There was a time in my life, where I didn’t think too much about my health, from what I ate to whether I exercised. That’s really changed the past few years, after I noticed I put on weight, lacked energy and just didn’t feel super great. Slowly I made changes in my life – I got a personal trainer, I read up on nutrition and even went to a sleep clinic to try to finally diagnose my sleeping problems! It’s still a work-in-progress – there have been many a time that I’ve wanted to call in sick (*cough cough*) to my trainer and eaten a daily diet that included fried chicken, followed by a full bag of chips washed down by a can of soda. Cause let’s be real – life isn’t a perfect Instagram feed.
It’s fascinating to me how technology can now be used to create better habits in your life. When my friends at TELUS told me about the Withings ‘Body’ Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale and Withings Activité Steel, I knew I wanted to take the scale and activity tracker for a test drive. You might not be aware that TELUS carries a very well-curated collection of health and fitness products and have new Connected Experience concept stores for you to touch, test and play with sought-after digital lifestyle products (more on that later).
Withings Activité Steel
This is the Withings Activité Steel activity tracker. A friend instantly noticed the sleek tracker on my wrist and commented on how it didn’t look like a typical activity tracker. The Activité Steel matched perfectly with my outfits, even when I was dressed up for a business meeting. But most importantly, how was the activity tracker going to help me create a healthier lifestyle?
The data from the activity tracker syncs to the Withings Health Mate app that’s easily downloaded to your smartphone. Set-up was easy, and took me a few minutes. The activity tracker compiles data like the number of steps you’ve made in a day and the number of hours you’ve slept – monitoring your length of sleep, and quality of sleep. Within the app, you can also set reminders (i.e. ‘Go for an after-dinner walk’, ‘Drink a hot herbal tea’) and set goals. I decided I wanted to do 10,000 steps a day. This was going to be a challenge for this girl who sometimes drives to the grocery store two blocks away. Hey, laundry detergent gets heavy!
Off I went, 10,000 steps – I can do it right!
Don’t mind the Birkenstock tan
Withings ‘Body’: Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale
Next up was the Withings ‘Body’: Body Composition Wi-Fi Scale. The Withings products are created to compliment each other. I spent a few minutes setting up the scale to sync with the same Withings Health Mate app. The data from the scale gets logged onto the app, not only do you get your weight (it’s accurate up to .2 pounds), but the scale also measures full body composition: fat mass, muscle mass, water mass and bone mass. There’s also a weight trend screen which monitors your last few weigh-ins.
Stepping on a scale can be scary right? Especially if you’re photographing it! I started the week off at 117.1 pounds (Sunday night). My goal was to lose one pound this week.
DAY 1: It’s A Healthy Day
Kicking off on a busy Monday morning where I worked from home in the AM, meant I had barely clocked any activity. By noon, I knew I had to get out of the house, and instead of grabbing my car keys to drive the five minutes to the coffee shop, I walked 24 minutes. After I checked my Withings Health Mate app, I realized I clocked just over 6,000 steps from walking to and from the coffee shop. That wasn’t too hard, I even got to listen to a podcast – Straight Up With Stassi – you know, Stassi from Vanderpump Rules – please don’t judge me.
On Monday nights I take a 50 minute mini-trampoline class. Three sets of cardio and weight training intervals in between – it’s a fun and sweaty class. Post class, I opened my app to discover I hit 10,648 steps – 6% above my daily goal. I even got a cute ‘Healthy Day’ badge to mark my accomplishment.
My favourite mini-trampoline class at Seacity Fitness.
DAY 2: Making The Most Of Sleep
So much for the high of Day 1, cause Day 2 was a rough one. A feature of the Withings Activité Steel that I found especially beneficial to me was the sleep activity data. I’ve been dealing with sleeping issues for years, and last year went to a sleep clinic to learn more about the awakenings I have in the middle of the night. The data from the Withings Health Mate app would’ve been so useful to my doctor, as the app tracks from the time I’m in bed to when I fall asleep to a detailed breakdown of my night from light to deep sleep and then any times I awoken. I had set a sleep goal of 8 hours and noticed that I had only clocked 6:57 hours of actual sleep, 86% of my goal. Even though it’s just an hour, the hour makes all the difference sometimes. I set-up a reminder in the Health Mate app to “Drink a Hot Herbal Tea” at 9pm. Drinking herbal tea before bed is something I started about a year ago, but I’m not consistent. Not only did I brew that cup of tea, but I did so earlier than usual, to cue my body to wind down. Points for heading to bed earlier, but I only clocked 5,000+ steps, well under my goal.
