Hacking Your Body

The other day, I wrote about using technology to your advantage, and the next day I went out and bought myself and my wife a Jawbone Up to play with. For me, I figured it would be another fun way to track my weight and sleep routine, and my wife wanted it for similar reasons. Off to the Apple Store we went, and an hour later we had two.

Long story short, so far it’s working for me, and she’s going to exchange hers for a Fitbit. Here’s why.

My wife right now is a stay at home mom, which means that when she goes running she’s usually pushing a stroller. If she’s walking, she may be carrying our daughter. With a wrist-mounted device, she’s not recording all of the activity that she actually does throughout the day. For her, that’s a deal breaker, so she’s going to pick up the Fitbit One which is mounted on your hip or in a pocket.

For me, my biggest concern with the Up was how it fit on my wrist. Size wise, I seem to be right in the middle of a large in Jawbone terms, but once it’s on my wrist it spreads out just a touch to accommodate my size. Now it’s not like I have fat wrists, but it’s still a bit weird. However, I was concerned about typing interference, and that isn’t an issue at all.

Overall, both of us have seen improvements in our lives based on adding tech to our systems. I’m down another few pounds since I started tracking my activity and food — it’s amazing how something as simple as that will guilt you into not having that snack in the afternoon. My wife is on a running kick, she just won’t stop. My hope is that I’m down to my goal weight by October, which seems to be fairly reasonable if I maintain my current pace.

So what’s the next step? For me, I’ve been considering adding blood pressure monitoring to my system. My cholesterol and blood pressure have always been right at the top of the “good” range, and although losing weight will help, it’s still something I’d like to keep an eye on. For that, I’m considering the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, which is a bit pricey but would give me piece of mind.

But my takeaway from all this is that one device will not necessarily work for everyone. I know I like my Up, and it’s going to be my device for tracking this stuff for the foreseeable future. But for my wife, the Fitbit may be her better option. We shall have to wait and see.

What kind of tech tools have you used in your path to become healthier? Let me know in the comments below.


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