Let’s talk fitness trackers

It’s been quite a while since I talked about anything fitness/health related on here. Mainly because I’ve mostly been lifting heavy and running, and it’s turned into my happy-me-time each day when I don’t have to worry about sharing anything…just sweating.

But I did, for about five months, wear a WHOOP band  – You know, a fitness monitor and health coach/tracker dealio that measures so much different health data on you each day…that I lost track of all its capabilities.

Being someone who despises even stepping on a scale, this decision made little to no sense for me. However, my husband wears one religiously (or used to) and is one of the healthiest people on the planet. He got an upgraded WHOOP band, so I got his hand me down. And so the saga begins…

Here’s some of the knowledge I gained from wearing it. (It was quite fascinating.)

1: Alcohol TOTALLY messes with your body in so many ways – more than just how you feel if you happen to be hungover. Your respiratory rate, quality of sleep, and recovery, all completely go to the shitter. And for a day or two. (Or at least it seemed so after my one big social outing where copious amounts of heavy beer were consumed.) So that was an eye-opener for sure. And I can honestly say I’ve been drinking way less and swapping my nightly glass of wine for sparkling water much more often.

2: Calorie burn: I wasn’t burning nearly as many calories as I thought I was in a day – this made me sad because I thought I was SUUUUUPER active. It was also a reality check of how much it stinks having to drive a lot in a day – not really sure how to burn calories while sitting in traffic on the 405.

3: I am a freakishly deep sleeper, and also fall asleep rather speedily. My nightly REM and deep sleep stats made my husband’s jaw drop. And it rarely drops. I’m not sure if my sleep abilities are a good thing or a result of being totally exhausted and ready to jam once my head hits the pillow. But I was proud.

4: My body responds great to running: sprinting, long distance, or intervals. Whenever I was “in the green” or “fully recovered and ready for action” a run was just what Dr. Whoop ordered, and it was interesting how great it felt on those days when my body was ready for it. Plus it was motivating to add in a quick mile here or there.

5: But on the flip side. If all you care about is calorie burn and your exertion/strain levels, you’re missing out on such a crucial aspect of health, (especially for me given my age, body type, and exercise history) which is weight training. It hardly made a dent in my daily activity level/calorie burn even if I totally kicked my butt in the gym and could hardly walk after a great leg day.

6: It was fascinating to see how different activities like surfing, swimming, and rock climbing measured up though. And how beneficial it is to just walk as much as you can in a day.

This brings me to my conclusion…

Did I lose any weight or body fat or drop down a jeans size in those five months? Nope. Did I feel better or worse about my body? Nope. But did I gain some valuable insight into ways I could be healthier? You bet. Which was pretty much the reason I wore it in the first place.

Did I renew my subscription and am still wearing the band? Nope. (My husband finally stopped wearing his too.)

And it kind of felt like a weight was lifted when I took it off and stopped wearing it.

Honestly, I got sick of having an app/band and the data it collected determine how I feel, or how I felt about myself. I got the insight I needed, and really don’t like having another reason to look at my phone, or thing to obsess over. (Example: You have a daily journal you fill in every morning on the app, and you look at your sleep stats then too. It just seemed like an unhealthy habit intertwined in it all.)

I see it like this: Rocky Balboa was in kick-ass shape and he kind of just listened to his body and worked hard. I think I like that route in the long run. Especially if a training montage running up a snowy mountain in Sorels might be involved someday.

But I definitely have to say I recommend wearing some sort of tracker for a few months to help see where you’re at or can improve in terms of health metrics. Especially if you feel stuck or unmotivated.

Then get the data and motivation…and move on.

Save the $30 a month or however much it all costs, for some new running shoes, workout gear, or maybe a quasi-old-school Timex stopwatch with a pedometer and heart rate monitor on it or something. Enjoy the peace of mind, know you’re working hard, moving, and kicking your butt given the day… and listen to your body, instead of always checking an app.

And that’s my two cents on that.

Off to get some deep sleep.

More fitness posts aqui. (I need to get back on track with these.)

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