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  1. anthonyng's Avatar
    So I have the band a month now. I use it a lot to track my sleep. I bring it to my work outs (4x a week). I sit A LOT cause I work in front of a computer. First couple weeks I was wearing it constantly, now I'm finding I'm leaving it off a lot since I'm just sitting around so much but at the same time, it causes me to forget to wear it if I step away to do something.

    I don't run or bike regularly so only the exercise tracker is useful to me.

    The observations on my dashboard is kinda neat. I already know I sleep bad, but having it in my face kinda hits home a bit more and so far I know I want to sleep earlier a lot more, but haven't really achieved actually doing it.

    The exercise data I have is neat but it's not like I would adjust anything because I do crossfit so I follow my coaches program. I do use it to take a quick peak at my heart rate to make sure I'm not about to make my heart blow up lol. I don't have any calorie specific goals. My goals are simply to improve on the last time I did something thus the calories information really doesn't mean much to me at this time.

    I got the band because I wanted to record information about my work outs. I record the actual things I do in a different app and now I have the band to just record more stuff. I asked the app developer about Band integration and he says he's planning on it but asking me for ideas on what to use it for lol.

    Now that I'm recording workouts and my sleep I'm a bit at a loss as to what do I do with the information next?

    What do you do? I read about people loving the band but I don't know what they are doing with it. I'm all for the movement reminder though! I can use something like that right now and would leave my band on more often.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    04-26-2015 12:38 AM
  2. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Thanks for starting the thread -- great question! But I have a question for you: why not wear it 24/7? I'm computer-bound quite a bit too, and find that it sometimes bugs the heck out of me while I'm typing...but I've otherwise developed the habit of wearing the Band all day and all night (it's only off for 30 minutes each morning to charge).

    I wrote a long post a few weeks back which divided Band users into three groups: the first are dedicated athletes who want more detailed information about their workouts -- I suggested in that post that the Band is probably not consistent and accurate enough for their needs. The second group are at the other end of the spectrum...they are just beginning a new active lifestyle. In the middle is the third group of people like me who are generally active, and looking for ways to stay motivated and maybe push themselves a little harder.

    So my answer to your question "now what?" is that I think the Band, from a health perspective, is most effective as a psychological tool. It's not very sexy to think of it that way, but its ability to influence behavior and health decision-making in subtle but (hopefully) long-lasting ways is its hidden strength.

    Watching my own motivation level, I've seen my enthusiasm go up and down over the last 6 months (due in part to a really cold winter!). When I first got the Band, I had lots of 4-mile (indoor) runs. Now that spring is here, I'm outside more -- my runs are shorter and less frequent. The change is not just due to the weather, but also not having clear-cut goals that I can use the Band to measure.

    Here is an example of my next "now what": I'm syncing my runs to mapmyrun, and I've created a local course that dozens of people are also using. DAMN STRAIGHT I'm annoyed, peeved, and irritated that I'm in like 20th place on the course!!!! I'm not normally competitive about such things, but I'm highly motivated to improve my rank on the course.

    Long story short...the social aspect of comparing Band data with others has proved to be something that motivates me (this has become an already too-long post, so maybe I'll add some other data-usage ideas later). I'll be curious to see as the upcoming "Comparative insights" begin to appear, how that changes the game. In your case, doing crossfit, it might prove difficult to benefit from such a feature. Perhaps adding some conventional workouts to your already-busy schedule might be the psychological boost you're looking for?

    ​-Matt
    Last edited by gadgetrants; 04-26-2015 at 09:24 AM.
    04-26-2015 09:09 AM
  3. jlangner's Avatar
    Same here but I find wearing 24/7 motivates me to get those extra steps in. Set a goal and try to reach every day. Lol, Ill find it is almost bedtime and I am 300 steps short so I feel I "have" to walk around house to get those last "steps". Use it for motivation. :)
    04-26-2015 09:18 AM
  4. NBrookus's Avatar
    I quite agree that the Band (and similar devices) are first and foremost psychological, the difference I think that's really sexy because it *works.*

    For some it's social -- peer pressure, or competition, or bragging rights. Or it's a constant reminder. For me, it's personal accountability. It's easy to selectively forget those extra beer calories, or that cookie, or that you've had 3 cheat days this week and it's Tuesday... and didn't exercise, either.

