As fitness becomes more and more popular and more and more mainstream, then the range of products to compliment your workout grows ever larger. One such product which has seen a huge rise in popularity over the past couple of years is the fitness tracker – from FitBit to Polar to Fuel Band – it seems these days you can’t be serious about your workout if you’re not tracking and logging the data. Fitness Trackers have come such a long way since their early incarnations of pedometers (small battery powered devices to clip onto your waistband and measure the steps taken each day) or heart rate monitors with bulky chest straps that you’d put on under your sports bra before every session. Having used both a Polar and a FitBit myself, I was intrigued when Mio Global asked me if I’d like to try their brand new Mio Fuse, and for the past 6 weeks I’ve had it as a permanent fixture on my wrist.
So, how did the Mio Fuse work out for me?
Firstly, I loved that the wristband was chunky and sturdy. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that earlier this year my FitBit Charge actually broke – through overuse rather than something happening, so I was very pleased to see that the Mio Fuse looked like it could withstand anything! The other great functional thing was that it holds a charge for ages – I’ve got away with charging it once a week, even though I use it and track with it every single day. Previous fitness trackers that I’ve had didn’t seem to last more than 48 hours before needing a power up, which when you’re on the go constantly can be pretty annoying. The Mio Fuse battery was most definitely built to last. As you can see, it has a large, well-lit screen that clearly displays the time, steps, percentage of daily goal and calorie burn – pretty much what you’d expect.
The Mio tracks your daily activity, your workouts and your sleep, and as well as displaying this data on the wristband has an accompanying app which breaks down the data in more detail. You need to manually set the Mio Fuse every time you start a workout, so unlike some other fitness tracker that automatically record activity, you have to remember to start the Mio before you start moving. I did forget a couple of times over the course of trying it out which was actually really annoying as it didn’t record any of my data – the heart rate monitor is not continuous as some other trackers are and so as a result I think it possibly underestimates daily calorie expenditure. This is no bad thing as I know for a fact several trackers overestimate which is way more detrimental when it comes to weight loss – but if you’re someone who is super-active (like me) and move a lot on a daily basis outside of your workouts then it may mean you’ve burned more calories than the Mio has recorded (for example for me when I sprint up the stairs at tube stations, do some of my clients workout with them, or walk between appointments, or have to run for the bus because I’m late…..!)
The detail that you do get when you record your workouts though is excellent. You can even monitor this in-workout, which many other trackers don’t allow you to do. Often the bulk of my weekly training comes in the form of teaching classes, so whilst instructing I don’t have time to check my screen and see which heart rate zone I’m in – but the Mio tells me subtly by both buzzing gently when I move into or out of a zone, and which is signified by the colour of the small dot that flashes on the screen to let me know it is recording my heart rate. So the dot can flash green, orange, blue, red etc to signify which training zone I’m in. So by a small buzz or a quick glance at the light I can see exactly how hard I am working at that moment in time. Really useful, especially if you do a lot of cardio or quick workouts that don’t allow for breaks between sets to monitor performance.
The app also displays at a glance weekly workout totals – including full distances covered, calories burned, most frequent heart rate zones – personally I like to have that data to hand without waiting for a weekly summary email. The sleep data too is presented in terms of efficiency – calculating the percentage of time spent awake, and in light and deep sleep. With previous fitness trackers it was easy to freak out when I saw my sleep patterns – averaging less than 6.5 hours a night sometimes – whereas at least with the Mio Fuse I can see that it might have only been 6 hours but at least it was 95% efficient!
The Mio Fuse syncs with most major Fitness Tracking apps – PEAR Training, Wahoo Fitness, miCOACH, MapmyRun, Strava, Endomondo…. the list goes on. I tried mine in conjunction with PEAR Training, which has a vast library of training plans and workouts built into the app – everything from strength to yoga to power walking – I was hugely impressed by the range on offer, but have to confess that doing this trial period I didn’t try any as my own personal training schedule is already pretty well mapped out. However if you struggle for workout motivation and ideas then PEAR will keep you motivated and engaged for weeks on end with their massive training plan library. The workouts within the PEAR app sync automatically with the Mio, so it can tell if and when you are working out in your optimum heart rate zone, and offers audio coaching options too to give you that extra push when needed.
Overall I was pretty impressed with the Mio Fuse. It is sturdy and I predict will have a very long lifespan and I love the fact it requires so little charging to keep it going. I also love being able to see how hard I’m working whilst I’m working in such a quick and simple way, and the level of detail I get after my workout on the Mio Fuse app is impressive. My only complaint would be that you have to remember to manually start your Mio Fuse before every workout, otherwise the data isn’t collected, so you will have to make it part of your pre-workout routine.
If you struggle for workout motivation or variety then using the Mio Fuse with PEAR Sports would be a dream combination, and so all in all I think the Mio Fuse offers very stiff competition to the existing fitness activity trackers already out there, and I can see I’ll be wearing and using mine for a long time to come.
Find out more about Mio Fuse here.