Looking back, 2017 was a weird year for fitness. January to June I was another level of motivated ahead of my holiday to Mexico, July to October I was less than bothered about any of it, and then in November my motivation peaked to an all-time high. That lasted right up until Christmas and I felt the best I’d felt in a long time, but then I went on holiday, that awkward ‘Chrimbo Limbo’ week happened, I went back to work and then I got ill. So today is actually the first day of 2018 that I’ve done a proper workout, and now I finally feel like I’m almost back to my old self.

There has to be motivation in place to succeed, so if I don’t have something big to focus on in January, my workout routine falls apart before we even reach February. And for me, there’s no better source of motivation than an upcoming holiday! That’s why we always book one around the first week of January. True to tradition we’ve already ticked that off our list, but this year I have another reason to be excited about getting back into training, and that’s because I can go back to using my MYZONE MZ-3 Physical Activity Belt.

I got this belt back in November through work, and it’s the reason I found myself feeling better than I’d ever felt despite it being the time of year where usually I’d struggle to even go for a walk. Watch-style fitness trackers have never grabbed my attention for more than a couple of weeks, but this belt is different. To use it, you wear it around your chest when you workout, and it tracks your heart rate, your calories burned, your effort levels and your MEPs (MYZONE Effort Points), which total up month on month and eventually earn you a higher status ranking. All you need to do is put the belt on, move, and then upload your workout via the free App. It’s literally that easy.

For me the motivation comes from having my effort levels categorised into coloured zones, because this way I can see exactly how my body reacts to the different parts of my workout. You can get this information via the App and email, but you can also see it in real-time via the ‘workout’ tile. So when I’m working out and I see I’m in the grey zone, I know I need to step it up a bit because my heart rate is low — and when I see that I’m in the red zone, I know that I’m smashing it because my effort levels are nearing 100%. I always try to aim for a colourful chart at the end of my workout, because if it’s all grey/blue then my heart rate was pretty low, and if it’s all yellow/red then I know my heart was working overtime throughout the whole session.

The MYZONE App is also like a form of social media because you can see everything that your connections do for their workouts, and you have the ability to communicate with them. Having all of my work colleagues on there is both a blessing and curse, because the minute I start to get lazy the whole office reminds me of it. Aside from seeing what everyone’s up to in the feed, the App also has a challenge section. We had a challenge running at Head Office before Christmas and another one has just started, and let’s just say things can get really competitive in there.

I use my belt just for my own home/gym workouts, but it’s amazing for group workouts too. Some of our énergie Fitness gyms use the belts in their brand new YARD classes (find out more about that in this video) and it’s had such a good response from members! Basically, everyone’s belt gets connected to a TV screen which displays every member’s effort levels throughout the entire workout. I didn’t think I was competitive until I tried one of thé YARD classes for myself, but somehow I managed to come first in the ‘who was at their peak heart rate for the longest’ category and even reached 100% for a while, so I was either killing it or just way more unfit than I realised.

So — a few facts! The belt can be washed, the tracker can be charged, it’s 99.4% accurate, and it can connect to other wearable devices and 3rd party equipment. For someone like me who isn’t keen on wearing a less-accurate watch-style fitness tracker when they workout, this is a much better alternative. The belt is number based, but for once that’s not a negative thing. It doesn’t make me want to weigh myself or count calories, it just makes me want to take my fitness up a level every time I train to see how hard I can push myself. And I think that’s SO valuable in fitness.

You’re probably expecting a “Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post” bit of text here, but it isn’t. I just love the belt. So much so that I even bought one for Darryl. My advice? If you invest in ONE fitness product this year, let it be this. If you want to buy one, you can do so via this link.


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