Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Introducing Digit

Rapunzel gets help from sassy Pascal.  Tiana counts on Ray.  Cute little Gus Gus is one of Cinderella’s
many rodent friends.  Rajah is a great companion to Jasmine.  Snow White can always count on
woodland furry creatures. Flounder pals around with Ariel.  Digit the Bodybugg is
this princess’ cutesy critter.  (Images belong to Disney and Apex Fitness.)
I really could have cast my Bodybugg as Prince Charming.  It is here to rescue me and I love it that much.  You may have seen Bodybuggs used on NBC's Biggest Loser, which is where I learned about them, but the show has never really spent any time sharing what it really does.  So let me tell you:  it does everything, and it is omnipotent in a friendly, magical way. 

I guess it isn't exactly magic, but it feels that way.  I copied this from the Bodybugg website about how it works:

  • Motion: The armband contains an accelerometer that measures motion from multiple perspectives.
  • Steps: The accelerometer counts steps by measuring the distinct patterns created by running or walking.
  • Galvanic skin response: When you sweat, your skin becomes more electrically conductive. This measurement helps the device understand how active you are.
  • Skin temperature: There’s an electronic thermometer inside your armband that monitors how hot you are.
  • Heat flux: When you move, your muscles produce heat. Your armband measures the heat that’s flowing from your body into the environment.

Bodybugg touts itself as a "calorie management system" which is a bit of an understatement.  For me, the three major things it does is:  1) Monitor my body and tell me with over 90% accuracy how many calories I have burned, 2) Allow me to log my food and calories consumed.  It has thousands of foods in the system to choose from and I can enter nutritional information for foods I don't find.  I also can put in recipes and it will figure the calorie content for me. And 3) (This is the best part) it shows me, whenever I wish to log on, what my calorie deficit is.  Well, hopefully it is a deficit.   It presents this info in a great little bar chart.

It does other things too like:
      •  Act like a pedometer so I can monitor steps each day.
      • Give me nutritional pie charts so I know how much protein, sodium,  fiber, carbs, etc. I have consumed.
      • Help to keep me on track by telling me how many calories to eat and how many to burn to meet my goals.
      • Allow me to see how effective any given exercise was, by breaking down how many calories I was burning while doing it.  I can look in 6 minute increments.  For example Zumba classes set my calorie burn sky high versus a warm-up walk on the treadmill.  When I review the day I can actually see when I was up and away from my desk throughout the day just by looking at the chart.
      • Tweet my results to put my success out there in the cosmos.  I could Facebook it too, if I wanted.

And so much more!  There are message board communities to join, a health and fitness library to pull articles from--it even suggests a diet and plans meals!  I don't use all of the features it has--but there are a ton.  When I first activated it, I got a free "coaching" session on the phone with a Bodybugg rep, so it was easy to learn about everything it is capable of.

The Bodybugg is super light weight and straps to your left arm.  I honestly don't even realize I am wearing it most of the time.  I wear it all day except when I am showering or in the pool.  Some Bodybugg users wear theirs to bed, but I choose not to, at least not since the first few nights.  It has gotten to know me and already knows how many calories I burn while sedentary and figures it that way so I don't think it is really needed.

I have the basic model, but you can also upgrade to a digital watch, which allows you get real-time instant numbers.  There is also model that will communicate with your iPhone or Droid.  Although I don't have that model, I can still enter my food online on my phone, which is great. (This app is currently only available for iPhone and Android users.)

For me the Bodybugg system has been the most helpful tool for a healthy lifestyle.  It is based on a principle we all know is true--calories in versus calories out.  It takes out the guesswork out of weight loss and for me, those charts are total motivators.  Most importantly, it gives me a sense of control.

It isn't cheap.  I was glad to get mine as a gift.  You can purchase them at http://www.bodybugg.com/.  At the time I wrote this post (a couple weeks in advance of it posting) the basic model was $169, including 6 months of online access.  I think they run specials from time to time.  The advanced models are a bit more expensive, but the upgrades may be important to some people, especially athletes needing instant...digits.

And by the way, Digit is pink!  How perfect for a sidekick to a princess. 

Bodybugg did not request this review and has not compensated me in any way to review this product.  All opinions expressed in this blog are my own.  Should Bodybugg or another fitness product want to send me product or coupons, I would be happy to share my honest thoughts about how a particular item worked for me, and would disclose such perks to readers.