As a healthy lifestyle blogger, I have tested out my fair share of fitness watches. I haven’t, however, experienced what it’s like to have an activity tracker on my wrist noting my every move until just a few weeks ago.
When I got the chance to review the new Polar Loop 2, I was excited to not just track my workouts, but also to see how having an all-day activity tracker could affect my days.
Would it really make a difference? The answer is yes.
If you’ve never tried out an activity tracker, it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay on top of your goals. I notice the biggest difference on my rest days. While some could have easily turned into an all-day Netflix encounter, having a constant reminder to get up and do something on a lazy day is like night and day.
It may sound silly, but I genuinely want to take more walks and get in my steps for the day when I have an activity tracker on.
It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what kind of activity level my every day routine takes me to, and it’s even better having access to it right on my wrist!
How Activity Trackers Help Your Healthy Lifestyle
• You have a daily activity goal to reach.
The Polar Loop 2 provides real-time stats to check throughout your day. With a quick tap of a button, you can view how many calories you have burned, how many steps you have taken, and how close you are to reaching your goals for the day.
The tracker goes into enough detail to even tell you to jog (x) minutes or walk (y) minutes to hit your activity goal. When you hit that number for the day, it vibrates and celebrates with you. It’s the little things, right?
• If you sit for too long, it politely reminds you to get moving.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the vibration reminders. Initially, I thought I would get annoyed if I felt a notification to move if I was in the middle of an important task on the computer or driving. I was worried it would be a dramatic minute or so of vibrating that would eventually make me want to take it off all together.
The first time I got an alarm to get up was when I was sitting at the computer. I had no idea 55 minutes had gone by since I last walked around, and a quick vibrate paired with dancing dots on the display notified me it was time to move. Right away, I got up, filled up my water bottle, and went upstairs to put laundry away for about ten minutes.
Taking little breaks to get up and walk around every hour or so have really made a difference in my overall weekday activity level!
• Your sleeping habits are finally revealed.
I can usually recall when I go to bed at night, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I always get the recommended 7+ hours of sleep per night. The Polar Loop 2 took feedback from the original version’s reviews and now offers a breakdown of restful versus restless sleep.
It’s great to be able to take a look back at my week and see just how much sleep I’m getting.
• You can change your goal to fit your needs and lifestyle.
It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. If you spend most of your days in an office chair and don’t walk around too much, it would be best to set your activity tracker on the low setting.
Considering I like to run outside a few times a week, I set my goal for steps right in the middle. When I’m not training at the gym, I’m sitting at the computer, so it takes a conscious effort for me to hit an optimistic goal of 15,000 steps.
In fact, there are a lot of days I don’t hit my goal. On the days I do, I give myself a big pat on the back and feel good about achieving that small victory.
I’m thinking about modifying my daily step goal down to 10,000, and I will if I don’t hit it the majority of my days. Right now, I get really close to hitting it, and if I go for a long run I surpass it by twenty or so percent. Knowing I can hit an aggressive goal pumps me up to keep the habit of taking the extra walks and breaks during my time on the computer.
• You can see how many calories you burn per day, not just during your workouts.
Have you ever wondered how many calories your body burns per day just existing? While there are formulas to help you determine your resting metabolic rate, it’s nice to see a numerical breakdown that includes all of my activity, not just during my movement during workouts.
I don’t turn on my fitness watch when I walk down t0 the mailbox, so it’s nice to “get credit” for all of my walks and trips up and down stairs throughout the day.
• You can see how much of your day you spend sitting versus moving.
The Polar app (you can download for free) is very helpful in seeing just how active you are every day. As a personal trainer, I am on my feet most days, but it evens back out to being sedentary when I spend a full day on the computer catching up on blog work.
Each day is broken down into resting (laying down and sleeping), sitting, standing, walking, and jogging hours and minutes. It’s pretty neat to see!
Some Pros and Cons of the Polar Loop 2
While I am very happy with my experience testing out the Polar Loop 2, my review wouldn’t be fair without a handful of pros and cons.
(Some are still me getting used to the technology…)
- I haven’t figured out how to input my workouts. Am I getting credit for my mountain climbers and box jumps at the gym? What happens if I ride a bike?
- I also haven’t figured out how to track my heart rate. Do I need to purchase the heart rate option, or can the chest strap from my other Polar fitness watch work with this tracker? (I’ll be sure to share my progress on this later this month.)
- If it does track heart rate, I wish it didn’t require an additional piece of equipment.
- While I adore the pink color for every day gym wear, I tend to take it off when I get dressed up. Maybe I need to get more creative with an arm party, but it might be best to go with a neutral black or white color.
(This picture was taken before I sized it to correctly fit my wrist. Whoops!)
- The battery lasts a lot longer than I expected it to! I plug my Polar Loop 2 into the computer to sync my data and charge the battery when I know I will be sitting for a long period of time, but it will last over three full days without it. It also charges relatively fast so it’s ready to go when you are.
- You can cut and adjust the size of the strap so it fits exactly how you want it to. I have tiny wrists, so bracelets and watches always swim on me. It was nice to find out I could take the adjustable clasp off, cut the strap, and reattach it. And it was pretty easy to do.
- I like the vibration reminders!
- I love being able to see my progress right on my wrist throughout the day. I don’t have to open or sync the tracker in my app to know where I’m at.
Polar Loop 2 Discount Code
The Polar Loop 2 retails for $119.95. If you’re looking to step up your activity tracking and want to try the new Loop, make sure to take advantage of a 20% off discount! Simply enter the promo code POLARFITBLOG upon checkout at Polar.com to receive the discount on any Polar Heart Rate Monitor or activity tracker.
Please note that the code expires on 12/31/15, and is only good for customers in the U.S.
After a week or so of wearing my activity tracker, it’s easy to see how doing so could dramatically change one’s habits. I love that this one has a mission to get you into a healthy lifestyle all around while being able to track steps, calories, and even quality sleep.
More updates on how I’m using my Polar Loop 2 coming soon! #TeamPolar
I’d love to hear your thoughts on using an all day activity tracker.
Do you have one? If so…
Has it helped you become more active?
How have you used it to stay on track with your goals?