Monday, March 29, 2010

Gettin' My Gruve On

I came home from FitBloggin' with some awesome things, but so far my favorite bit of techie swag has been my Gruve. A tiny little gadget that I clip on my waistband every day, it's like a pedometer only oh-so-much cooler.

The Gruve was developed by Muve, Inc., a company co-founded by Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr. James Levine, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Levine and his team of researchers demonstrated that our normal daily activity (or lack thereof) can affect our ability lose and maintain weight, and the Gruve was developed to encourage wearers to increase their NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Instead of simply measuring steps like a pedometer, the Gruve measures subtle movements like standing and walking, allowing it to track the calories we burn during normal activities. And while they're not necessarily burning hundreds of calories in an hour, over the course of the day, the calories burned by those movements add up.

As you move throughout the day, the Gruve's "halo" changes colors when pressed, going from red (0-24% of your calorie goal), to orange (25-49%), to yellow (50-74%), to blue (75-99%), and finally to green (100%). Unlike a pedometer, you get real-time reinforcement and motivation for burning more calories. And if you're being sedentary for too long, your Gruve gives you a little electric shock (OK, it's really just a short burst of vibrations) to get you moving again. Talk about a reminder to get off your butt!

I've been wearing my Gruve for a full week now and I've totally seen a difference in how I go about my everyday activity. I've stopped circling parking lots for the closest spot and started seeking out those farthest from the door. I don't mind walking the aisles of the grocery store. I'm walking from office to office at work instead of sending emails or picking up the phone. I've taken to making multiple trips up and down the stairs at home, even if it's unnecessary.

Getting to green has become a fun little game I play with myself. How early can I get to yellow today? How many days in a row can I make it to green? What activities can I do inside my house to burn more calories? Is it possible to pace while doing the dishes? What about folding clothes on the move?

The thing that I love most about Gruve is that, as person who loves graphs and charts, I can see my progress throughout the day, not just with the changing halo colors, but also by synching my Gruve online. I just plug the gadget into the computer and log into my Gruve Dashboard to see my calorie burn so far, over a course of the week, during a specific day or even by the hour.

As I start incorporating more NEAT activity into my days, my Green Goal will increase, so that I'll continue to be challenged as I lose weight. When I'm ready to maintain, I can indicate that in my Gruve Dashboard and my Green Goal will adjust accordingly.

As you can see, I'm a total fan of the Gruve. I've been spreading the word about it since day one. It's perfect for anyone who needs a little extra motivation to add more movement throughout their day. And it's especially perfect for those of us who find ourselves sitting at a desk or in front of a computer most of the day. Speaking of which, there's that buzz. Time to climb the stairs a few times and get my Gruve to green!


Rebecca said...

I was so bummmed!

I had no clue what the Gruve was and hadn't signed up to try one out and totally missed out.

oh well... glad you like yours though!

Tess said...

I did the longest ride of my life yesterday and forgot it at home! It thinks I laid around, not moving a bit, while in fact I was biking for 3.5 hrs on hills!

Ami said...

Rebecca - I'm so glad I signed up even though I didn't know what it was beforehand!

Tess - Bummer! Don't forget to put the Gruve in your sock instead of on your waistband when you ride (something I discovered in the Gruve FAQ). :)

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