With widespread promotion of physical activity and other healthy lifestyle behaviors, new breeds of wearable fitness trackers are hitting the consumer market every day. Pedometers and accelerometers, heart rate monitors, and all-inclusive smartwatch devices are among the most common, used by everyone from casual gym goers to diehard workout enthusiasts.
While I’m personally a huge fan of the Apple Watch and its many fitness tracking applications, this device is definitely on the expensive side and has capabilities far beyond what’s needed for general health monitoring. As such, I’m always on the hunt for more affordable, practical solutions that are reliable enough to benefit both enthusiasts and everyday consumers.
I recently vetted the YOO HD, one of the newest wearable devices to hit the market. The device itself is most comparable to the original FitBit wristbands. After having played around with the YOO HD and its essential components including the YOO Fitness+ mobile app, I can certainly attest to some of its strengths and shortcomings.
Here, I’ll discuss key functions and features of the YOO HD to help you decide whether or not it’s worth trying.
Estimating Calories Burned
Calorie monitoring is extremely beneficial if your fitness goals are centered on weight management, weight loss, and even weight gain. Like most wearable devices, the YOO HD estimates the number of calories burned each day. As you may already know, the body inherently burns calories to carry out essential vital functions and everyday physical activities.
The YOO HD is ideal for monitoring the number of calories you burn during a variety of activities ranging from general grooming (brushing teeth, washing face and combing hair) to housework to exercises like walking, jogging or running. However, similar to other wearables, it is heavily biased towards activities that require a lot of arm movements and/or lower-body locomotion.
This typically isn’t a problem if your exercise regimen involves walking, jogging or running, ‘real’ stair climbing, or sporting activities like tennis or basketball. But, if you’re one who regularly engages in cycling, stationary stair climbing, or certain forms of resistance training your daily calorie burns will be severely underestimated, as you won’t get any significant creds for these activities.
Gauging Intensity Levels
Intensity (low versus moderate versus high) is related to the amount of energy you exert or essentially how hard you work. While high intensity levels during exercise tend to result in the greatest improvements in body weight, cardiovascular function and overall fitness, mixing low- or moderate-intensity exercise with short bursts of high-intensity exercise is equally beneficial.
Monitoring your heart rate (the number of heart beats per minute) is one of the absolute best ways to measure how intensely you’re working out. Unfortunately, the YOO HD doesn’t have any built in heart rate monitoring capabilities.
Since the number of calories you burn is a pretty good indicator of your exercise intensity, the YOO HD provides a decent estimate. Still, without heart rate measurements, it’s just that – An estimate. To compensate for this shortcoming, you can manually gauge your heart rate by way of your carotid or radial arteries, although it may be a bit of an inconvenience during workouts.