    Am I doing better than last week? Last month? Year? What are my trends? Can I link certain foods, macronutrients or exercise practices to better/ worse sleep? How about my chronic pain levels with the same? This is the kind of data I want to be able to log, pull and analyze. MS has all the pieces between Health, Health and Fitness and Health Vault, they just need to bring it all together and simplify, so I can stop eyeballing my data and logs and guessing, and just pull a custom report.

    A couple of weeks ago I was having the "does it work" conversation with some overweight family members. Sheer disbelief at the idea I would log all my food. All of it, every bite. Every day. And all my exercise. Any of it. Every day. Too much work! Yeah, well, there's a reason why they are overweight and I'm not... and it sure ain't genetics.
    gadgetrants and anthonyng like this.
    04-26-2015 09:03 PM
  5. anthonyng's Avatar
    Well I don't wear it all the time mostly cause of little things like it gets in the way when typing. Certain clothing is annoying cause it kinda gets stuck cause of the rubbery material (Vancouver, Canada here, so lots of long sleeves and jackets right now). Oh yea, I'm the cook in my household, so during food prep and cooking I'll have it off. If I carry my 2 year old around, I find it gets in the way or digs into him and hurts so I take it off again lol. I find myself worrying about too much friction.

    Besides that I'm not sure what group of the three you listed I fit in. Though reading that other post you linked was very insightful. Like from that and NBrookus above, I realize my title is wrong. I DON'T have all the data's lol. I'm kinda stuck in border line garbage in garbage out in terms of data quality.

    Like I have zero interest to record food intake. It's too much work. My way of cooking is to always try to keep salt levels, fat levels down as much as possible. Focus on healthier fats like peanut/grape seed oils instead of vegetable, corn, canola oils. And I try not to stuff myself to the brink. I don't want to do any real diet plan, besides I drink too much and don't want to stop ;)

    With that, I think I expect the band to be more of a tool for me.


    • I like the notifications aspect of it so I don't miss as much from not hearing/feeling my phone.
    • I would like it to be able to do more stuff for me. Today it's a bit of a chore to enter my work out details cause I really have to enter half my stuff after the fact. Like I can't stop a circuit to record something.
      • It doesn't have to know what I'm doing, just be able to follow my movements and count it out that way.
      • I would need both a fixed rep count, ladder type count and as many iterations possible count.
      • Guided work outs, I would need a method to enter my own. I'd probably only try to track in detail the WOD part of my work out as it would take time to set it up right I guess.

    • I want it to remind me to get up and move based on measured inactivity.


    Been wearing the band most of the day today. I like how I know when to recharge my coffee when my resting heart rate drops from 80+ to 70. I've had 3 americano's so far just to observe that when I normally stick to one in the morning :)
    gadgetrants and grumtrias like this.
    04-27-2015 04:04 PM
  6. NBrookus's Avatar
    anthonyng, it sounds like you don't have any particular goal you are working toward. I think people who do have goals get a lot more out of fitness gadgets. Mine is to hit 50 in better shape than I was at 40. :)

    Other than measuring heart rate (which you can do with two fingers and the clock on your computer), I am not hearing you suggest you use your Band for anything fitness related that you couldn't do with a clipboard and a piece of paper. In all fairness, I still use the clipboard and a paper spreadsheet to track reps, etc.; there just isn't any better way to do that with the Band. I feel that the Band does a really good job measuring calories expended, tho, which is hard to do for things like core workouts, etc.

