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BodyMedia Fit Core Armband Review
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I recently had the chance to try out the BodyMedia Fit Core Armband. I was pretty excited because I have been kind of fumbling around making steps towards getting back in shape. I say fumbling because I get really motivated to start a weight loss plan, but then get discouraged pretty quickly. I am a “results now” kind of girl. I want to jump on the treadmill, and then an hour later weight myself and see that I’ve lost 5 pounds.
I know, I know. It doesn’t work that way.
But, that’s how my brain works, so what’s a girl to do? I have tried lots of apps for tracking progress and calorie intake and measurements. I could write a long list of all the apps I’ve tried! The thing that gets me with each one, is that it’s really hard to know if the feedback you’re getting is accurate. The amount of calories I burn in an hour-long work out are going to be different from the next girl. The amount of time I spend sitting each day (hello, I have a desk job!) varies from day-to-day, how much I eat, how I sleep – all variables.
It’s hard to keep track of it all, and it’s hard to know what I’m doing right or wrong.
The BodyMedia Fit Core Armband doesn’t use generalizations. You wear it on your arm daily, and it tracks your information. I no longer have to plug some generic number into an app to track my work out. While the average person may burn 180 calories in a half hour aerobic workout, I burn 160 (that’s a pretty big difference!) I would pull my hair out trying to see results with miscalculations like that!
Here’s how the Core Armband works. There’s a little device that you strap around your arm and wear all day (must be OFF the body for at least one hour a day, though). There’s contacts that touch your skin and are able track things using your heart rate, galvanic skin response (your sweat), temperature, and it has an accelerometer to track your steps taken.
Then, you plug the armband into your computer and sync the info (there’s a bluetooth option on the upgraded model). The interface in the program is so easy to read! I love the dashboard. I can see all my daily info, or scroll through to past days.
The sleep duration is one of my favorite, and most interesting pieces of information. Some studies suggest that how much you sleep directly relates to your weight. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher BMI’s then people who do get enough sleep. If that’s true, then sleep is an important factor to keep track of! I was a little surprised at my sleep results. I go to bed at about 11 p.m. and wake up about 6-6:30. I usually don’t have a lot of trouble falling asleep, and I don’t usually get up in the middle of the night.
Or so I thought.
See, the armband knows the difference between you laying down, and actually sleeping. Cool, right? Here’s what my 2nd night of sleep with the armband on looked like:
The time on the left in dark blue (8:00 hrs) is my target. I am shooting for 8 solid hours of sleep each night. The time on the right is my actual sleep time for that day.
Wow. I only got a total of a hair over 4 hours of sleep. No wonder I’ve been feeling like a zombie lately!
That bar graph underneath is showing me when I was asleep (the dark grey areas), when I was just laying down (the medium grey areas), and when I was fully awake (the lightest areas). I honestly had no recollection of being awake at those times! And that’s a huge block of time! I was awake for a full hour and didn’t even know it. This is important for me because my biggest complaint is that I’m tired a lot.
Now had I gone to my Dr. and told him I’ve been feeling tired a lot, but that I’m sleeping 7.5 hours at night (because I thought I really was) he would have looked elsewhere to see what was wrong with me. But now, I know I’m tired because I wasn’t sleeping, and that’s what I need to work on. I’ll give tips on sleeping better in another post, but you can see how important this feedback can be for you, even if you aren’t trying to lose weight.
Other fun features would be the fact that the Activity Manager gives you alerts as to when you exceed previous personal bests. So for example, if you normally take 6500 steps in one day, and then you up your game and take 7500 steps another day, you’ll get an alert that lets you know you’ve out done yourself.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I am a competitive person, so this is fun for me. I like to challenge myself to get those extra steps in, or extend my work out by a few minutes, or to consume fewer calories on certain days. Basically, the Activity Manager gives you other goals besides just your weight as number. And I love that because I think being healthy is more than just your weight.
Since weight loss is something many of us are after though, you’ll be happy to know that BodyMedia armbands are endorsed by Jillian Michaels! She has created a program with BodyMedia, and that will be available soon. If you’ve ever done a Jillian Michaels work out, you’ll know she kicks your butt. Combine that with the feedback from the armband, and you will probably see some serious results, seriously fast. I do believe this would work with any of the other major diet plans out there as well.
Here’s a quick recap:
Custom weight management plans (in the Activity manager)
Clinically proven to accurately measure the amount of physical activity and calories burned
Discreet if worn under the average T-shirt sleeve
Lots of feedback provided in different ways
Targets and goals easy to set and achieve
If you eat mostly packaged foods, then you’ll have an easy time entering your daily food intake in the phone app. But, if you prepare your own food most of the time, it can be really time-consuming to enter all that info in daily. (I admit, I quit doing detailed entries of my food intake, and just started estimating.)
In order to access the Activity Manager (which is the only way to see your feedback) you have to pay a monthly subscription fee. It’s only $6.95 and worth every penny if you are in serious need of a lifestyle change/weight loss.
Very noticeable if worn with tank tops or sleeves that don’t cover it all the way. (I wish there was another location to wear it, but I don’t know where. A small bracelet maybe?) *EDIT! :I was told you can try wearing it around your calf.
Overall, I love the BodyMedia Fit Core Armband and have already seen some weight loss (12 pounds in 30 days!) If you are like me – a person with a need for organized feedback on a regular basis in order to stay motivated, then this gadget it definitely for you!
BodyMedia would like to offer readers of Bex Built A Family a coupon code worth 15% off your entire purchase. The code will be valid through July 31st.
enter BEXBUILT15 at checkout.
*Thanks to BodyMedia for sending me an armband for review. I was not compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.