Action your Health (Part 5) – Good Data is Gold

Home / Action your Health (Part 5) – Good Data is Gold

When trying to devise workouts and routine, it can become a repetitive task and one which ends in a constant routine of doing and not necessarily improving. How to avoid this you might ask of where your health plan becomes a continuum of doing and no acknowledgment of improvement? Well the answer my friends is the golden world of data! To do this, you might buy a fitness tracker, a wearable wireless device with built-in sensors that measure your physical activity. This gives you all the data that you will ever need to improvement physical activity but more importantly to motivate you towards a healthier lifestyle. According to a Gartner, 91.3 million wearable fitness trackers sold during 2016 and this is expected to rise during 2017.

These devices can tell you far more about your physical activity as they can measure your heart rate, distance travelled, speed, altitude, calories consumed, and your sleep patterns the night before. But do you need to know all this information? Does the average person really want to continually measuring, examining, and evaluating their own physical data? That is the question as these product can now translate physical data into personalised feedback that can help any of us to become more active. In addition to popular existing apps like My Fitness Pal, new kinds of personal analytics apps are cropping up. As example is Lark which tracks workouts via smartphone sensors, acting as a personal coach and motivator. With Lark app analyses daily activities, suggests workouts based on those activities, and sends messages of encouragement to keep us moving through our daily health routine.

This is all based on giving you customised data to motivate, encourage and most importantly to allow you to feel improvements in what we do. Here are some of the data to track:

Track Your Food: – Are you aware of how many calories you eat on a daily basis? It is thoughts that 80% of your successes or failures will be a direct result of how you eat. Once you have an idea of how much you eat regularly, then the next step is to calibrate that.

Track Your Workouts: – When you exercise, do you do so with purpose? Do you know exactly what you’re going to do and how long it should take you? Get a basis of what you achieved during a workout, what distances you covered, and the calories that you used and even to the point of the level of enjoyment. Once recorded, then look for ways of improvement and how this can be optimised.

Track Your Sleep: – I don’t need to tell you that a good night of sleep makes you feel great the following day. Good sleep can have an impact on elevated mood, increased energy, and better concentration among other benefits. Through active monitoring, over time you’ll begin to see how activities throughout your day can be impacted based on habits of sleep. Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding this.

Track Your Shape: – The number of the scale should not define you but if you do workout and and eat properly, your body tends to only shed fat while keeping the muscle you already have. Take measurements of the waist (at the belly button for consistency) for example and focus on some of these key measurements. If after a number of months, you are not seeing improvements, you’ll know that you need to make some adjustments.

There is an old saying in that what gets measured gets improved. With that in mind, if you are keeping track of the data on what you eat, taking measurements, and tracking your workouts, the belief is that we will make healthier decisions on a more consistent basis. This is not to say we must have data on everything but just what is relevant to what we want to achieve. At this point, the conclusion is that tracking your progress will allow you to develop and move toward a more balanced routine of fitness and health.

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