    I think in your position I'd focus on working the smartwatch functions first since that seems to be the Band feature set that fits your needs the most. I personally am not enamored of the notifications, but I use Cortana to "take a note" or search the web almost every day -- it's easy than typing in my pin. Other folks use the smartwatch features in various ways.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    04-27-2015 07:11 PM
  7. DroidUser42's Avatar
    Long story short...the social aspect of comparing Band data with others has proved to be something that motivates me (this has become an already too-long post, so maybe I'll add some other data-usage ideas later). I'll be curious to see as the upcoming "Comparative insights" begin to appear, how that changes the game. In your case, doing crossfit, it might prove difficult to benefit from such a feature. Perhaps adding some conventional workouts to your already-busy schedule might be the psychological boost you're looking for?
    While part of me wants to know where I stand compared to others, the other part of me having flashbacks of High School and being the last to be picked for a team.
    NBrookus likes this.
    04-27-2015 07:21 PM
  8. gadgetrants's Avatar
    While part of me wants to know where I stand compared to others, the other part of me having flashbacks of High School and being the last to be picked for a team.
    I wasn't totally honest in that part above -- if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that a lot of people are going to be unhappy about the comparative part. You know that cliche', "where everyone is above average," yada yada. The LAST thing I want to see is that other 48-year-olds who are my height and/or my weight are running X miles in Y minutes. I prefer the illusion that I'm doing fine and just need to tune a teeny bit. As I like to say to myself, my jeans are the final arbiter of my "fitness program."

    -Matt
    04-27-2015 08:35 PM
  9. anthonyng's Avatar
    anthonyng, it sounds like you don't have any particular goal you are working toward. I think people who do have goals get a lot more out of fitness gadgets. Mine is to hit 50 in better shape than I was at 40. :)
    Yea I don't have huge goals, though crossfit was motivated by a few things.
    • I was getting pissed off at my ability to keep up the pace while playing hockey or getting winded after a flight of stairs!
    • Years of sitting too long was starting to really wreck havoc all over my back.
    • I wanted to make sure I could kick my 5 year olds *** at monkey bars (and more ;) )


    But short term wise, it's kids. I felt it important that I be able to keep up with them whatever they throw my way.

    Now that I can keep up with the best 5 year olds at monkey bars, I just goto the gym expecting to maintain myself and be able to do an exercise or circuit I did previously, incrementally stronger/faster.
    NBrookus likes this.
    04-27-2015 10:13 PM
  10. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Just wanted to chime in a second time and say thanks for starting a great thread! Also, Anthony I very much admire your thoughtfulness toward your lifestyle -- you sound like a true crossfitter through and through. I'm still not sure the Band is the right device for you, but I wouldn't change what you're doing!

    ​-Matt
    anthonyng likes this.
    04-28-2015 10:24 AM
  11. anthonyng's Avatar
    Just wanted to chime in a second time and say thanks for starting a great thread! Also, Anthony I very much admire your thoughtfulness toward your lifestyle -- you sound like a true crossfitter through and through. I'm still not sure the Band is the right device for you, but I wouldn't change what you're doing!

    ​-Matt
    Thanks Matt

    You helped highlight some older threads that gave me a lot of insight.

    Can't wait to try wearing it while playing hockey. I'm in between seasons right now. Maybe what will get more useful to me is the analytics that Microsoft hopefully keeps developing.

    Crossfit has definitely been a life changing activity for me and really glad I dived in head first into it. The first 3 months I looked like death and my wife thought I would kill myself but once getting into the routine, getting the movements right, it's not so bad. Everything is scaled to your needs and it doesn't matter if you can't do as much as the other guy. You spend all that time realizing what your limits are, accepting it and working with it.
    gadgetrants likes this.
    04-28-2015 02:41 PM
  12. gadgetrants's Avatar
    HOCKEY??!?!??!! I hope you bought the replacement coverage for it!

    ​-Matt
    04-28-2015 03:22 PM
  13. anthonyng's Avatar
    HOCKEY??!?!??!! I hope you bought the replacement coverage for it!