DAY 3: Crushing It With 15,000 Steps
If you look at the smaller dial on the watch, you’ll notice I’m 58% towards my daily goal. A quick reference point of how much more activity you need to challenge yourself with each day.
I started off the day with a win, I slept 8:35 hours. Feeling rested, I started the day with a cup of black coffee, a large glass of water and whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas. I logged that into my MyFitnessPal app which tracks my diet – I had this app prior to trying the products. The Withings Health App connects with partner apps like MyFitnessPal, as well as RunKeeper, Nike+ and Nest. I did make a conscious effort to make better eating decisions this week knowing I’d be tracking my overall wellness, the goals and app kept me on track. With another evening mini-trampoline class, I ended off the day with 10,652 steps.
DAY 4: Pizza & Ketchup Chips
Stepping on my scale, I weighed in at 115.8 pounds, off three days of activity! But today would be the peak day – I amassed 15,314 steps (this included walking 40 minutes each way to and from a destination, something I would’ve never done before) – I earned an “Amazing Day” badge. Now, because of this badge, I may have rewarded myself with pizza. Three slices, followed by half a bag of ketchup chips and half a glass of soda. Maybe not the best meal, but it was so good. I also tested out the “Heart Rate” function on the app by placing my finger on my phone’s front camera, the camera measured my pulse. In about 10 seconds, the app read my heart rate.
DAY 5: Reality & Mindfulness
Thank god it’s Friday right? I started off the day with only 6:37 hours of sleep and I awoke three times in the night – this data is clearly shown on a bar graph of your night’s sleep. That’s why I was especially tired and had little motivation the whole day, clocking just 4,121 steps.
DAY 6 & 7: The Weekend
Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish
I knew the weekend was going to be interesting, my boyfriend’s cousin was in town from LA and we would be touring her both days. I was pretty sure I’d meet my activity goals. Saturday included a trip up the Sea to Sky Gondola – if you’ve never been – please go – it’s just so breathtaking. And the easy trails are a great way to get in activity even if you’re not a hiker. The activity was much needed with a weekend of eating that included pasta, poutine, East African food, lemon and garlic fried chicken wings, BBQ pork buns and Sunday night at The Keefer Bar. The step count? 10,206 on Saturday and 7,509 on Sunday.
I clocked 46KM this week.
Sleep was still a struggle.
I was very impressed by how in just one week, I was significantly more active than I normally am. Above is the activity I logged for one week, I met my goal of 10,000 steps 4/7 times in the week for a total distance of 46KM. I missed my overall goal of 70,000 steps, but was close at 63,968. As I stepped on my scale Monday AM, I was 115.1 pounds, two pounds lighter than I was the week before. I still struggled with sleep, I only slept 8 hours (my goal) once out of 7 days! Seeing this so clearly in a graph made me make a mental note – less late night TMZ (do I really need to know about the Brangelina breakup?), more sleep. I’ll keep trying.
What I was most proud of was my conscious effort to be more active and tracking my activity with the Withings Activité Steel, Withings Body Composition Wi-Fi-Scale and Withings Health app really helped motivate me. Seeing the data and results and feeling the extra energy this week made me excited to keep going. Adding technology to your routine can really help you make healthier lifestyle decisions, it’s an investment in you. Cause really, do you need another handbag in that already stuffed closet of yours?
TELUS Future Home & Connected Experience Concept Store
It’s pretty amazing to see the ways that technology can improve our lives and what’s in store. Throughout the year, the TELUS Future Home, a dynamic and interactive traveling smart home will be showing you firsthand how connected technology will transform daily lives. From kitchen counter that can count calories, to a fridge that helps you plan meals, track inventory and add items to a shopping list to a face scanning door that uses facial recognition technology to open a front door.
To see more digital lifestyle products in action, pop by the new TELUS Connected Experience concept store opening next week (October 5th) at the new Tsawwassen Mills Shopping Centre. The new Connected Experience stores are an evolution of TELUS’ unique customer experience, and the Tsawwassen location is the first of its kind to open in BC and only the fourth in Canada! The store puts the “life” in “digital lifestyle,” providing a truly interactive playground for customers to touch, test and play with the most sought-after digital lifestyle products.
Photo Credit: Alim Kabani