When it comes to sticking to an exercise regime, it’s incredibly useful to be able to chart your progress; tracking improvements in speed, strength or stamina can make all the difference in stayong motivated. Those ingenious apps that break a grim 10k slog into less intimidating bite-size pieces are an essential part of training now, so we’re always interested to hear about new developments in technology and the latest is the Nike+ FuelBand. One of our Stylist Challenge 2012 bloggers, Deputy Editor Susan Riley, was in New York for the launch of the new Nike+ Fuelband and has given us the lowdown on this intriguing gadget.
The FuelBand is exactly what it sounds like – a simple band that you wear on your wrist, which measures the rate of activity when you’re moving during the day and transmits all the information via Bluetooth technology to your computer or smart phone.
Nike+ has developed the ‘NikeFuel’ metric - a common currency that allows different kinds of exercise to be compared to one another fairly. So basketball players can compare their scores to a skateboarder or runner. All of which means competitive types can make things even more interesting by comparing their results with friends who do different activities in the online community at Nikeplus.com.
And through the wonders of technology you can all track each other through Facebook and Twitter too – which might just help you decide to pull on your trainers and head out for a run on a rainy day when you really want to crawl back under the duvet. The fuel band lasts for four days on your wrist – it has a USB so you can charge it up anywhere (so no excuses for ignoring it). You can set a goal each morning and an LED display moves from red to green as you get closes to achieving it.
This smart little wristband is Nike’s most powerful tool in getting people to take responsibility for their own health and fitness; by tracking every action you make during the day, you can see in real terms how much – or little – you’re doing, and make conscious changes to drive up your ‘fuel score’.
Stylist’s verdict: The Nike+ FuelBand is cool but is slightly biased towards certain activity as it responds to hand movements (so if you were cycling it would have to be worn on the ankle, but you can’t do this currently), plus static sports like yoga wouldn’t give the same results. Plus it's not waterproof so swimming is out. But if you’re training for a marathon or ramping up your exercise regime, it’s a great way to monitor your progress.
Pre orders for USA start today and the Nike+ Fuelband will be available in the UK from May 1 for £139. Find out more at nikeinc.com