Need a Fitness Tracker? Jawbone vs. Fitbit Review!

Happy Friday All! I'm still on vacation but I'm pretty excited about today's post! I had one of the first editions of Fitbit long ago, but really all it tracked was steps and after a certain period of time it's not that hard to recognize if you're waaaaay under 10,000 steps or if you've far exceeded that milestone in a day. So I stopped wearing it.

Fitbit vs Jawbone

Recently though I decided I would ride 100 miles for Bike MS and as soon as I registered I knew I wanted to get a fitness tracker that would track my heart rate. This is about when I started doing a bit of research into the many trackers on the market today and trying to decide what features were most important to me. Then Nicole came to town and she had this very pretty tracker - a Jawbone UP3 and she told me it did everything she wanted and like my impulsive self... I got online and bought one. I'm clearly only mildly affected by peer pressure.

 

The Jawbone had a lot of great features, the heart rate sensors were small and didn't dig into my wrist hardly at all, it was very pretty and the app was downright impressive! I mean, that app can tell you everything about your sleep (this article actually features the sleep page of the Jawbone app!) if you want to know how many minutes you were in deep sleep vs REM sleep, for example, this is a great tracker for you. What I didn't love about the UP3 was that it was advertised as tracking your heart rate when really it just tracks your resting heart rate. Which means it gave me my heart rate a few times a day but I couldn't just look at my heart rate at any given time - this obviously wasn't going to work for my bike ride. Of course, some great things about the tracker were that it is very sleek and it is pretty attractive but I think the best thing of all was that it synced with many different apps, including MyFitnessPal which I use.

That attractiveness took away the one feature that turned out to be the most important to me, though...

I want to be able to see where I'm at with my steps without having to sync it to my phone.

It turns out that with the Jawbone UP3 being so pretty, it doesn't have a display screen on the band at all. It can light up orange to tell you you're in "steps" mode and it can light up blue to tell you you're in "sleep" mode, but that's really all the band itself can tell you. Did you know that running Bluetooth on your phone all day long kills your phone battery pretty quickly?! Yea... so every time I wanted to see how many steps I'd taken I needed to turn on my Bluetooth and wait for the tracker to sync. I will say, though, the Jawbone technology on this front is great, the band and app synced very quickly. Which I didn't realize was a huge plus... until I returned the Jawbone and bought the Fitbit Charge HR which just happens to take for-ev-er to sync.

So yes, my biggest gripe with the UP3 was that I couldn't see where I was at on my goal to 10,000 steps or my heart rate at any given time without synching my fitness tracker to my phone. The Charge HR, on the other hand, has a display screen. It's not nearly as sleek and it's not nearly as girly... but it does tell me where I'm at! I also love that I can change which stats show when I click the button on the side of the band. For example, I wear a watch so I don't want to see the time displayed on my band. I also don't care to see the calories burned so I've got it down to showing me my steps, heart rate, distance and flights of stairs I've climbed.

The elevation statistic is great for me because I make a real effort to always take the stairs. I'm on the 5th floor at work and I have 3 floors in my townhouse. It's 1:30pm on a Saturday right now and I've already done 9 flights of stairs (which is actually quite low for me). This tracker can also recognize when I'm asleep and track that but it's not nearly as comprehensive as the UP3. Personally, that doesn't bother me, I don't know what to do with all that information so I don't see the point to having it, but it is far less informational on the Fitbit. The Fitbit app as a whole just isn't quite as impressive as the Jawbone one. The Fitbit app also doesn't sync with anywhere near as many different apps so it can't keep track of how much water I've drank in a day without me having to enter it there and in MyFitnessPal - so that's a bummer. Lastly, the Fitbit app takes forever to sync, as I mentioned above. Thankfully, I only sync it like once a day because everything I need to know I can see on my wristlet.

Phew, that turned into a bit of a novel. In my case, I was looking for an easy way to track my steps and see where I was throughout the day and most importantly, I needed to be able to queue up my heart rate at any given time. This made the Fitbit Charge HR the right tracker for me. 

Do you have a fitness tracker? What do you love or not love about the one you have?? 

 

Samantha's Signature

I Don't Want Children

Last week Nicole announced her pregnancy here on the blog (YAY) and although she's clearly MORE over the moon excited, I too, am very excited she's going to be welcoming a bouncing baby boy into this world in a matter of months. I like children, I nannied for 4 years for pete's sake, I love when my friends have babies that I can go cuddle and dote on. With all that said, I still don't want children of my own.

Why I don't want kids and why that's okay - Whidbey Island Ferry

Being in my late 20's and in a long term relationship means I get questions all the time about my reproductive plans. Which is freaking weird, if I'm being honest; I get asked about getting married and then I immediately get asked about popping out babies and the shock and horror on people's faces, the utter amazement I see when I tell them I don't want kids is astounding to me.

And before the shock has cleared their faces they start in with the "Well, you're young. You aren't even married yet. You have time. Your biological clock will kick in." I'm not really sure what people don't understand about this comment, honestly. I didn't say "I'm not sure if I want children", I didn't say "J and I need to get married and buy a house before thinking about children". There was no caveat to my statement: I don't want children. 

Justin and Samantha at Deception Pass

I could rattle off a million reasons to these (usually well-meaning) women about why I don't want children but really when it comes down to it, there are two major points:

  1. I'm far too selfish
  2. We live in a terrible world

The first point has many, many side reasons. I want to be Dinks (double income no kids) and be able to travel and buy houses and cars and boats and whatever other material things I want. And maybe that's terrible, but it's my choice. I love my sleep. I'm a cranky, mean person when I don't get enough sleep. I love to be able to go to social engagements when I want to and leave when I want to and not have to worry about bringing a baby, cancelling because of a baby, or finding a sitter for a baby. I love being able to come home and only worry about my extracurriculars. And honestly, I don't want to put my body through pregnancy or labor. Lastly, on the selfish topic, I think that the only people who should be having children are those who feel an immense calling and desire to be parents, and I do not.

This is not meant to be a knock on people who do what children. Like I mentioned above, I like children. I think there are people in this world who are drawn to being parents and they are fabulous parents and they're raising amazing kids. They love their kids and they love their life being parents. I have no doubt if I had children I would love my kids. I'm just relatively sure I wouldn't love my life. 

The second point is pretty self-explanatory. Have you read the news recently? There are mass shootings weekly, those who are meant to protect us are shooting innocent people and people are shooting the innocent people who are supposed to protect us. There are terrorist attacks happening all over the world. There are terrible, horrible things happening in our country and why would I want to bring a child into that? There is so much hatred in this world and in our society that I can't imagine trying to raise a child to be a decent human being. 

Of course, there are many more reasons for not having children than being selfish and a total pessimist about the world we live in... but those two reasons are good enough for me. We don't live in a society where I need to feel responsible to reproduce to keep this earth populated. So what's with the total shock and awe when I say I don't want children? Is it such a bad thing for someone to recognize that playing on the floor with blocks and cleaning up after someone else's bodily fluids isn't how they want to spend their time? I know there is much more to raising children than the few things I've mentioned in this post and I know that there are extreme highs that come with those not so great lows... but for me, the highs just aren't worth it. 

What's your take on women who decide having kids isn't right for them? Any opinions on my reasons for not wanting to reproduce?

Samantha Signature