I recently attended FitBloggin and learned about a new gadget that I’ve grown quite fond of, the Gruve. As part of full disclosure mode, I did receive one of these for free as part of my attendance at FitBloggin.
It’s a little device that clips onto your waist and keeps track of your movements throughout the day. You download the days activities into a computer program and it shows you how many calories you burned during the days and which times of day had the most activity. The science for the device was developed by Dr. Jim Levine of the world-famous Mayo Clinic.
The best part for me is a little colored sensor or “Halo light bar.” It starts out red until you’ve burned 25% of your calories, then shifts to orange (up to 50%), then yellow (up to 75%), then blue (up to 100%). When you have met your calorie and movement goals for the day it turns green to signal that you’ve reached your goal.
The other funny part (and ironically it only happens when I’m blogging …) is that it’ll buzz at you if you’re not moving enough. The company states, that if you’re sedentary for too long your metabolism will drop. Using the inputs from the computer it’ll estimate what “your” drop time is and buzz you five minutes before you go into this state and then again as you enter into this state. It’s disconcerting, I don’t like it really, and it does get you to move around a bit.
The Gruve sells for $199 and that includes a one year subscription to the online program so you can do all the downloads and tracking that you need.
This is a similar and simpler version of the bodybugg(tm). I had the bodybugg for a while and I liked it and used it regularly. There are two reasons why I like the Gruve better. It sits on your clothes instead of your arm. I found the bugg got uncomfortable and if I wasn’t diligent about keeping it clean I developed a skin rash (I do have very sensitive skin so take that with a grain of salt.) I also wear some tight fitting sleeves and the bugg would bulge out, people were always asking me about it which got annoying. With the Gruve if people see if, they think it’s a pedometer.
I also got overly obsessed about the numbers with bodybugg. I was constantly checking the info screen to see how many calories I’d burned for the day and I got a little nutty with it. With the Halo Bar I just see generally where I am and just keep chugging, for me, it’s less stressful.
The biggest drawback for me with the Gruve is that it’s not Mac compatible. I live in a Mac world and had to partition my hard drive and then download software just to get on the internet so I could upload my device. That was really, really annoying (and blew 4 hours). The representative at FitBloggin said that they are expecting a Mac compatible version of the software to be released in July.
Another drawback was that it didn’t register my Pilates sessions all that well. The first session I had the color barely changed even though I was sweaty and winded at the end of the workout. It definitely works better for straight cardio activities like walking, running, dance and cardio classes.
BTW it retails for $199 but according to the handout I got at FitBloggin. “Go to www.Muve.Me and enter promo code “BlogNGruve” during the checkout process. Feel free to post this information to your blog. Promo good until April 15.” So there you go.