Sunday, January 28, 2018

2017 Fitness Summary

Yearly medals.Longest daily streak.Before January turns over to February I wanted to post an update and summary of my fitness activity for the last year. There have been a number of changes with regards as to how things stand since my last update and not all things are as I hope they would be. On the positive side though is the fact that my weight is hovering steadily between 162 and 163 pounds — the lowest it has been in years.

I have decided to end my daily 30 minute, 400 calorie workout streak after 393 days. One of the factors was the fact that after getting Peloton at the end of April all the instructors kept making it clear that rest is as important as exercising. All this was confirmed by the fact that I’ve developed pain in my left calf which would not go away until I’ve started taking rest days.

I also believe that what Apple Watch promotes and rewards — hitting your goals on daily basis — or no medal for you — is ultimately unhealthy. I like the idea of reaching goals and it helps me stay with some exercise regiment, but I think the concentration should be based on daily averages instead of daily numbers. In fact my daily averages are higher than my daily goal even with exercising every other day.

A step in the right direction was an introduction of monthly challenges which are in fact based on averages in the latest Watch OS update. I think that daily race needs to eliminated entirely.

Yearly statistics.Typical Peloton workout.With regards to Peloton itself — the machine makes it much easier for much harder workouts. It actually is very easy to race your heart into zone 4 (out of 5) and it makes it essentially impossible to do very low impact exercises. Not in the sense that you technically can’t do it, but in the sense that it makes it fun to push harder.

However some of these factors and dropping a daily routine makes it hard to make oneself to get back on the bike. So I think towards the end of the year both Alёna’s and my stats have suffered.

So here are the 2017 full stats:
MertricUnitsPer DayPer MonthTotal
Active Energycalories46313,544162,535
Walkingstesps3,983120,8291,449,955
Cyclingmiles8.281481,780
Excerciseminutes3297311,700
Walkingmiles1.8255.08661

I don’t do a lot of walking. I make that up by my time on the bike. Alёna’s walking numbers are a lot higher:
MertricUnitsPer DayPer MonthTotal
Active Energycalories45313,494161,939
Walkingstesps9,599289,5953,475,144
Excerciseminutes351,00812,720
Walkingmiles4.60138.671,664

Pretty impressive numbers if I do say so myself. However if January is any indication 2018 isn’t going to look nearly as good.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

March and April Fitness Stats

March move goal medal.April move goal medal.March was a pretty regular months with our regular regiment of daily exercise on our recumbent stationary bike. We haven’t taken our real bikes out a single time, but I did a 20 minute workout on an elliptical machine to get a one time medal that Apple Watch gives out for several common types of workouts. I do hate elliptical. I just don’t find the machine pleasant at all. Never did.

I also hit a 500 daily move goals on March 24th. The medal is awarded for 500 total move goals — they don’t have to be consecutive. Here are the overall stats for March:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,3857,654104,938
Active Energycalories54175716,761
Cyclingmiles7.7812.30241.30
Excerciseminutes44631,382
Walkingmiles1.593.5549.16

One time medal for doing a workout on elliptical.500 days of hitting a move goal.April was quite a bit different from our usual months. First 10 days of the month we spent in Costa Rica. At first I was planning to visit a gym on daily basis to hit my goals, but on the very first day we discovered a daily water aerobics class that would usually last for about 30 minutes — exactly what I needed. In fact I remember that such classes occur pretty much on all such vacations, but we never paid any attention. Here we participated daily.

I also tried doing a swimming workout to get another one of those one time medals that I mentioned above, but swimming is hard. I barely eeked out a 15 minute swim and haven’t attempted it again. I just need more practice to keep myself from standing up from time to time to take a break. Later on when we got home I came to a realization that out of all possible activities I have never gotten this type of medal for something as trivial as running.

My crazy run stats.End of April.So I went for a 15 minute run. I had a profound experience — running is HARD. I guess the muscles that get worked on a recumbent bike do not help at all while running. I was intentionally moving at a slow pace. I did finish my run having my heart peak out at 170 BPM at one point — which is very high and very unusual for me, 184 being my advisable max. I averaged out 164 BPM for the whole run. My muscles were incredibly soar for the next 2 days. As I said — profound.

