The Microsoft Band and why I started something new
The Microsoft Band is the company’s first wearable fitness tracker that was initially released in the United States late last year. Now the Band is available in the UK as well so I ordered one from Amazon.co.uk, because they ship to Switzerland. I want to write how the first month with the Band changed my daily life.
First, here are some specifications about the Microsoft Band.
The Band features a collection of 10 sensors and is compatible with all major smartphone platforms:
- 24-hour heart rate tracking – Monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day so you can perform at your best
- Sleep Tracking – See how long and how well you sleep and how often you wake
- GPS Run Mapping – Map the routes you’ve run, biked, or hiked and save your favorites
- Get the most out of Microsoft Band with the Microsoft Health app and a full-featured web dashboard
- Works with the phone you own – iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone Microsoft Band is designed to be awesome on multiple platforms
- Works with Windows Phone 8.1 update, iOS 7.1 and later and Android 4.3-5.0 phones, with Bluetooth
But this should not be a tech review. The Band is great and it have all you need to track your daily life.
I just came back from a walk around my little village I life. Yes I went for a walk. Something I haven’t done the last years. I make a lot of sport so this is why I ordered a Microsoft Band. My goal was to track my active life. The most time I was at the gym. Because I had the privilege to use the gym at my office. I started 18 months ago and made some good progress. Beside the gym I play football (soccer). When I got my Band I started to track my activity at the gym and how much I run during a football training. This is how a football training looks like:
You can see how much calories you burned, the best split for 1 km, average heart rate, how long the recovery time is and many more. When you wear the band during a training you automatically run more. Because you know every step count. My daily goal is 10’000 steps. These are 8km. An average person does 5900 steps a day.
After a week with my Band I started jogging. I really hate jogging. But with the Band it is fun, after the run you have all the stats and I really started to like jogging. There is nothing better then jogging trough the village, in to the forest and back to your home. Where a cold shower is waiting.
My first run was 7.47 km. Based on the numbers on the map you can see where you have achieved a kilometre. I really had no goal, I just took step by step. When you are on the run the band vibrates on every km. When I reached kilometre four. I thought, common you can do more! Without the band I would have stopped and went back home. You can see I have done 3.5 km more!
My best split was 5 min 36 sec. and now I have a clue what I want to improve. For sure, when the track would be plane, I would be faster but I like to run up and down.
But the Band is not only about tracking your daily activity. The Band changed something in my life. I work at the office and normal I don’t get a lot of sunlight. Or I work from home and don’t make a lot of steps. From my bed to bathroom, kitchen, my computer, coffee machine and back to my computer 😉. After my daily work I took a look on my Band and I saw 2300 steps done. Pretty not much. So I thought, yesterday I went jogging, I can’t go for a run every day. On a Saturday it was the same. But then I took my backpack, something to drink and my lovely camera a Canon EOS 700D. The first time I went for a walk to the next village. The camera with me I could combine an old hobby that I haven’t done for a while. I had no route, I just knew the goal was the home of my parents. The route was trough the fields along the forest on top of the hill where I had an impressive view.
The walk was nearly 6 km. This was my motivation at the start. But during the walk I remembered how beautiful the nature is and it changed something in my mind. It was very relaxing and I think without the Band I would stayed at home. Simultaneously I took some great photos. This is only a snapshot what I have saw on this walk. On a photo the time is freeze you can’t see what emotion it unleashed. Walking gave me the same feeling like travelling. Escape from your daily life.
Here are some photos I made during this walk:
After my first walk I made some spontaneous walk. One was with my girlfriend. We took the bus to the next city and walked along a river. We made a picnic and walked nearly 8km – again with no goal. I think it is very relaxing when you don’t have goal. Just walk and take the way you want. Something that is not planed. Because too much is planed in our life. As well I had my camera with me and again I took some great shots:
Today I was on a walk as well, alone. This walk gave me the idea to make this blog post. I started to walk with no goal, as always, just to be more active and to be healthy and more relaxed after a day at work. When I reached the end of my village I saw a red bench with a cross next to it. It was nearly on the top of a hillock. So my goal was to reach this bench. There was no road to the bench so I went trough the field along the vineyards to the red bench. It was an awesome view!
Yeah, this was my first month with the Band and how it changed my life. I know I will do some more post about the Band soon. Because it has a lot more features than tracking your steps and routes.