Up by Jawbone Review

Back in the February edition of What I’m Loving I talked about the Up by Jawbone. Well, since that post I have fallen even more in love with it. I finally hooked it up with Lose It, which is how I track what I’m eating. (You can also connect it to My Fitness Pal, if you use that app, but I prefer the simplicity of Lose It.) I also started taking daily walks around the skyway during my lunch break at work. So I thought I’d do a review to share what I like and don’t like about the Jawbone Up, in case any of you have been interested in it.

The Jawbone Up is a band that racks the steps you take throughout the day and how you’re sleeping at night. You wear the band all the time, although you can’t submerge the band in water. It has three modes: day, night and workout. You can put it in a “power nap” mode during the day, so that you sleep for the perfect amount of time to refresh you, but not so long that you’ll be more tired when you wake. You can also tell the band what time you like to wake up in the morning and it will wake you up as close to that time as possible, but when you’re in the perfect mode of sleep to wake up easily. And you can also have the band remind you to get up and walk if you’re sitting for a certain period of time without moving.

This has become really handy for keeping me accountable to move. I knew I wasn’t walking 10,000 steps a day, but I thought I walked a decent amount in my day to day life. This little bracelet told me otherwise. Apparently, I don’t actually get in that many steps walking to the bus stop. And all those trips to the water cooler throughout the day? They don’t really add up to much.

Overall, if you’d like to find out how many steps you walk each day to see how well you’re doing, I’d recommend looking for a simple pedometer. If you’re willing to make the lifestyle changes that you need to make to try and reach your 10,000 step a day goal, then the Jawbone Up might help you stay accountable. It certainly has encouraged me to add more activity to my day. It has also encouraged me to go to bed at a decent hour. I’m not always successful, but I haven’t had many 1am bedtimes on a weeknight since I got this either.

When you sync the Jawbone in the morning, you get a little screen like this that tells you how long you slept and how many steps you’ve taken so far. Once you click out of that screen, you can pull up the details of your sleep and it’ll show you how long you slept, how long you were in light and deep sleep, how many times you woke up. (I obviously didn’t sleep well that night.) You can also set your mood.

Like I said, getting the Jawbone encouraged me to make more of an effort to get my steps in each day. My coworker also has a Jawbone and we decided to split our lunch break up into two power walks a day. The buildings in downtown Minneapolis are connected by skyways, so we have a mile and a quarter loop that we walk twice a day. This really helps me to achieve my step goal, or at least get close to it if I’m not as active in the evening. When you’re looking at your activity, it shows periods of activity and periods of inactivity. It also shows when you put it into workout mode and if you click on that, you get a breakdown of your activity during that period of time. (This was actually a slow walk for us. You can tell when we’re tired because our walks slow down. On good days we average a 17 minute mile.)

The Jawbone also uses the data that it collects to track trends. You get an email every week to give you an overview of how your week went. So it’s aimed at helping you live a healthier lifestyle. Jawbone will also use the trends to challenge you to make healthier habits. So far I’ve been challenged to drink more water, get more steps in and go to bed earlier. Jawbone tracks your progress, gives you a countdown clock and sends you reminders.

Okay, so that’s a lot of really good stuff about the Jawbone. There are some cons, of course, so let’s discuss those.

1. This isn’t the best way to track all of your workouts. It really focuses on the steps that you take, so it won’t capture some movements, like cycling or the ballet toning that I love to do. I also have a Polar Heart Rate Monitor, so I tend to wear both when I work out (if it’s something other than my walks).
2. The calorie tracker for food on Jawbone is awful, so if that’s something that you’re looking for you probably won’t be satisfied with it. However, it works seamlessly with other calorie tracking apps, so you have that option too.
3. You have to sync it to see the data. I wish it had a screen on the band, like the Nike Fuelband.
4. It’s not the most attractive band, although I don’t think any of them really are. You might not want to wear it to something formal, like a wedding, however I also don’t feel the need to wear it to events like that either.

That was a lot of information! I hope I got everything. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask and I will try to answer. If you were considering purchasing the Jawbone Up, I hope I gave you the information you needed to help make a decision.

Note: I purchased all of the products listed in this post. 

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