Does this camera bag make my gut look big?
Or, it could be that it’s time to get in better shape, and let that cross chest bag, glide effortlessly over your svelte frame.
Look, whether you are working in a studio and grazing at the craft service table, or shooting on location, and talking to clowns like Jack, or Ronald, or the cute redhead at Wendy’s on the way home, you may be taking in more that you’re putting out.
We won’t even mention the time spent in a chair editing, post production, and running a business.
You can say to yourself that wearing a 40 Lb pack of gear, is exercise enough, like you’re a soldier. But if you’re not embedded, chances are you are not being all that you can be.
We, too, came upon the same dang conclusion, and looked for some help, or motivation. Personal trainer? Hmm… I could get another lens, do some additional advertising, reward myself with that extra dough.
So what can you do?
Yeah, that’s right.
We saw an incredible boom in the health tech market at CES and figured we’d give it a go.
Basically, there are good electronics out there designed to help you motivate yourself, improve yourself, and walk that extra mile.
The 3 units we’ll look at today, have all been on our bodies and put through the paces.
Is there a prize?
Yep. You’ll feel better, look better, perhaps live longer. We know. That may sound like a glib sales pitch. It’s not.
We had to do something and found ways to do it. And one came out on top.
First one to hit big on the market in a general sense, was the UP bracelet by JawBone, the folks famous for all of their bluetooth devices. Sold for $99.
This one is worn at the wrist, and while not unlike a pedometer on steroids, it also helped gauge cals burned, some heart rate related stats, and tied to an app to keep track of it all.
It also tracked sleep patterns. Gave you a quantitative number for you resting quality. And let you know how many times you got up for water. Plus how long it took you to get to sleep and how long you slept.
You can also invite a community in, so there is a competitive edge to the drive.
The app let you do food journaling so you kept track of what you ate and how you felt. Kinda lame on that part.
Sounds cool, right? It was first introduced at the TED conference.
We’ll after we used it for a coupla months, it had trouble syncing, then things didn’t seem accurate. It kept crashing.
Jawbone had a product failure on it’s hands, and dealt with it properly by refunding everyone, no questions asked, for full purchase price , OR $150 in their store.
Funny thing about it was, with company known for Bluetooth, the device would sync by plugging into the phone or computer
Next up we have the Nike + Fuelband bracelet. Cool Nike design, did everything but the sleep tracking and added Nike “Fuel” a proprietary measurement for your activity. Whatever.
Basically it helps you set a goal and meet it or beat it. Dancing characters on your phone let you know when you hit a milestone.
Larger and chunkier than the UP, but 2 months in, it still works. Battery charge lasts about 4 days. Cost comes in at $150.
Then there is the Fitbit
Looks like a rubberized money clip, and has a button that lets you cycle through all of the functions.
elevation (stairs/floors), steps, calories burned, miles walked:
Easy to clip on and wear, unobtrusively, and it comes with an arm band strap and another holder, we never used.
Every week, you get your stats automatically emailed to you. Or auto posted on Facebook, which I have seen some people do. We like our embarressment, private , thank you very much.
The FitBit also links via Bluetooth to a weighing scale so you get you body fat thrown in for good measure.
$99. or less, right here.
So you can see which is our favorite. Fitbit hits all the marks: unobtrusive, tracks all we need, auto everything pretty much, and long life off a charge.
Oh, and when you are doing well, a flower grows on the unit. OK, fine.
The point of all 3 of these units is that they track your activity, give it a number, and hopefully motivate you to do better.
We have been taken the stairs when an elevator or escalator will do. And extra walk will increase the stats.
After sitting editing for a loooong time, it’s time for a loooong walk.
You really are just competing with yourself
We work hard, and eat like children a lot, in the guise of it being fast, easy, or on the tray the wait staff is bringing around.
We are there with you.
If you are a National Geo photog who scales mountains and shoots treks in Nepal, this may not be for you.
For the rest of us? Lets track in a nice, simple way, and do better for ourselves.
Then that camera bag may not have to hide that gut.