It's the season of abandoned goals, suspended diets and relaxed waistlines. While we're up to our elbows in tasty temptations, we're also on the cusp of a new year, so it's time to start thinking about how you can improve your lifestyle in the coming year.
Two new products in particular can greatly assist you if your 2012 new year's resolutions include adopting healthier habits and improving your wellbeing. These are the Fitbit Ultra wireless personal trainer and UP by Jawbone, which monitor your diet, exercise and sleep patterns to help you improve your health and happiness. In addition to giving you assistance and tools through an online portal like the other companies in our online fitness services review do, the Fitbit Ultra and UP fitness tracker each combine a small, lightweight, wireless device and a smartphone app with online tools to make it easier than ever to stay motivated to get into shape and stay that way.
Fitbit Ultra is a go-everywhere wireless personal assistant that tracks your activity, monitors your sleep and allows you to log your meals and workouts to help you identify where you can make improvements. You can keep this tiny, lightweight, clip-on device almost anywhere on your person in a pocket, on your belt and on an included wristband while you sleep. It tracks the steps you take, the distance you travel, the number of stairs you climb, the calories you burn throughout the day and how well you sleep at night. You can check in on your progress at any time to see how you're doing and to set mini goals for yourself for the rest of the day.
While Fitbit tracks the above-mentioned activities automatically, you can also input your calorie intake by logging individual foods you eat and the number of calories you burn during your workouts. With a $49.99-per-year Premium Fitbit membership, you can track your weight, heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and other health stats. Without the membership, you get nearly all the same services, minus a few in-depth metrics such as activity, food and sleep reports and limited heart-rate, glucose-level and custom tracking.
The Fitbit Ultra integrates with an iPhone app that logs your stats and lets you check in on your account any time you want to. Furthermore, it automatically uploads your stats wirelessly to your online account whenever you are within 15 feet of your computer. Fitbit.com also acts as a fitness-based social networking site whereon you can collaborate with friends, family and fitness enthusiasts for moral support and healthy competition.
UP by Jawbone
The UP fitness-tracking system includes a mobile app and a durable, motion-sensing wristband with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 10 days on a single charge and a vibration motor that functions as a silent alarm clock and a reminder to exercise. The UP wristband has a 3.5mm plug that connects to your wireless device to sync with the app on your smart device. On the outside, the sweat- and water-proof wristband is comfortable and made to be worn always at work, at the gym, in the shower, in bed and everywhere else in between.
Like the Fitbit Ultra, UP tracks your pace, steps taken, distance travelled, the intensity of your workouts and the calories you burn. It also records and compares your active and inactive times, stores your GPS routes and vibrates to remind you to move if you've been sitting still for too long. UP records your sleep patterns and monitors how many hours you sleep, the ratio of deep sleep to light sleep and the overall quality of your sleep. It also functions as an intelligent, silent alarm that wakes you at the ideal point in your natural sleep cycle just before your desired wake-up call.
UP will also help you eat better. To record your meals, simply take a photo of your plate before you dig in. As a food journal, UP asks you how you feel after each meal so that over time, you can discover which foods make you feel best and which foods to avoid.
Like Fitbit, UP has a social media aspect as well. There are options for individual and team challenges that keep you motivated to eat, sleep and be better at all-inclusive levels ranging from easy to extreme so that everyone can participate.
The Fitbit Ultra and UP are so similar that which one you choose will be based on small personal preferences. These fine products both offer excellent features in compactly designed devices that integrate with smartphone apps and online services to give you a complete picture of your lifestyle. If you're heading into the new year with the goal of improving your health, diet, sleep, fitness level or overall wellbeing, either of these online fitness services' devices will give you the motivation you need to achieve your goals and improve your life.
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