How the Jawbone UP move is Making Me a More Fun Parent

Jawbone UP move for parents


This post is part of a collaboration with Jawbone UP move and the Smart Coach App. Now I need to buy Bart one so we can see who is more active (on second thought – I already know the answer to that one)

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin talks about exercise and how important it is, but how her ideal activity is reading a book in bed, preferably with a treat.

Sadly, I know just what she means.

When we go to the park, I much prefer sitting on a bench with a paperback to running around on the playground equipment with my girls. I’d rather sit on the couch than play soccer in the backyard.

But over the past month since I started using the Jawbone UP move, I’ve definitely become a more fun (and active) parent.

Jawbone UP move for parents

I’ve set my goal to 10,000 steps a day on the app, which is the recommended amount and I thought, “Well, how hard can this be?” Actually, I’m apparently even more sedentary than I expected because I do have to put forth some effort to hit 10,000. When I check the app periodically through the day, it’s kind of astonishing how long my “longest idle” times are (often over an hour!).

Which means that I’m suddenly always looking for ways to fit more steps in to my day.

When we’re at the park and the girls ask me to help them across the monkey bars, I think “I could get a few extra steps in.”

Jawbone UP move for parents

After quiet time, I think “if we go for a little walk, I could probably squeeze in an extra 1500 steps.”

When I was writing this post, Ani started crying in her room and when I went in, begged me to find her bear. It meant a trip downstairs and out to the garage to (fruitlessly) search the car, but when I went down the steps, I thought “at least I’m getting some steps in.”

Jawbone UP move for parents

Last week, when Bart and I flew to Arizona, I told him, “The great thing about airports is that walking between terminals means I’ll get a lot more steps than usual!”

I guess I’m just one of those people who needs a gold star for my efforts. It’s unbelievably gratifying to me when I press the button on my UP move and see the lights go around and around to indicate I’ve hit my goal.

I love watching the trends on the app and seeing how I’m doing over the course of a week or two (the longer I’ve had it, the better I’ve gotten about fitting more activity into my day) and when the Smart Coach feature suggests new ways to get more steps in, I’m all in.

Of course, my girls think its the coolest thing ever. Several times a day, Ella asks what percent I’ve done. In fact, she asked if she could have one for her birthday. I’ve never heard of a four-year-old who wants a step counter for their birthday, but apparently there haven’t been ones as nifty as the UP move before.

The bad news is that no product is ever going to make me as much fun as Bart.

Jawbone UP move for parents

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  1. 10,000 steps is hard! My 5 year old tries to entice me to do things by telling me, "you'll get more steps". I wrote about my FitBit on my blog a couple weeks ago. My son wants one too. I would like to lend mine to him for a day just to see how many steps he'd get. 20,000 at least probably.

  2. My youngest daughter just won a Fit Bit Zip at school and spent that night running all over the house so she could get more steps in than me. I was happy to sit and watch! The app on my phone has helped me be more aware of needing to get up and move around – and yes, 10,000 steps is harder than I thought to get in, too.

  3. I'm with you….if I forget to put on my FitBit before I leave for work, I always feel like, "well now what's the point of walking?" Gold star or bust!

  4. I got the Up Move in March and I've had the exact same experience! I thought 10k steps would be a cinch, but I definitely have to work for it (and if I'm being honest, I still only meet the 10k goal a couple times a week and I average more like 6k or 7k). But I agree – it definitely makes me more fun and I'm much more likely to go out of my way to move and be active now.

  5. I just use the health app on my iPhone, but it only counts the steps while my phone is on me (obviously). I still average about 12,000 steps a day, easy. That's what having 4 kids in school and many different activities, and having a rather largish house will do. I do want to get a real pedometer to see how many steps I take when I don't have my phone in my pocket (probably lots more!)

  6. I'm the same way with my Fitbit! I'm always looking for little ways to sneak extra steps in since my job keeps me tied to a desk!

  7. It really is amazing how motivating the gold star is! My husband and I got fitbits for Christmas and a couple nights a week you'd find us walking around our living room trying to get the last couple steps in before we went to bed! 🙂

  8. Derek's new job has us wear pedometers and it sinks to an app on our phone and if we wear them and get 7000 steps each day we get money put into an HSA account… which is ridiculously motivating with all our dr bills!

  9. After getting back from Peru (where we walked 7-10 miles each day, even on days we weren't hiking the Inca Trail) I've been really frustrated with how sedentary my life is. Even if I were religious about working out every day – which I'm not – that would still only be one hour out of each day. At work there are only so many times I can get up to run an errand or just take a walk around the building and still remain productive.

    I'd love a FitBit, I just don't want to pay for one!

  10. Scott and I love competing with our fitbits! I've never heard of the UP, but I love the features of my Fitbit One, and it's nice that so many people have it so we can do challenges together. Me and Scotts mission president are neck in neck 🙂 We got a cheap pack of extra bands so T can wear one- she usually gets it on first thing and sometimes begs to go back home to put it on when she forgets. There were several times in NYC where a subway stop was closed or had issues, and I decided to walk to a farther stop with the promise of my "extra steps!" Fun!

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