    ​-Matt
    I live in Canada, no such thing!

    It's ok, I'll be a guinea pig for this test :D
    04-28-2015 03:55 PM
  14. anthonyng's Avatar
    So the new information on your exercise is neat, like "Fitness Benefit"

    I see lots of "Maintaining" so I guess I'm slacking off too much and should try a bit harder ;)
    05-04-2015 12:00 PM
  15. gadgetrants's Avatar
    I see lots of "Maintaining" so I guess I'm slacking off too much and should try a bit harder ;)
    Not sure I agree! From what I gathered, I'm not sure the Band is fully catching all the work you do. Oh but wait, I think I see an interesting angle here...IF it's motivating you to push harder at the gym, then maybe it's functioning exactly like the psychological tool I described!

    -Matt
    05-04-2015 01:06 PM
  16. anthonyng's Avatar
    Oh but wait, I think I see an interesting angle here...IF it's motivating you to push harder at the gym, then maybe it's functioning exactly like the psychological tool I described!

    -Matt
    hehehe ;) It's starting to work!!!!
    05-04-2015 03:40 PM
  17. Snoke's Avatar
    I have used this band playing hockey a few times now. Had the band a week and used it for two pick ups and one league game. Works great. I usually wear on my left hand face out during normal use, but switch to right hand face inside for hockey. This puts the band on my top hand away from slashes and just protects it more. On the bench I can quickly see where my heart rate is at just for curiosity. At the end of the game you can see your heart rate chart (on phone) spike up and down from when skating and when on the bench. you can see if your maintaining a good level throughout the time or are you dropping in effort from beginning to end.
    anthonyng and gadgetrants like this.
    05-05-2015 11:52 AM
  18. anthonyng's Avatar
    ... but switch to right hand face inside for hockey. This puts the band on my top hand away from slashes and just protects it more...
    good tip!
    05-05-2015 04:39 PM
  19. anthonyng's Avatar
    First hockey game with it on saturday, holy it really feels awkward on my right wrist, like it doesn't even fit! Glad I was able to ignore it fairly quickly. Held up this game but I feel all the motion and rubbing while in my hockey glove is going to make something break... maybe rubber peeling, strap falling apart or even the clasp breaking. I have cuff in my glove that I can velcro around the band but I'm not so sure it's really helpful for the band
    05-10-2015 11:46 PM
  20. gadgetrants's Avatar
    But what we REALLY want to know is...HOW MANY CALORIES did you burn? LOL

    ​-Matt
    05-11-2015 07:44 AM
  21. anthonyng's Avatar
    But what we REALLY want to know is...HOW MANY CALORIES did you burn? LOL

    ​-Matt
    So far Hockey burned more than crossfit but hockey was longer by almost 5-10mins than my crossfit workouts (actual work part) The hockey one clocked in at 59mins.

    wp_ss_20150509_0001.jpg
    05-12-2015 01:15 AM
  22. CliveSinclair's Avatar
    If you have a coach ( I assume a real person), for Crossfit, then one can assume your level of fitness is above what the band is designed for. You might be better looking at a Polar RCX5, HRM, GPS module - or any other similar system.

    Working out your goal is 1st priority.... to get fitter, enter competitions (and get better results), lose weight, increase cardiovascular.....?

    Once you know your goal, get a monitoring system that works best for that sport. For example, not much point using the Band for Triathlons - battery doesn't last long enough (using GPS) and it's not waterproof!

    For Crossfit - I would recommend a system with Chest HRM. Wrist worn ones will hinder you doing Crossfit.
    anthonyng likes this.
    05-12-2015 03:41 AM
  23. anthonyng's Avatar
    simply I think my overall goal is just to stay active, be fit so that I can keep up with my kids.

    Crossfit is the one thing that keeps me interested in going to a gym. Hockey too but that was only once a week on average.
    05-13-2015 09:44 AM

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