Also as I mentioned earlier we have placed an order for Peloton Bike right after our return from vacation, but more on Peloton in a future post. By buying the bike we also got early access to Peloton iOS app that has all of the classes available that we could stream to our TV via AirPlay and Apple TV. So we took a 2 week break from our spinning and concentrated on core training — stretching, arms and leg workout, lower back and abdomen. We even did some Yoga.

Here are my April statistics:
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps6,06813,648182,051
Active Energycalories52774315,817
Cyclingmiles7.8513.90133.39
Excerciseminutes42661,259
Walkingmiles2.706.1981.05

On April 28th we got our Peloton Bike delivered. What a difference it is compared to our previous machine. So far we are enjoying it quite a bit, but we’ll have to wait a couple of month for a final verdict.

March stats.April stats.My weight is holding steady. I was at 167 lbs at my last check and my current move streak is at 330 days.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

January and February Fitness

Activity app medals.One of the days.When I posted my year-end fitness stats back in December I had to use three different applications to extract and tabulate the data from HealthKit. And that’s not counting Excel to calculate averages and max values. It took a lot of effort.

But soon after the year started I wanted to install an app for my dad that would let him view his stats in a better way than HealthKit presents it in. And while doing it I got an ad for another similar app which I did not see before even though I did search for these things. It turned out to be perfect.

The app is called HealthView and is a great dashboard for HealthKit data. Even though the app is a little buggy — sometimes it takes too long to update and loads the data from a wrong date or crashes — it still lets you view your stats in a good, beautiful, clear way after a few restarts or reloads.

HealthView dashboard. Day view.HealthView dashboard. Month view.My move (the number of days I achieved my calorie goal on) streak is currently at 278 days. Here are my numbers from the first two months of this year. January is first table, February is second.
MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,68410,093114,228
Active Energycalories52382516,233
Cyclingmiles6.829.90211.40
Excerciseminutes45921,395
Walkingmiles1.785.0755.32

MertricUnitsPer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstesps3,55711,68799,604
Active Energycalories5811,27216,276
Cyclingmiles8.6824.88243.09
Excerciseminutes491271,363
Walkingmiles1.705.7347.68

HealthView metric drill down. Month view.Activity app. Filling in the circles.At this point we do the most of the work on a stationary bike. We did put a real bicycle on a trainer in the begging of the year and it was a lot more pleasant. However it was sadly producing way too much vibration and living in the apartment we just didn’t feel at ease working out in this way. We’re thinking of investing in a much more high quality stationary bike than our current one.
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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fitness Year End Update

Activity app medals.My current streak.During the past year I have taken up a rudiment of daily exercise in order to stay more fit. As we get older it gets harder to keep our weight in a good range without some effort. That combined with a sitting job is asking for something to be done.

The hardest part is getting motivated to stick with something from day to day without finding excuses of being too tired or too lazy and so on and on to skip a day. For me Apple Watch has played a role of a huge motivator. If I miss a day I miss out on weekly, monthly and other “medals” that Activity app hands out.

Activity calendar. Exercise, activity, standing.Exercise log.And so I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise starting from the 1st of May without a fail and meeting my calorie daily goal every single day. For me I needed two things to be able to stick with it. First is getting calories burned with a path of least resistance — stationary cycling machine at home.

And to make those minutes fly by a game of HearthStone on iPad — TV doesn’t occupy the mind enough and minutes drag on. HearthStone makes the minutes fly by while you are thinking of the strategy for your next move against another human being on the other end.

Some statistics for the data that I have tracked — at first I wasn’t recording everything, but I’ve been trying to keep everything logged for the last 6 months or so:
ActivityUnitsDate RangePer DayMaxTotal
Walkingstespsyear to date3,72620,6301,362,737
Active Energycaloriessince May 1st468965114,653
Cyclingmilespast 6 months6.9415.281,208
Excerciseminutespast 6 months46.091408,411
Walkingmilesyear to date1.859.54677

Weight loss — from 176 lb to 165 lb at 5′ 11″:
Weight Chart
Some other observations: Activity app is a killer feature of Apple Watch for me. I could easily give all other niceties up if I could track the fitness data with some smaller device like a thin bracelet or a ring in order for me to be able to wear my mechanical watches.

I also have just received a trainer designed for a real bicycle in order to make sure I’m working the right muscles as opposed to our current stationary bike in which one sits in an unnatural position. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet. I plan to do it in the next couple of days.
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