It’s been a long time since I’ve written! Time to remedy that! Thanks to all my new followers who have signed up for notifications when I post something new! Love you guys!
So last year I bought my first fitness tracker. It was a Jawbone Up Move. It was small, black, a clip on and I loved it. The app was great, the tracker was great, but the aesthetic wasn’t very appealing. It was a bit bulky and hard to hide as I didn’t want everyone at work to see it, so I had to find creative ways of hiding it. Some days it was impossible, and others were bearable. But what woman wants a fitness tracker on their bra that leaves a bulge and people wondering what it is that you’ve got down your shirt. Ok, it wasn’t quite THAT bad, but it was definitely hard to hide and it DID show sometimes.
Not the prettiest thing out there, is it? I still loved it. I got used to it, so used to it that towards the end, I forgot to track my sleep. You have to press it and put it into sleep mode, so it knows you are going to bed. I just eventually kept forgetting, or I’ve been so exhausted lately that I just forgot about it altogether. What do I mean about towards the end? Well, much to my dismay, I lost it while walking to the bus stop. At least, I think that’s where I lost it. The strap of my gym bag and purse probably got caught on it and my shirt was so slippery that I didn’t even notice it come off. Not to mention, it’s casing is rubber, so I probably didn’t even HEAR it fall off. I didn’t notice until I got to the gym and looked in the mirror. Surprise! I was pretty ticked that I lost it because I had had it for one year. I guess it was a blessing in disguise, though.
Enter Bellabeat Leaf Nature.
When I was first looking at fitness trackers, I found the Leaf, however, the two reasons why I didn’t purchase it were 1) (at the time it was) expensive 2) you had to be on a waiting list to order it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a chance on a new company that I didn’t know anything about and I couldn’t find a lot of reviews about it since it had just launched not too long before I read about it. So, I opted for the cheaper option first, but I never forgot about it! So, when I lost my Jawbone, I immediately went to Best Buy to buy this beautiful wearable tech made for women.
There are a lot of things that I love about it: 1) it’s beautiful and I don’t have to hide it! I can clip it anywhere I want, I can even wear it as a necklace or bracelet (bracelet sold separately and made out of leather, vegans and animal lovers beware). I can even clip it to my pants. The nice part about that is that you can change your outfits/styles and not have to worry about “where am I going to put this thing?” Clipped to a shirt it looks like a pretty brooch, worn as a necklace or bracelet it looks like a beautiful piece of jewelry. The other nice thing is that you can inform the app of where you placed the leaf so it can accurately track your steps according to where you have it placed. The recommended spot is clipped to your shirt, but who wants to do that ALL the time?
If that’s not enough to impress you based on aesthetic, how about the app? I know I was very curious as to how the app was set up. After you create an account and log in, you will see this every time:
We’ve got different “ribbons” as the Leaf team calls them: yellow, purple, pink, and green. (Although, the top looks orange/peach to me). So the “yellow” ribbon is showing how many steps I’ve taken today and that I’ve almost met my goal. My daily goals are 5,000 because I don’t have a job that I do a lot of walking, just standing and occasional meandering around the classroom to check my students’ work. The purple ribbon shows that I slept for 9 hours last night (I was super exhausted and passed out really early. I actually fell asleep around 8:00, but then woke up tried to continue reading…) The pink one is obvious, it lets you keep track of your period and meditation is for meditation and breathing exercises. No, the leaf nature doesn’t track your breathing ALL the time. If that’s what you want, you might be interested in the Leaf Urban, the newest design of the Leaf coming out soon. So the above screen is what you see when you first get into the app. The grey circle at the bottom right with the white arrows is the button you press to sync your leaf. You have to enable bluetooth and double tap the leaf to sync. The leaf can store up to 14 days of information so you don’t have to sync every day if you don’t want to. The battery life is up to 6 months. The “wake up” portion at the bottom is my alarm. The leaf gives you 3 alarms, I am only using one to wake me up. It gives a gentle vibration to wake you up, and it wakes me up-everything wakes me up.
