(This post contains affiliate links.) First up is my new toy of the month – the Jawbone UP3 fitness tracker. I had been wanting an activity tracker for a while to count my daily steps and alert me if I am sedentary for too long, but this little gadget does so much more than that. The Jawbone UP3 uses bioimpedance sensors to automatically track your sleep and measure heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response. What attracted me to this tracker in particular was it’s ability to measure the 3 distinct stages of sleep: deep sleep, light sleep and REM sleep. That seemed to be a unique feature and one that I feel is important to my health right now. You can also set a “smart alarm” to gently vibrate and wake you at the optimal time in your sleep cycle but I haven’t tried that yet. The Jawbone UP3 can automatically detect when you fall asleep but if you “start” and “end” your sleep manually via the app it will measure how long it takes you to fall asleep. This screenshot isn’t typical for me as I was quite poorly and was feverish and woke in the night, but that makes it ideal for demonstrating how sleep is tracked and displayed:
The Jawbone UP3 tracker measures both Resting Heart Rate and Passive Heart Rate. According to Jawbone:
Measured once per day before you wake up, Resting Heart Rate is one of the best indicators of overall heart health, while Passive Heart Rate is measured throughout the day when your body is still and shows how your heart responds to daytime stress and other stimuli.
The app also allows you to log your food/drink (which I haven’t tried yet) and any additional exercise. I chose the Jawbone UP3 in the “Black Gold Twist” colour and I’m really happy with the way it looks. It is slim and stylish and it was one of very few options that would fit my tiny 5cm wrist. It literally won’t go any smaller than I have it. I wear it a little further up my arm than I would a watch and the sensors are just able to all keep contact with my skin. It works perfectly though and I haven’t had any problems with it. Quite the opposite – I’m really impressed with it so far.
Who hasn’t been watching more TV than is good for them over these long, cold winter nights? Personally I love all the murder mysteries, from Inspector Morse, Endeavour and Lewis where I can relate to Morse and Hathaway’s love of the finer things in life and all things intellectual, to Miss Marple and Father Brown where the simplicity of village life in years gone by appeals to me. In Silent Witness I always find Nikki to be an inspiration professionally and I have to admit that I share some of Poirot’s perfectionist tendencies! Midsomer Murders brings light-hearted comedy to the murder investigation and I always think Tom and Joyce are such a lovely example of married life and community involvement. One of my favourite TV series though is Castle. Ladies, isn’t Castle just everything a man should be? I’ve been catching up with some episodes that I had recorded and this quote from season 7, episode 23 struck me as a real gem:
One day you will look back and you will realize that every experience you ever had, every seeming mistake or blind alley was actually a straight line to who you were meant to be. – Richard Castle.
Last but not least for this month’s favourites is Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year in Life workbook. The graphics are stunning and super colourful which all helps with motivation. I ordered the PDF version and selected my favourite pages to print on A5 paper to go in my lovely A5 Finsbury Filofax in raspberry. I selected the ‘borderless’ option when printing the pages and they came out beautifully and, well, borderless! Being a PDF you can, of course, fill out the pages online before printing or print them and then fill them out by hand.