One of my New Years resolutions this year was to become healthier – to eat better, and be more active. Since graduating from university and working in an office, it’s easy to let weight creep on, and be tempted by the constant flow of office drinks, lunches and crappy breakfasts. Despite this, I have been doing quite well – I plan meals in advance, and go to the gym three times a week. This has saved me so much money, but it’s also been a great way to relieve stress. While I’m not the healthiest person in the world, I have gradually been making small changes to offset my physical inactivity between the hours of 9 – 5: I take the stairs up in tube stations, and opt to walk instead of getting on the bus (that is, if it’s not raining!) Little changes really do add up, but I wanted to see how much – and so my hunt began for an activity tracker.
If I’m going to be wearing something everyday, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing or it will drive me mad. This is what initially attracted me, and helped me to decide upon the Misfit Shine – practical and sleek, my Champagne coloured disc has attracted the attention of many, and has been a great conversation starter.
This little disc is powered by a battery which needs replacing every four months, and connects to my iPhone wirelessly through bluetooth. Through the iPhone app, I set myself a daily goal based on my height, weight, age and how much physical activity I do. It’s based on a personal target I’ve set myself, and by tapping the device throughout the day I can see how far along I am in reaching my goal. My personal goal equates to something along the lines of an hour and 45 minutes of walking, but I can meet my goals through various forms of activity. I wear my shine on my wrist on days when I go swimming (it’s waterproof!), or strap it to my sneakers with the magnetic clasp on days I decide to use the bikes in the gym. At the end of the day, you sync the Shine to the app and you can see how many steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burned and ‘points’ you’ve earned throughout the day.
I admit, when I first got the device over a month ago I became a woman possessed. I was obsessed with meeting my daily goal, in the same way David Sedaris became obsessed with his FitBit in this New Yorker article. I walked home from the office for over two hours on a day I’d been particularly inactive, and would be consumed with guilt the days I wouldn’t meet it. I’ve had it a while now, and have chilled out considerably. I love my shine – it’s oddly comforting to know how much I’ve been stomping around, and is a gentle, encouraging reminder to get out and be a little bit more active.
It also tracks your sleep, which is a feature I like, and tells you how many hours of deep sleep you’ve had.
The only downside to the product is that it can’t tell the difference between steps – you use a lot more energy going up flights of stairs (136 steps at Goodge Street station!), and the fact the device doesn’t always respond to my tapping (of course, only when my friends ask me for a demonstration of the device I’ve been raving about), but with the exception of those two points I absolutely love this nifty gadget and would really recommend it.
My shine, which I got here: Misfit Shine comes with a magnetic clasp (for your shoes) and a sports band (for your wrist). I’m currently coveting the rather stylish necklace and leather band accessories!
Anyone else have a good experience with their activity trackers?