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Mar, 11 2015

Raise your wrist if you do NOT own a wearable. Well, you’re part of a diminishing population. A recent article on trends in the industry noted that 52% of people recently polled said they were aware of wearable technology devices. And among those, a third said they're likely to buy one. Are you? 

Our freshbenies family is pretty tech-savvy and many of us are wearable owners and users. So, we thought we’d give our thoughts on which we use and why we love it…



The old adage of, "what gets measured, gets done" is my life's motto. I love numbers, percentages, and equations, but not just the numbers – I love how they help us make decisions in life. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that if I’m going to invest time and energy in working out, I’m going to make sure I’m measuring, tracking and improving. The Polar Heart Rate Monitor is a watch that hooks up to a comfortable chest strap heart rate monitor. I like this because I get the time of day, my heart rate in real time, calories, and the amount of time I’ve been exercising...actually there’s so much information it’s ridiculous (in a good way). I know when I’ve had a good workout because it allows me to set limits and know when I need to pick up my pace or when I need to slow down. Also, I like that it works in the gym, hiking, running or biking - great for all the forms my exercise routine might take.


After resolving to improve my general health through fitness programs and cardio, I quickly realized I needed some guidance and assistance. My friend mentioned he was using a heart tracker and GPS watch to precisely calculate his results each day. Enter the Garmin Forerunner 15. This simple, easy-to-use device collects and stores all the data I need to become a healthier me. Not only does the watch provide pedometer functionality, it also includes the exceptional Garmin GPS technology, allowing for accurate distance and pace. Feeling better is a reward unto itself, but supporting that general feeling with real data is the best. I AM getting faster, growing stronger, transforming into a healthier me.


I purchased my Jawbone UP to track how many steps I take and for sleeping. It’s helped keep me accountable to my daily activity or steps goals and calorie intake. I like that it gives me different challenges for exercising, walking or eating. It also shows how long it takes me to go to sleep, how long I’m in a deep sleep or a light sleep, and if I wake up. I really notice a difference in my energy level if I’ve had 3 hours of deep sleep versus 6 hours. I never would’ve realized this until I had the Jawbone UP to track it. It also tracks my resting calorie burn versus the burn rate when I’m active which makes it obvious that I need the exercise. Finally, I really like the option of being able to clip it to my clothing or wear it on my wrist.


I only recently started using my fitbit, but it’s already made a huge difference in the way I approach fitness. Like most people, I have a pretty good idea about what I need to be doing – exercising, eating right, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep – but it’s difficult to say no to dessert or motivate myself to go to the gym. Even worse, when I do start a new diet or exercise routine, I usually measure my progress by what the scale says each morning, and it’s easy to become discouraged if the pounds don’t fall off as quickly as I’d like. That’s why I love my fitbit! It measures and keeps track of my activity and the calories I’m consuming and holds me accountable, sort of like a personal coach. Right now, I have a goal of doing 10,000 steps a day, which is almost impossible without walking for at least half an hour. Because I can always see on my iPhone how much I’ve done and how much is left, it forces me to get on the treadmill even when I don’t feel like it, which is the hardest part. Also, I input everything I eat, which increases my awareness and helps me make better decisions. Finally, I’ve started using my fitbit to keep track of my sleep. What I’ve learned is that I only average about six hours per night and some of it is restless, so I’m trying to go to bed earlier and doing some other things to help me sleep more soundly. Best of all, because I know that results don’t come overnight, I’m relying on my fitbit to track my progress. It tells me I’m doing a good job (I love the positive reinforcement!), so I don’t feel the need to step on the scale every morning. I would highly recommend a wearable to anyone who wants to make a lifestyle change rather than just try the latest fad diet or exercise program.


After moving from a job in a large corporate office to a home office, I put on about 15 pounds because my activity level drastically decreased. To drop the extra weight, I was able to tell my fitbit my goal weight and the time frame I wanted to get there (I chose the “Kinda’ Hard” timeline). Based on those two metrics, my fitbit gave me a daily calorie intake and the activity level (or number of steps) I would need to hit my goal. To lose weight, everyone knows you need to eat a little less and move a little more. But until now, I never realized what the exact numbers were. Now, I know exactly how many extra steps I need to take to “afford” a pudding cup :-)  


After using the several fitness bands, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Moto 360 Smartwatch trumps all. As life continued to get busier for me as a husband and father of two children under five years old, I wanted a device that would align itself with my daily routine and not take away from it. The Moto 360 is a gorgeous watch that is basically a smartphone on my wrist, but most importantly it is my health hub. It tracks my steps, syncs with my phone, and charts my daily/weekly/monthly activity without much effort on my part. It took me five minutes when I first received it to set everything up, and it’s been smooth sailing every since. Throughout the course of my day, I take a glance at my wrist to see exactly where I am in relation to my steps goal. I walk my dog every night and the length of my walk depends on how close I am to my goal! I’m quite sure my dog hopes I’m miles away from this daily achievement because I think our walk is the highlight of his day. Overall, having the Moto 360 has caused me to be more aware of my activity and eating habits because I don't want my steps to go to waste by eating junk food. As a result of being more health conscious, my family has decided to follow my lead and become healthier, too. Who knew living a healthier lifestyle could be so effortless and rewarding. I have the Moto 360 to thank for that.


I love the integration between the pedometer function of my fitbit and the calorie counter of the app. Measuring all my activity and all my calorie intake forced me to be honest about how much exercise I was truly getting every day (or not), and how many calories I was truly eating every day.  That is the wake up call I’ve loved from having a wearable.

Now it’s your turn! Do you use a wearable? Which one(s)? Why do you love it? 


Heidi has a passion for helping busy families control their healthcare dime, time and peace of mind! She writes articles to do just that, while keeping it fun and simple for her readers! She also speaks on healthcare issues and is the owner of

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Tanya Boyd
Tanya Boyd
President of Tanya Boyd & Associates

I didn’t want to go to urgent care or the ER. Using Doctors Online in my freshbenies membership, I went online to ask a doctor. The doctor responded and said to check my blood pressure. He followed up with the next day to make sure my numbers were OK. By then, the feeling was starting to go away. He told me if it persists to contact my doctor. It was great that I didn’t have to go somewhere and wait forever, and it was free.” - Kelli from Texas

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Mark from MI
Mark from MI

I’m an advocate for using the freshbenies Advocacy service!

I had a few recent doctor visits and got a bunch of bills. I thought, why not give it a try and see what they can find.

They found some mis-billing and got it removed, saving me a few hundred dollars. Worth the small effort to send it in!