February 12, 2015 12:56 pm

Testing the GOQii fitness band

It can be hard to keep an exercise regime. How about a real-life coach who guides you to your fitness goals via the GOQii fitness band from India?

goqii band

SensorCore’s unique motion-sensing and tracking capabilities built into in our Lumia devices motivate us to stay fit. Helping you further is the GOQii fitness band from India. This smart fitness band can track your physical activity, water intake, sleep cycle, nutrition and calories burned.

After installing the GOQii app for Windows Phone on my Lumia 830 and pairing my red-and-black band with my phone, I was all set to try it out. It fit nicely on my left hand: even though I am right-handed (like most of you out there), I wore the GOQii band on the hand least used for activities like writing, cooking etc.

The GOQii app lets you log your activity, water intake, sleeping hours, goals, targets and eventually earn “karma points” to support worthy causes. A mild tap or a downward swipe on the band’s rectangular screen wakes up the display so you can see the various readings.

Selecting my personal coach

The great thing about GOQii is that you get a personal coach – a real person who will help you reach your fitness goals.

So I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail message from the GOQii team to select my personal coach. After browsing through the available coaches, I chose Parwage Alam as my coach. Soon after, he greeted me in the chat window of the app.

He was friendly, thanked me for entering my food log for the day (sandwiches, salads and colas) and water consumption details (I drink less than one liter a day!), and was happy to know about my fitness goals.

goqii coach

We set a mutually agreed time to chat and we spoke for about 30 minutes. I explained how I’m a sedentary worker and discussed the lack of physical activity and the paucity of time to maintain an exercise regime. Parwage was patient and suggested that I slowly increase my rate of activity levels.

Unlike other fitness experts or coaches, he didn’t ask me to reduce my calorie intake. To my surprise, he insisted that I eat everything, drink loads of water and exercise or a play game to develop stamina.

He even helped me with the queries I had on further synchronizing my data with the band and promised to check my progress report weekly and to assess my goals.

Tracking steps

I had set myself a goal to reach at least 10,000 steps a day and found myself constantly monitoring the process on the GOQii app.

goqii copy

After waking at 7 a.m., I traded my usual elevator ride for a climb down on foot. I live on the fifth floor and discovered that even 100 steps can make you feel tired.

Completing a few rounds of my neighborhood park earned me another 1,000 steps and the band showed I was nearing two kilometers. By then, it was 7:45 a.m. and time to head back home. I was tempted to take the stairs, but I wanted to test if the band read my movement while in the elevator. The GOQii band won and I lost 100 steps in the trade-off.

Around 11 a.m., I traded a coffee break for a quick dash downstairs to check if the band was logging in details. I gained another 500 steps in this process.

At lunch, I skipped my usual meal and opted for a sandwich, which I ordered via my Lumia (more on that later). Opting to eat while walking, I stared into my Lumia with each passing step. Don’t try this at your office as you might bump into your boss. Another 200 steps achieved.

By 3 p.m., I had managed about 3,000 steps, Since I wasn’t too happy with my progress, I didn’t stop walking when I returned to my workstation. I took extra steps to fetch water, visit the terrace café of my office complex, and chat up colleagues.

That turned out great: I touched the 5,000-step mark, but I still had a long way to go. While I normally share a taxi home with colleagues, I found myself walking again. The sun was setting and I had a good 1,000 meters ahead of me. I burned another 40 calories and earned another 2,500 steps.

I was hoping to cross the 6,000-step mark before my coach sent me a message via the chat feature to indulge in some sports. After dinner, I again went for a brisk walk and got rewarded with another 2,000 steps. The band monitored my steps correctly and seeing the counter go up with each passing step, I was tempted to even to start running.

Monitoring sleep

Before going to bed, I turned on the sleep mode to monitor my sleep. The band shows an emoticon of a smiley and logs the number of hours you have slept. I clocked less than eight hours on day one and seven hours the next day. Researches in the past have often talked about the importance of having an eight hour sleep to start a better day.

Face to face with my karma

It has been almost a week and I have had the band on my wrist almost constantly. It is interesting to note that my coach regularly monitors details like the number of sleeping hours, food intake, water consumption and calories burned.

In fact, Parwage reminds me every day to stick to my exercise schedule and drink the suggested three liters of water. I have earned only seven karma points till now and wish to increase this figure to double digits soon.

device_steps

I am yet to find out more about “Karma” points, a reward that accumulates when you meet your goals.

If you can’t make time for the gym or afford a personal trainer, give the GOQii band and app a try. I am not very active, but with my coach and the band, I hope to become more fit.

Have you used GOQii band yet? Have you taken 10,000 steps a day and utilized the SensorCore capabilities on your Lumia?

Tell us about your experience and how much “karma” you’ve earned!