June 4, 2015 9:03 am

My experience staying fit and healthy with the GOQii fitness band

Is an affordable fitness tracker with a real-life coach enough to make you give up your gym membership? Here’s my updated experience with the GOQii band.

coach

I first tested the GOQii Band in February, setting a goal to cover 10,000 steps a day. With more extensive testing over the last month, here’s a report of my progress using the GOQii Band paired with the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL.

A personal coach

One of the primary benefits of GOQii is that you get access to a personal fitness coach.

While walking one day, the free GOQii app alerted me to renew my subscription. After settling on a new three-month plan, I decided to try out a different coach and selected Vinaya.

With this fresh start, I was determined to develop an active fitness regime (on top of walking) and control my intake of junk food, sweets, and colas,

After discussing my goals with Vinaya, she suggested tips that I jotted down in my OneNote “fitness journal.” For example, my coach told me to consume 1,300 calories daily and increase my water intake.

Unlike a trainer in the gym, Vinaya suggested that I engage in brisk walks, cycling, running, and home-based exercises. She also put me on a month-long fitness plan with the goal of losing weight and increasing my stamina.

In fact, this 24/7 coaching has worked so well for me that I’ve given up the idea of joining a gym! You can also use the GOQii coaching feature with other fitness-based wearables and software.

Get fit

The wristband helps you stay active in part by gently vibrating to remind you to leave your seat. It collects the daily number of steps you take, total distance walked, calories burnt, and sleep patterns, then stores that data in the app for your coach to monitor.

As a sedentary worker, I tend to cover fewer than two kilometers daily, but with the band nudging me every hour, I now take 1,000 steps during my breaks. That’s roughly seven minutes of walking every 60 minutes.

snow

To test my endurance, I decided to go on a (maiden) trek! One weekend, I trekked to Triund hills, in the picturesque city of McLeod Ganj, in northern India. Situated at 2,875 meters above sea level, the four-hour hike is a strenuous climb comprised of steep slopes and rocky terrain before you reach Triund’s scenic hills. It was a joyous feeling.

I accomplished 22,000 steps in one go, covering nine miles and burning 644 calories! Over the past month, I have walked four miles daily and covered a total distance of 100 miles.

Pair other fitness apps with the GOQii app

I synced the GOQii app with the FatSecret app to log my daily food intake and exercise diary. I also added the MapMyRIDE and MapMyRUN apps to track my cycling and running progress.

The GOQii app can also be synced with apps designed for other wearables, such as Fitbit and Misfit. To do this, select the “My profile” section in the GOQii app and add your preferred apps.

Track activities

calorie and sleep copy

The core of the GOQii device is made up of precision motion sensors and algorithms that determine the number of steps walked and your activity level. These figures, along with your height, gender, age, and weight, are used to calculate the distance travelled and the amount of calories burned each day.

With assistance from my coach, I now have a custom exercise schedule. I walk every day, but on weekends I prefer to run and cycle for five miles. So far, I’ve shed five pounds!

The band also monitors my rest and activity cycles to examine the quality of my sleep. I am a heavy sleeper (nine hours daily) and indulge in afternoon siestas on the weekends.

I have taken my first step to being fit and earned 12,000 “karma points,” which I will donate towards the cause of women’s education. For context, you earn one GOQII karma point for every 390 steps walked.

If you can’t make time for the gym, let the expert coaches from GOQii train you. A subscription to the GOQii service, currently in beta for U.S. residents, is $8.25 per month, billed as a single annual fee of $99. (U.S. residents can join the waitlist here.) Our readers in India can buy the band and the GOQii service for Rs. 11,999 a year from here.

Have you used the GOQii Band yet? Tell us how you use the SensorCore capabilities on your Lumia.