Trying out fitness bands

2014-11-08 00:00

FITNESS bands have become a new craze.

The new wave of fitness bands have not only become an exercise tool but a guidance through daily activities in general. In previous weeks, Witness staffers Alexandra Patrick and Kyle Venktess pitted two of the top bands against one another — The FitBit Flex and Jawbone Up24.


My experience with the Jawbone Up has seen many ups and downs literally. Not only does the smartphone app for the device provide a daily bar graph for your sleeping and walking patterns, it also allows you to track morning or afternoon runs.

Through the app’s usage, I was able to unlock certain achievements — for example, 100 000 steps and 100 hours of sleep. The app also gave me motivations and health tips throughout the day. Another bonus to the app was that it compared my results of daily steps and sleeps to that of other Jawbone users, ranking me in a top percentage of the group.

My daily goal steps were 10 000, and I often met the goal. On a good day, after a morning gym session consisting of five minutes of interval running on a treadmill, I reached around three to four thousand steps. Shortly afterwards, a four kilometre morning run with Alex along Durban’s Golden Mile, earned me eight to nine thousand steps, but after the afternoon’s social touch rugby game for about an hour and a half, I surpassed the goal, reaching 20 000 steps for the day.

On a bad Sunday of virtually no activity, the maximum amount of steps I reached for the day totalled around 4 500, comprised solely of steps around the house.


Before I got my Fitbit Flex, I was always active. I spent mornings running and evenings at the gym.

What the device added to my workout was a way to measure the exercise that I did and made me more competitive with myself to reach the weekly goals that I set. The device calculates active minutes, step counts and even kept a record of my sleeping pattern. The device is able to calculate minutes of restlessness and how many times the wearer wakes up during the night.

The device is also waterproof so you can keep track of the exercise done in water, making sure that you never need to take it off.

The Fitbit Flex comes with a user interface that can be accessed from your cellphone or from your PC. It keeps a record of your progress, your best fitness days and also allows you to interact with other Fitbit users.

The interface is also useful for people who are looking to lose weight. It has a system that calculates your current BMI, as well as your ideal body weight. You can then keep a record of your meals and calorie intake, and the Fitbit will work out how much exercise you need to reach your ideal weight.

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