The Nike FuelBand, touted as Nike’s revolutionary new training tool to help keep you in control of your own fitness, uses an ‘advanced accelerometer’ that allows you to track your steps, calories burned, and of course, fuel points. This has been talked about extensively since its release early last year. While this may seem like a long time to wait to showcase, I would disagree for several reasons.
First off, the Fuel Band is far from a household item, and people are always looking for new and better ways to keep tabs on their fitness. Finally, I got one of my own this past Christmas and couldn’t write one a review any earlier. It would have been, literally, impossible.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a fitness freak, but I would say that I am very competitive, very critical, and love finding new ways to stay active. So for the past several months, I have been reading a ton of different reviews on the FuelBand and sharing all of these with my wife (this one is really good), which is probably why she finally caved and bought me one for Christmas… she’s pretty great!
The Nike FuelBand comes in a fancy box (reminiscent of an iPhone box) with the band itself, extra links to make it larger or smaller, a cool little tool to add said links, and a USB charger/plug-in for your computer. In the 30 minutes that we were home between presents and dinner on Christmas day, I was able to set-up, charge the Fuelband, and still have time to get changed – it’s that easy. Good start.
To get the full experience, you’ll want to download the computer program and phone app. This allows you to check out your stats and change your preferences and goals no matter where you are. Here is a screenshot of the Nike+ Connect home screen. From here you can see all of your stats, change your height, weight, what features you want to see on your FuelBand (Fuel level, time, steps and/or calories).
The apps are very interactive. Other than changing around the preferences mentioned above, you can also connect to Facebook, challenge your friends, set bigger goals for yourself (see top of previous picture) and even go on NikeFuel Missions (which I have yet to do).
Using Your Nike FuelBand
This is the best part. I think the biggest thing to note about the FuelBand is that it is a tool to keep you aware of how much activity you have gotten into on any given day. Like many things, it is what you make of it. If you want to get fully involved with all the extra stuff, more power to you. If you want to just make sure you reach X amount of points each day, that is just fine too. One of the reviews I read talked about how the reviewer mainly used it as a watch now.
I haven’t connected to any of the social stuff, and I’m not a huge fan of big brother, but I’m competitive enough with myself that I don’t really need the extra motivation. I love the iPhone app personally and being able to break down my activity by the day, week, month, or even year. Check out some screen shots I snapped of the iPhone app (yes, I picked these days on purpose).
From here it’s all on you to reach your goal. I read somewhere that the suggested amounts are: 2,000 for your typical day in the office and around town, 3,000 if you are working out, and 5,000 if you are going above and beyond. I set mine for 3,000 to push myself a little extra each day, no matter if I’m at the office all day, coaching, or playing lacrosse. I’ve blown past this goal some days and squeaked to an ugly stop a little too soon on others.
I would say it’s pretty dang accurate though. I haven’t had a day yet where I’ve sat around and still surprisingly reached my goal. A great example would be the picture below. Check out that red bar below the time. It’s 2 PM and I’m probably just over 1,000 points. That would be because I woke up, walked to the office (points!), and then sat at my desk typing. Thankfully I still had coaching and a workout later that day.
If I had to describe the Nike FuelBand in one word, I would choose awareness. If nothing else, it makes you more aware of how much you are moving around, or sitting around. As I sit here writing this review, I am earning zero points (typing up a storm apparently earns me nothing except carpal tunnel). It’s an honest piece of technology that allows you to keep track of your activity in a very fun, flashy and interactive way.
Looking to find out more? Check out this video on what the Nike FuelBand can do for you.
Is the Nike FuelBand right for you? Well that’s up to you to decide. Check out the official Nike FuelBand page and find out everything you need to know. I know there are a lot of other pieces of technology similar in style and performance, so do your research and find the one that works best for you.
Editor’s Note: Since this isn’t your typical piece of gear, we didn’t want to use our traditional 10-point scale. Occasionally we will come across products like that which are hard to rate, at the time, we will include it in our Gear Showcase series. Please know that just because it doesn’t have a 10-point rating, doesn’t mean we haven’t thoroughly checked it out. Enjoy!