Tag Archives: gym

My first two weeks with the Nike FuelBand

nike_fuelbandMy growing interest obsession of tracking my workout activity recently pushed me to look for wearable exercise gear. I pre-ordered the Fitbit Flex in early February but it had not shipped. When my Ironman watch died a couple of weeks ago, I searched for a device that could display time and I settled on the Nike+ FuelBand.

The Nike FuelBand is simply a fancy pedometer. Like the Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up, it tracks your movement using an accelerometer. It also dispenses “fuel” points based on your activity using a proprietary algorithm. No — it isn’t about how often you shake your wrist — but the more active you are, the more fuel points you earn! I’ve worn the Nike FuelBand now for two weeks and I’ve rarely taken it off. In comparison, I would take my watch off and lay it on my desk at the beginning of each day alongside my iPhone.

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Rethinking the gym experience

The general manager at my gym approached me this week with a tempting renewal offer. He asked me to extend my current annual membership though I had 4 months remaining. As I debated the benefits of signing up before the annual January rush, I started contemplating whether my gym does enough for me.

Considering that 80% of Americans aren’t engaged in fitness — either they don’t participate in a regular fitness program or belong to a gym, the manager actually has a 20% pool of prospects so he should try to do whatever it takes to keep me motivated and paying. And motivation can come from a mobile application vs. a personal trainer. Why? Well, besides the fact that one in every two consumers in the US has a smartphone (according to 2012 data from Nielsen), we’re religiously using our iPhone and Android devices to monitor every aspect of our everyday life. In fact 52% of consumers with smartphones use their device to gather and measure health information, such as how many minutes they’ve exercised or the intensity level of the workout routine (according to a 2012 Mobile Health report by Pew Research). And apps motivate us to remain healthy because documenting our workout increases awareness. Psychologically, awareness is the key to adopting healthy behaviors.

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