Here is the activity/steps screen after you touch the yellow ribbon:
As you can see, the graph is very small partially because it shows your sleep from 12 am on. I personally would rather see my activity from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, but that’s just me. When you reach your goal, there will be a nice star above the bars where you reached your 5,000, or whatever you set it to, step. The middle of the screen shows the % and how many steps to go. Underneath that there are some white circles. Here, you can toggle between your %, steps and 7 day average, active time today and 7 day average, distance today and 7 day average, and calorie information for total, active, and resting.
The “add activity” button lets you choose from a wide variety of activities from cooking, yoga, figure skating (a big plus for me) to sex. There’s a lot more than just that, too! Something I noticed is if you select elliptical trainer from the activities, it minuses your total step count, which I don’t like. My Jawbone included these as steps, so I always have to input “jogging” or “running” depending on my intensity.
If you also noticed, my alarm is set for six, but my activity “started” at 7:10. That’s because right now I’m trying to figure out what the problem is with my tracker. It’s tracking my active time instead of total steps. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’m one of the lucky few who are having some trouble getting the leaf to do what we really want. The Leaf Support Team is awesome, though. They get back quickly and walk you through what you need to do and give you suggestions on what to try. Hopefully, it gets fixed soon!
You can also switch between active time and steps. What does that mean? It depends what your goal is. If you want to take 10,000 steps every day, then counting steps is probably what you want. If you don’t care about steps, but care about getting out and being more active, then you want active time. If you select active time, your active time is only awarded after you’ve been active for more than five minutes. (Which is what my leaf is doing, even though I selected STEPS. I’m just luck that way it seems).
Here’s the sleep screen. The dark purple is where I had deep sleep and the light purple is my light sleep. I did wake up last night at some point, probably where it said light sleep, but went back to bed rather quickly without a lot of movement, which is why it doesn’t show up here. The nice feature with the leaf is that it automatically detects when you are sleeping. How, I’m not sure. Some algorithm or such, I suppose. I like that it lets you add a nap as well, as sometimes I end up taking a nap when I really need it. If the sleep times are wrong, you can hit the pencil button and it will let you adjust the times accordingly.
Here is the period screen. I quite like the overview of this, plus the cute little icons. It’s a really nice quick look at your information. However, when you click on the clipboard you are bombarded with a bunch of dates and numbers.I won’t uploaded a screenshot here because I don’t want you guys to get bored looking at my dates. For me, looking at it makes my eyes cross. I usually use the app called “Period Tracker” that gives a lovely flower icon on your phone so it’s kept private from other people. They won’t know what it is. With the Leaf app, it just gives you dates of previous periods, your next predicted one, and the next 2 months down the road-predicted, of course. That said, I feel this part has room for improvement. By the way, it also lets you track your pregnancy and gives you an approximate due date based on the info from your last period. I had a quick glance at it to provide for info for you!
Here are the meditation exercises, breathing at the bottom. I’ve only tried deep sleep meditation and the introduction to breathing ones. I can’t say whether they helped or not because I was just testing them. Although, I felt the breathing exercises were asking you too breathe much too quickly for my taste. I like slow breaths, big inhale to fill up your lungs and tummy, then exhale slowly. I find it more relaxing. As for deep sleep…well, I usually read before bed, so I’m not sure how well this works. For the breathing exercises, you must clip the leaf to your PANTS. Just FYI.
I found a lot of really great reviews about the leaf on youtube and the internet, but I didn’t see anyone go in depth for the app and what you are able to and not able to do with it. If you’re not 100% happy with the app, you can leave comments on their webpage and give suggestions for the future updates. In the beginning, there weren’t any activities you could add or a “nap” option. All of this stuff is still fairly new and all added thanks to women wearing the leaf and dealing with the app on a day-to-day basis. I left my own suggestions on their page as well!
Overall, I’m EXTREMELY happy with my leaf. I’ll be even happier when my slight problem gets resolved with my steps not registering right when I wake up and only after 5 minutes of active time! I love how far the app has come from when I first heard about it as well as how the Leaf Support Team listens to our suggestions.
Don’t have a leaf? Don’t know where to get one? If you’re in Canada, like I am, you can buy it from Best Buy (Canada) online or in store OR you can order it straight from the Bellabeat (American) website.
Have questions about the Leaf? Leave a comment and I’ll try to answer your questions!
Jawbone photo: google.ca
Leaf tracker photo: bellabeat website.
App photos: sakuradaisuki