycling & using Strava to track them, which is great (I still use it from time to time to track segment speed increases) I wanted more though, not just tracking my cycling. Being in the job I am in, connected tech advances is the area I find most exciting. So, I did my research & decided that a small company, who’d started through crowdfunding on IndieGoGo would be my next choice & I opted for the Misfit Flash, I blogged about it back in February, however as good as it was, I couldn’t get to grips with the point system & still used Strava to track my cycling alongside activating the cycle option on the wearable.
In April this year, I turned 33. My gift was the Fitbit Surge, It promised an update to add accurate cycling to it; which was released a few weeks after I got it. If it was waterproof, I’d never take it off; except for charging it. (it is water resistant to a degree, but the packaging states to not submerge it in water) I know Fitbit’s have suffered a little due to the “Fitbit Rash” however, I’ve only suffered a light rash once; readjusting the strap soon fixed it. It is the Flagship device from Fitbit & although a little chunky to wear, you do become used to its size relatively quickly, however using the GPS on it as much as I do will dramatically reduce your battery life from 7 days to about 3. Even President Obama has one!
Anyway, the point was what I’ve learned. Now that I’ve owned a few different variations & have been tracking my food & am a lot more active than before, these are my main findings:
- Despite me thinking that I was pretty active before I joined the gym. I wasn’t. (Walking everywhere, although is a good start cannot be classed as being active, imo)
- I do not walk about as much as I thought – I get weekly reports from Fitbit on how many steps I did & which days were most active. If I average them out it’s about 7,000 a day which is below the suggested 10,000 steps
- 8 hours of sleep is too much for me. I’m tired & irritable if I oversleep, the recommended 8 hours a night is too much. I’m a higher functioning human being if I get 5-6 hours an evening
- I’m not really restless in my sleep, I generally fall asleep & that is me until morning – if my sleep reports are accurate anyway
- I was severely undereating for years – This part in particular will probably get its own blog post as I find food fascinating & am studying nutrition
- Stress causes my heart rate to increase on average 10bpm, I normally have a relatively low RHR of 54bmp, however any kind of internal worry that I’m not correctly dealing with displays with an elevated HR
- Owning a smartband has made me try harder, push faster & generally want to be better in myself. It’s almost like a mini competition with yourself to do a little better than you did yesterday. I also love how I can look back a year ago on Strava & see how much faster I am now 🙂