Monday, January 24, 2011

Body Media Fit - Week 2..ish

Update on the Body Media:

It’s been roughly 2 weeks since I’ve started wearing this armband.  And the total loss for this two week period :drum roll:  two.flipping.pounds

I don’t know why I was expecting Biggest Loser-esque weight loss numbers, and there could be many factors behind the two-pound weight loss, but hey a loss is a loss- even if it does factor to one pound each week. 

Here are my observations thus far of the Body Media System:

1.  Having to take it off to swim in my opinion is it’s biggest draw back.  When the lion’s share of my working out is done in the water, and this thing isn’t monitoring me as I’m doing it, it loses its value.  Especially considering that when you select “swimming” from their drop down menu, you have the choices of “Breastroke” “Backstroke” “Butterfly” “Freestyle” and “Freestyle Fast”.  The problems I have with these categories are numerous:

            a.  What is their definition of “fast” versus the regular strokes?  There is no stroke/min, yards per hour, or timed split to decide.  I can swim balls out freestyle for 20 minutes or I can swim freestyle with no effort for twenty minutes, or I can go in between.  If they are going to have these vague categories, that don’t have an accurate measurement of effort output, then they should have a way to input your heart rate information into the online system so that measurements are more accurate.

            b.  By the time that I am finished stretching, showering, and getting dry enough with enough clothes on to actually put the arm band back on my heart rate has pretty much gone back down to normal, so it thinks I’ve had zero activity.

2.  The “Blue Tooth” connectivity stuff that they sell you on, it sort of neat (your android connects wirelessly to the online activity monitor to be up-to-date with information there) however, your arm band and your phone do not sync wirelessly to give you up-to-the minute data like I originally thought.  You need to connect your armband every night to your computer and log into the online monitor to download the information.

It’s still pretty neat though.  Other than swimming, any other activity you do while it’s on comes pretty close to your exertion level as the heart rate monitor does. 

My step count on the Body Media and the steps taken from my pedometer are off by about 100 steps.  I think because I don’t really move my arms all that much when I’m walking, so the armband misses a lot of them.  And, I also shuffle more than step, so that could be the reason too.

Another thing I have noticed is recently, when I’ve put the unit back on my arm, it’s starting to take a really long time until it beeps and lets me know it’s receiving.  I’m not sure if that’s because my skin is so cold after getting out of the pool that it takes a while to warm up enough to be recorded or if perhaps my skin is still kind of damp and it’s shorting out the receiver.  But, I’ll put my arm band on, finish getting dressed, dry my hair, put my makeup on, pack my stuff, and am halfway to my car when the armband finally registers that it is reading again.

I’m hoping that the whole 2 pound weight loss thing is just my muscles saying “what the hell, we were perfectly happy being sedentary these past few months” water retention, and that in the coming weeks, the numbers will come off a bit faster :-/

Til Next Time!