Discussion site for Microsoft Band users

The launch of the Microsoft Band almost 2 months ago came with quite a surprise – it was a rumour one day and then a product available for sale the next. The problem I have found is that the secretive approach perhaps meant that Microsoft was not as in touch with social elements as other product groups and teams are.

Initially Microsoft Band was not even on Twitter, and when it did join it was more posting pictures stories about how the solution could help your life as opposed to interacting with the people who purchased the device. It’s good to see that the Twitter account is now actually having conversations and helping people – but there’s still no place for the general public to communicate with each other, post feedback or suggestions, or share tips.

I’ve decided to set up a Yammer network that is open to everyone to join (although the way Yammer is you have to request an invite once you get to the site): http://www.yammer.com/microsoftband/

Please join, share feedback & insights, apps, and anything else relevant to the Microsoft Band.

See you there!

My first workout with the Microsoft Band

For several weeks now I’ve had my Microsoft Band effectively monitoring my steps and sleep. Pretty much the same as what my Fitbit Flex did for the previous 9 months. The problem came down to personal motivation – I had the data but didn’t really do much with it.

With the Microsoft Band I have the ability to have guided workouts – nothing new given its intended purpose and competition on the smartphone / wearables / fitness device marketplace.

Today I completed my first workout with the assistance of the Microsoft Band. While I don’t look as buff and healthy as some of the people in the advertising – I can mentally picture them and hope that the advertising works and that will be me one day. For those of you who don’t know my history – for most of my life I’ve been a plump person with only a few years of my life being super fit and healthy (more on that another time). As I have a few injuries sustained from that super fit period of my life I chose to start my Microsoft Band assisted road to slimness with an easy workout.

The one I chose was the “3 Week Move Every Day” workout. It’s effectively a 15 minute light movement-based workout. This is comprised of mainly small movements such as: hip circles, arm circles, ankle circles, jumping jacks, crunches, squats, planks, and stretches. While travelling here in the US/Canada I have been doing a fair bit of walking with my family, but that doesn’t counter the rich/fried foods I’ve been enjoying.

Once the exercise was loaded onto the Microsoft Band the rest was simple – press the exercise icon (use the Microsoft Health app on the phone to watch videos of any exercises you aren’t familiar with) and start exercising. The process is simple – it tells when to start, when to finish, when to rest, and what exercise is coming up next. At the end you get some statistics on the Band itself, or can switch to the Microsoft Health app for more detailed statistics.

The program I chose is a simple starting point over 3 weeks to help me get the rest of my body moving – not just my legs. As a person who was formerly a gym instructor (as I said more on that another time) I know how important the mental aspect is when approaching weight loss or fitness. This exercise program will help me feel my muscles more as they respond to the movements, and will want me to start to be more active and push harder.

So, my healthy life with the Microsoft Band starts today. No longer is it a way to check/respond to calls/messages/emails without reaching for my phone, or to talk to Cortana while looking like Dick Tracy. It’s time for this device to do what it was built for – make me a healthier version of me!