Can the Nike Fuel Band Discourage You From Working Out?

Written by Richard

Ever since smart phones, integrated gadgets are seemingly ubiquitous.  The Nike fuel band is one of these, it’s one of the many fitness devices that are becoming more common.  These smart devices promise to keep us in check or encourage us to be more active.  The social media integration and competitive aspect may certainly be helpful to some, but let’s take a look at the Nike Fuel Band and see what it offers.

The Nike fuel band itself is nothing more than a glorified pedometer with integrated accelerometers.  It senses steps and general movement.  From a technical standpoint it’s nothing new.  In fact, pedometers once were free in a box of special K and every smartphone has built in accelerometers.  The bracelet itself is an uncomfortable, one size fits all rubbery band that isn’t much to look at.  Where Nike tries to make up for it is with the app integration and the fuel points.  The band only detects arm movements and it’s obvious in the Nike workouts that arm movement is emphasized.  The workouts are nothing innovative and are tremendously redundant.  As for the fuel points, they are proprietary points for general movement so we can’t say much about what it means.  It displays calories but, it’s best to ignore those values.

Using the fuel band

Opting for my own workouts instead of the Nike workouts proved very much that the fuel points weren’t useful.  My gut wrenchingly strenuous leg workouts registered a discouraging amounts of points.  My upper body workouts were slightly more encouraging but whipping cream by hand was by far the best “workout” second only to a dry spin cycle in the dryer ( we don’t recommend you do this).  The point here is that while using technology to help reach our health and fitness goals is a good idea, this particular device, and those of it’s kind, aren’t up to the task.

In the past I’ve used heart rate monitor devices that were far more useful.  Of course, these are most valuable to the endurance or cardio minded individual.  At least heart rate is a useful parameter to measure vs steps or limited motion sensing for fitness tracking. My recommendations would be to make sure heart rate is registered by any fitness device you consider purchasing.  How I chose to integrate technology in my workout is with some good tunes and nothing more. The Nike fuel band may be the most expensive and over marketed step counter around.


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