Friday, April 24, 2015

Microsoft Band and Strava

I was planning to get a FitBit Surge (I can't remember if I've written about that was something I wanted for Christmas, then my birthday, then I gave up on the idea because I didn't want the black one and they haven't yet made the other colors available).

I branched out and kept searching for another comparable device and landed on the Microsoft Band. It's also black, but it's thinner and more sleek looking in my opinion.  Plus the screen is colorful, which makes it more fun for me.  I've been wanting it for a combo Mother's Day/Anniversary present (which is obviously still a few weeks away...May 12th is our anniversary so it makes for some heavier weighted gifts this time of year).  I kept hinting to my husband that I wanted it sooner, since it just became available on Amazon a few weeks ago and kept selling out as a nice surprise, he got it for me last week while my parents were visiting us here in Arizona (they drove all the way from Pennsylvania for a week-long was a great trip).

So I got the watch last Thursday evening...put a screen protector on that evening (it needed to set for 12 hours, untouched, which is a super big bummer for anyone who has been wanting a new gadget for a while...patience is not something I have in abundance).  Started wearing it Friday morning and went for a run that day around lunchtime.  I left my huge Note 4 at home and loaded up my tiny little iPod Nano with a book and a podcast.  Having less weight, even just that small amount, for my run was so freeing.  I haven't taken my phone on a run again since.

Then, on Saturday, I came down with a miserable stomach bug (a lingerer from a couple of days before)...I ended up in bed all afternoon and felt almost bad enough to go to the hospital.  I got to catch up on TV though and Steve watched the girls and kept my parents entertained, and I survived.

So then on Sunday I rested and took it easy...Monday I did my first 'Guided Workout', which was something I'd researched about this watch and looked forward to trying.  The workout downloads to the watch, then you start the activity and it counts down each exercise and gives you your time and heart rate and calorie was really great.  I burned almost 250 calories in 26 minutes and I don't doubt the accuracy of that.  It was a really hard workout that I felt really proud of afterward...and if it weren't for my wrist tracking my progress and effort level, I don't think I would have worked so hard.  I was also really sore for a few days (I'm still sort of sore, but I've also done a lot of running and another guided workout this week).

As if this watch couldn't get any favorite running app (Strava, which I was sad to stop using when I started leaving my phone at home) is now one of the connected apps with the watch!  It was just announced a couple of days ago.  I just stumbled upon the news today so I haven't tried it out yet, but I immediately connected my band to their service and now I'm super tempted to go for a run tomorrow (even though I just went today and I am prone to shin splints when I overdo it).

Everything about the watch so far seems extremely accurate.  My heart rate on runs is always in the 150s, which feels right (I always feel close to death on a big deal).  It's tracking my sleep more accurately than I think my Basis watch did (I always knew I wasn't sleeping as much or as well as my Basis told me I was).  Unfortunately, I feel like it gives me low numbers for calories burned, but it's probably accurate, and my pant size and eating habits definitely reflect it.  If only I could get my motivation for avoiding snacks and alcohol in check, I'd be at a perfect weight.  One thing at a time.

All in all, I'm quickly falling deeper and deeper in love with this watch.  It's perfect for anyone who is as obsessed with gadgets as I am and wants a way to better track their progress with fitness.

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