Review: Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker

It seems as though every third person I see is wearing some sort of fitness wristband these days. People seem to like them, or maybe they just like to be seen wearing them. I don’t know, but there’s no doubting that fitness trackers are popular. I confess to a mild curiosity about them, but not enough to plop down a fairly significant amount of cash.

::pause for moment of gratitude that I didn’t plop::

A few weeks ago I was offered an opportunity to review the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker, a relatively new kid in the fitness tracking neighborhood. Among other things, this band was said to track calories burned, steps/distance, active time, and length/quality of sleep. Ooh, that got my attention!

Do you know what got my attention even MORE? The cost of the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker, which is…get ready for it… $12 per YEAR!

::pause to allow you to pick yourselves up off the floor::

I read the email several times to make sure it wasn’t $12 per month. But no, it even says $12 per year on their website. Heck, I’ll try almost anything for $12 per year*. (You should stay tuned, because one of YOU will receive your very own Pivotal Living tracker!)

pivotal living fitness tracker

Pivotal Living supplies the band and charger; you supply the smart phone or portable device. You’ll also download the (free) Pivotal Living app. You can find information about the supported devices along with links to the appropriate download center on the company’s App FAQ page.

Here’s a super quick video of how the band functions:

On the support page, there are instructions and videos for every step of the process. They’re quick, to the point, and easy to understand. Perfect for this tracker newbie.

Okay, so after you’ve got everything set up, which could take upwards of 5 minutes (if it takes longer, see aforementioned videos), you just snap on the band and go about your business. At some point during the day, you’ll pause to sync the band to the app so that you can get a report.

Given my foot injury, I didn’t track scads of data but here’s a representative day from my dashboard:

pivotal living app dashboard

The categories being tracked are displayed on one screen, with the middle score representing the overall percentage toward the daily goals. If I want to know more about what makes up each result, I just tap on the circle.

pivotal living sleep info

As you can see, I logged a whopping 6 hours of sleep that night. That actually isn’t bad for me, and I was pleased to see that 2/3 of it registered as deep sleep.

I’m not going to take you through each and every screen, but if there’s something you’re curious about, sing out in the questions and I’ll do my best to give or get you an answer.

For now, I’ll share my pluses and minus(es), so far.

Pluses
– It goes without saying that I love the price of this tracker! Not only would it be easy on MY budget, it doesn’t price-guilt me into wearing it every single minute. If I want to take a break from tracking for a few days, I’m not feeling guilty for having spent $100+ on something that’s sitting on my desk. (This is my rationale in choosing a basic-model gym, too, and that’s been working for 7 years. :) )
– I’ve never really looked into other fitness trackers, so I don’t know what all they do exactly, but this tracker keeps up with the basics and that’s what’s important to me. I’m not training for the Olympics here.
– All the features are great, but my surprise favorite is the activity alert. I have mine set for 40 minutes, at which time my tracker vibrates against my arm, prompting me to move around a bit if I’ve been sitting, or since I hurt my foot, reminding me to sit down a few minutes if I’ve been up moving around. In other words, it’s serving as a mindfulness reminder. :)
– Another thing I love-love-love is that the band only needs to be charged every week or so! Unlike my fancy smart phone which seems to need recharging every 15 minutes.
– Readings seem to be consistent, with respect to miles, calories burned, etc. I have no idea if they’re 100% correct (especially calories burned), but if they’re consistent from day to day, I at least have a benchmark to shoot for each day.
– To be honest, I always thought these bands looked like they’d be uncomfortable, but this one isn’t so bad. In fact, I forget I’m wearing it and on a couple of occasions, I had to do a last minute removal as I was stepping into the shower. (Band is water-resistant, not water-proof. Nice save by me!

Minus(es)
– I really only have one true minus and that’s the display quality in sunlight. Exhibits A & B:

pivotal living compare daylight to shade

You see my dilemma. To be fair, the point of being outside moving about is to move about, not to stop every 2 minutes to check your steps. But besides that, just being able to check the time–yeah, that’s what I was doing–without contorting myself into weird shapes trying to generate shade would be great.

And really, that’s my only minus. Anything else would be more of a ‘wish-list’ kind of thing.

Wish List
– I wish the display stayed on more than 5 seconds. Some of us have older eyes, you know, and need a few more seconds to focus.
– I wish I could control which categories are displayed on the dashboard. If I could, I’d hide the water and the weight (and any water weight, if you know what I mean.) But it’s not a problem that the ones I’m not using are there. I’ll just ignore them. :)
– I wish I could manually add in other forms of exercise, like biking, weight lifting, yard work, etc., and then then fitness tracker would include that in the daily totals.

Hmm, it occurs to me that if they added all my wish list items, the tracker might not cost $12 per year and might require charging every 15 minutes. Perhaps it’s best to leave it as is. :)

You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a big fan of this tracker, and I am thrilled to see an affordable option on the market. This one could be a game changer for a whole lot of people.

At present the Pivotal Living Fitness Tracker doesn’t interface with other apps, but their app does include the ability to create or join custom teams, where you can share victories and triumphs as you work toward healthier lives. (Wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of us had these and created our own dynasty? I mean, “team.” Something to think about anyway.)

