A band for fitness: The latest craze in health-conscious youth



JEDDAH: ABEER MOGEEM

Published — Sunday 24 February 2013

Last update 23 February 2013 10:42 pm

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A multifunctional wristband that tracks a user’s daily physical activity and the number of calories burnt has gained a large following among the Kingdom's youngsters.
Mohanned Mandourah, 25, a Jeddah-based senior account executive, is fond of his FuelBand because it measures his daily movement and helps him in keeping a tab on his calorie intake. “It keeps me motivated during the day to be more active,” said Mandourah, “Ever since I wore it, I stopped using elevators.”
He said he enjoys tracking his activity as the wristband lets the user collect points like in a game.
The FuelBand, a Nike+ product, measures any movement, from walking, running and dancing to basketball and other sports, and allows the user to set a daily goal, depending on how active they want to be.
The wristband can be connected to Nike’s website and their iOS smart phone application, in which the user can see the progress they made in a diagram.
The band’s LED display light from red to green. The red zone indicates the user has not yet achieved the activity goal for the day. The greener it gets, the more likely the user is to achieve their daily goal.
Once the wristband is connected to their smart phone, the user will get rewards for achieving goals. Thus, it will motivate the user to exercise more. A user can share achievements through social media like Facebook, Twitter and Path.
The wristband comes in three colors: white ice, black ice and black. It can be ordered online for $ 149 (SR 560) or from iWeaver branches for SR 800.
“When you put effort into being more active, you’ll automatically care about your calories and diet. For example, I consumed three teaspoons of sugar in my tea before, whereas now I either use sweetener or avoid sugar completely,” added Mandourah.
He’s happy now that he’s aware of his calorie intake as he says it encourages him to exercise more often. Zayed Sabri, 25, an engineer and a FuelBand-user, said it motivates him to watch his daily goal diagram at the end of the day. “One day I was not very active. So in order to accomplish my daily goal, I put on my track shoes, went outside and ran around the house.”
Sabri said he never thought he would be this enthusiastic when it came to exercising. “I even feel guilty now when I end up eating more than I should, calorie-wise.”
Mohammed Abunada, manager of iWeaver in Jeddah, said: “We had a lot of orders coming in ever since the wristband hit our stores. Even though it’s sold out now, people are still registering their names to reserve a couple of these wristbands.”

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