It's hard to believe I've worn the BodyMedia FIT CORE armband for over two weeks already. To be honest, the first day I wore it I didn't think I could handle having something attached to my arm for six weeks. Now, I barely notice it. It's comfortable, very small, and conceals easily under a shirt. In fact, if I don't have it on, I feel like something is missing. It's sort of like a wedding ring. When you first put it on, it's weird but over time, it just becomes a part of you. Wearing the armband is now as routine as putting on my watch each morning. This past week has been challenging. Despite working at a caloric deficit, I didn't lose any more weight. I'm not particularly upset by this because I lost three pounds last week while only eating at a 1.5 pound deficit. I feel my body is catching up with that big initial loss. It's a normal pattern for me to lose well....plateau...lose again. I hit my caloric goals all week and the weight will catch up in time. One thing losing a lot of weight has taught me is patience. My personal goal for this coming week is to get more "vigorous" activity. According to the BodyMedia FIT, vigorous activity occurs when my body reaches an expenditure level of 6.0 METs or higher. What is a MET? One MET, or metabolic equivalent, represents a person’s resting metabolism or oxygen uptake. As we go through daily life, most tasks require an energy expenditure that is less than three times resting level (3 METs). METs offer a quick screening measure to evaluate your cardiovascular fitness. A way for you to keep tabs on how much intensity you’re bringing to your workout. So, when I move around, most of the time, it's at a level of less than 3.0 METs. The BodyMedia FIT gives me credit for "physical activity" if I reach a level of 3.0 METs or higher. My current goal on the BodyMedia FIT activity manager is 45 minutes of 3.0 or higher METs activity each day with 15 minutes of that at 6.0 METs or higher (deemed vigorous activity). I have to admit, it is very hard to get my METs above 6.0 and to do so I need to kick up my workout intensity. I do well at "moderate" exercise (3.0 to 5.9 METs range). In fact most days, I surpass my "moderate activity" goal easily by walking, doing household chores, or playing with the kids. The activity manager shows me that I'm active but I'm not working out at a truly challenging level very often. The other night, I walked 1.5 miles around the duck pond at a brisk pace. Vigorous activity? Nope. It was solid exercise but I didn't push myself and the CORE armband knew it. If I had jogged a bit or walked even faster, maybe I would have reached that elusive 6.0 MET level or higher. What have I done this week that was considered vigorous activity? In a word, kickboxing. It is the hardest workout I can do at my current fitness level. It gives me the coveted yellow spikes in activity as seen below. As you can see, over the course of the 30 minute workout, I spiked to a 6.0 MET or higher only part of the time (about 9 minutes). The brown graphs during the rest of the day shows other physical activity (housework, errrands, cooking) as well.
Other things I've done for vigorous activity include dancing with the kids and running in the backyard. I didn't maintain a sustained vigorous rate but I spiked into that higher level for a minute or two here and there. It must have been my most spastic dance moves (think Elaine from Seinfeld). One day, I simply ran back and forth in the backyard racing the kids. It wasn't a pace I could maintain for long but every bit of exercise adds up. Watching all those exercise minutes accumulate throughout the day is my favorite thing about the BodyMedia FIT. It keeps me motivated and focused. The data encourages me to try harder each day and to most of all....keep moving!!! So this coming week, I plan to do more kickboxing and dancing. I'll still walk but I'll walk faster. In addition, I plan to try a new workout DVD to see what type of MET work I achieve when combining cardio and strength training. I'm really trying to put this armband (and myself) through some good tests during the EmpowHER FITness challenge! BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using an iron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss. The 3 part system includes: 1. An Armband that automatically captures data 2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day 3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-to-understand way (*subscription required) I encourage you to take the BodyMedia FITness challenge with me! You can purchase an armband through EmpowHer. You can learn the truth about the lifestyle choices you make throughout the day and how they affect your health. Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia via EmpowHER. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.