Saturday, November 01, 2014
Keeping fit over the holidays is always a challenge. Not only are there all kinds of holiday treats to tempt you, all those parties and events mean less opportunity to work out, less sleep, and more stress. It's always a good idea to get a workout in before things start to get busy -- and that's why Microsoft chose October 30, the day before Halloween and the start of the holiday season, to host a fitness day celebrating the launch of their latest fitness tracking gadget, the Microsoft Band. #FitnessDay events were held at Microsoft Retail stores across the country, including Westfield Valley Fair Mall, one of my favorite local malls, so I put on my yoga gear and headed to the Microsoft Store for a few hours of fitness and fun!
Event staff and trainers were on hand all day, offering fitness tests and giving customers the chance to try out some of the fun fitness games on Xbox Kinect.
Stores hosted two free fitness classes: a high energy Zumba class at noon, and a stress relieving yoga class in the evening.
The first 150 customers were given a fun present (their choice of yoga mat, hat, water bottle, gym bag, or jump rope). They had free jamba juice, Gatorade, water, and energy snacks. And there were giveaways all day long.
You could pose with a variety of props and your souvenir photo was mailed you on the spot.
The star of the day was the Microsoft Band, Microsoft's entry in the wearable fitness tracker market.
The Microsoft Band is nice and slim, but it has an elongated touchscreen display, not just a bunch of flashing lights. It's the ultimate in wearable fitness, tracking steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, UV sun exposure, and more.
It also functions as a smart watch, notifying the wearer of incoming texts, phone calls, new emails, Facebook updates, Twitter updates, weather, calendar alerts, and so much more (it syncs with your phone via Bluetooth). There's even a Starbucks app that lets you pay for your morning capuccino.
The downside? Even in the short time that I tried it on, it feels extremely uncomfortable. It's semi rigid and I felt like it was pressing down on my pulse points. It's possible that I wasn't given the right size, or I didn't adjust it properly, so don't quote me on that, just be aware of it. Obviously this isn't an actual review of Microsoft Band since I didn't get to spend an extended period of time testing it! But it certainly seems worth checking out, especially with the holidays coming up. What better way to be aware of how your day to day activities help your health and fitness goals!
Of course, shoppers can also check out all the other cool tech gadgets. My eye was immediately drawn to the Surface Pro 3. It's just like my Windows 8 laptop... only it's a touchscreen tablet with a removable keyboard! I love that you can take the tablet and relax on your sofa with it to read a book or browse the internet or catch up on social media. Then you can dock it onto the keyboard (additional accessory) to type up an email or work. Surface is bluetooth compatible, so I can use a Bluetooth mouse (I've never liked track pads, I'm old fashioned that way). The tablet even has a USB port! I think Alfie would love this for a Christmas present! Actually, so would I!
This holiday season, get thee to a Microsoft Store to check out the Microsoft Band, the Surface, and other Microsoft products!
Disclosure: This is a compensated post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.