In my quest to build a better body, and of course in my pursuit of an overall healthier lifestyle overall – I am a firm believer in the notion that the introduction of technology is a catalyst for progress. I am an avid user of a myriad of fitness trackers because in work, and in life; precision is key, and it’s all about the metrics.
What I’m trying to say is this: when it comes to my workouts, my personal progress, and the steps I take towards living a healthier lifestyle, if I didn’t track it (and subsequently log it in my handy-dandy OneNote notebook), then it didn’t happen.
Enter the newest gadget to enter my life, and one that I think EVERYONE can benefit from using – The Microsoft Band 2. As a HUGE fan of the original Band (I am not exaggerating when I say I only take it off to charge it), I am absolutely thrilled with the newest iteration – which has become sleeker, and more comfortable – all while providing the incredibly helpful and accurate metrics I’ve come to know and love from the original band.
That being said, here is what I LOVE about the Microsoft Band 2, and why I feel we need it as we enter the season of fluff and decadence.
Accurate Fitness Metrics
I must confess that I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to tracking my workout metrics. Meaning, if I don’t have a tracker on, I can’t workout. (True story – I once drove to my gym, got there only to find I forgot my heart rate monitor, drove to a store halfway between the gym and home to buy a temporary one, realized they didn’t have any hrms in stock, only to drive back home and get it and go back to the gym. Crazy, I know!) I’ve diligently worn my Band 1 (and now the Band 2) for every workout since May, and have oftentimes worn it with other heart rate monitors, to compare heart rate readings, step counts, etc. Happily, the Band is just as accurate as any chest strap-based HRM that I have compared it to. That means I don’t have to wear a chest strap while working out (those things can chafe!), and still have accurate readings!
When it comes to building muscle, sleep and recovery are a vital piece of the equation. So much so, that I have been tracking actual hours of restorative sleep right alongside my strength and weight numbers, and have noticed the direct relationship between the two. Band 2 offers up the most robust sleep metrics I’ve ever seen in a tracker, much to my delight. With the Band 2, I actually get the amount of time I’ve had the band in sleep mode, how many times I’ve woken up, and how many actual hours I slept – right when I hit “I’m awake” on the Band.
An Integrated App – Microsoft Health
Microsoft Health offers up a comprehensive and centralized spot to view not only all of my Band 2 – measure metrics, but also to set my own guided workouts. I find both the app in IOS and the web application incredibly intuitive, helpful, and easy to use.
Speaking of the app, one of the features I never really explored with the original Band but am happily partaking in now with Band 2 is the guided workouts option. Guided workout allows me to set a specific workout in the web app, and follow along as I go via the Band 2. There are so many customization options, creating my own plan is a breeze!
Staying Connected, No Matter What You’re Doing
One of the things I love about Band is the ability to view text messages, phone calls, and even emails. With full Windows phone integration, Band allows one to communicate with the world, without ever touching their phone.
Microsoft Band 2 is not only a holiday essential, but a life essential, as well. As far as personal devices go, this is one that anyone can appreciate.