The generous (and smart!) people at Pivotal Living are offering one of YOU the opportunity to try their fitness tracker for yourself! All you have to do is leave a comment here or over on my Facebook page telling me what your favorite tracking category would be. Let’s review your choices:

  • calories burned
  • steps/distance
  • active time
  • hydration
  • length/quality of sleep

Or any combination of the above. :)

I’ll select the winner by random drawing on Friday. Meanwhile, if you want to show Pivotal Living some social love, check out their About page to find links to their social media profiles. I’m sure they’d appreciate it!


*Note to FCC: I was provided the band at $0 per year for review purposes, but I’ll be renewing this time next year. I neither asked for nor received any other compensation.



Mantras I Have Known

Do I seem calmer to you? No? Well, it’s not from lack of trying.

I’ve installed a new app on my phone: Calm. It’s a meditation tool to help focus, calm, and relax the mind. Although I know how to meditate, I’m not doing it very well or consistently, so I’m currently going through the 7 Days of Calm program. It’s all good so far.

Sidenote: This company also has a great website if you just need a calming two minute break during the day. It’s called Do Nothing for 2 Minutes. If you touch your keyboard or mouse, the clock starts over. Ask me how I know that. :)

While my thoughts were drifting (calmly) along the meditative path yesterday morning, different mantras I’ve used from time to time kept popping into mind as the meditation coach did her smooth-voiced spiel.

Practice makes improvement.

I think this one came to mind just because the speaker kept reminding me that it was okay if my mind wandered, that meditation was a practice, yada-yada-yada. (Sometimes I want to tell her to hush, I just want to breathe. Which is a clear sign it’s working, I guess.)

Still, it was a good reminder to give myself a break when I don’t do something perfectly. Even when I don’t do it perfectly by my redefined version of perfection, which is “mostly right”. :)

We see it when we believe it.

which I always think of in tandem with

Something wonderful will happen.

I can’t remember most of Brian Tracy’s speech about the power of expectation, but these two phrases have stuck with me for over 20 years. I only wish I remembered to practice them every day. While I do believe that wonderful things are happening all around me, it’s difficult to remember to look for them when I’m pondering the future or reliving some past haunt.

My time is now.

When my friend Beth was struggling with Alzheimer’s, she couldn’t remember a lot of the past and knew she didn’t have an extended future (here on Earth, anyway.) All she had was Right Now, and she made the most of it. I sometimes (as in, frequently) have to remind myself that the most important time in my life is Now. The past is over, and I can’t predict the future. Other than that something wonderful will happen.

Own your choices.

After all these years (seven or eight now, I think), I realize that over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been blaming other peop–I mean, things for choices I’ve made. That needs to stop. Now. I’m in charge of me.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

The reward for doing the right thing is doing the right thing. It never ends, and I love it.

Break time is over.

I’m really feeling this one. I’ve not been far off track, but I haven’t been feeling entirely “me” lately, if you know what I mean. The morning meditation (and warmer weather, I’m sure) is definitely helping me straighten things out and focus on the here and now.

Do you meditate? What mantras have inspired you lately?



Product Review: Simple Health Global Food Scale

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but when I first started this “healthier living” endeavor, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what made up a normal serving of most foods. I couldn’t have told you what a 4-oz. serving of chicken looked like or whether or not I was eating 3 ounces of potato or 10 ounces. (Back then, I can assure you I was probably eating closer to 10. :) )

With that in mind, one of the first and most valuable tools I bought for myself was a food scale. I don’t use it all the time, but I do weigh new foods/recipes or do a “portion check” now and then. On the rare occasions I do any baking, the food scale is invaluable for measuring, especially dry ingredients.

simple health global scaleRecently I was offered an opportunity to evaluate the new-scale-on-the-block from Simple Health Global (not an affiliate link). Even though I already had a food scale, I confess I was attracted by the strawberries prettiness of this one.

After putting this scale through its paces for a few weeks, I’m happy to report that it’s a winner.

Pros:

  • lightweight but stable
  • easy to use
  • clear platform, wider (6″) than my previous scale
  • measures in pounds, grams, or ounces
  • tare function! (scale newbies: this allows you to put an empty dish on the scale and zero out its weight before putting your food in)
  • accurate (as compared to my previous scale, but I suppose they could both be equally incorrect)

Cons:

  • the indicator for ounces, pounds or grams is so teensy, tiny I had to get a magnifying glass to see them
  • the marketing photo is somewhat misleading as the scale does NOT come with fresh strawberries

Live Action Shot
simple health global in use

Oh, how my portion estimating skillz have improved! I grabbed what I thought was a half-serving of cashews and came pretty darned close. I had to eat one cashew to get it down to the intended 15 grams. :)

If you are in the market for a food scale, the Simple Global Health Food Scale is definitely one to consider. If you’re in the market for one NOW, click the image with the strawberries (or HERE) and enter TIPPYTOE for a 20% discount. (This is not an affiliate link.)

Question: If you could design the perfect food scale, what features would it it include?

Disclosure: I received a scale at no charge for evaluation, but I did not receive any compensation for my opinions. For the record, I also did not receive any strawberries.