Being put on Furlough has meant less money coming in, but has given me plenty of spare time - time that I've been filling by sweating, a lot.
January was a good month for my health, I didn't drink any alcohol and steadily worked back into doing some exercise each day. It wasn't much to start, but I was in no shape to push it too hard back then. Then the New Years resolution period ended, and I found the pub next door too tempting too often, and quickly slipped back into too many weekday beers.
At the beginning of March I found a workout partner, someone who has turned up each and every day since (bar 2/3 days rest) to share their routines and help keep me motivated. Most of the routines I have already shared, and this post is more about my recent reward for staying motivated, and to hopefully encourage me remain so.
A few weeks ago, my workout partner showed me her new fitness watch. I've not worn a watch for 20 odd years, since the last one was lost in a biking accident in Thailand, but that one only told the time. Her new watch tracked activities, heart-rate, PAI, and sleep, and I caved in and bought one myself. It is a Amazfit GTR, not top of the range or anything but can be made to look pretty, and is pretty comfy on the wrist.
My current, slightly camp looking watch face
There are a bunch of faces to choose from, but I'm currently enjoying the neon. Time for some numbers and graphs :)
The watch has specific activities that you can select, as well as a 'freestyle' option which I have been using for everything not listed, like HIIT and Yoga. Heart-rate is measured constantly, and the time in a beats per minute range is grouped into Relaxed, Light, Intensive, Aerobic, Anaerobic, and VO2 max.
I'm not entirely convinced about VO2 max as I think think this measurement requires knowledge of oxygen burned while going flat out, but it is pleasing to see I am hitting this top range during some workouts.
The two images below are the results of 20 minutes on the Elliptical trainer. I don't work to a pre-programmed routine, and generally try to pick up the pace as time goes on.
188 peak, a little more than what is recommended when going flat out.
The next images are the output from a 90 minute Yoga workout. The first 45 mins are the main part of the routine, then 20 minutes or so of balance postures, and then a bunch of stretching to finish.
As you can see, the routine doesn't really get the heart pumping (apart from the spike when doing 'Wheel'). I do think though that this workout, which I'm now doing twice a week, is a key part of training, even though it doesn't score too well on what the watch can track.
I'm likely boring everyone to tears so this will be the last readout from a workout today - 30 odd minutes on the treadmill.
The middle section of the workout looks a lot like the Elliptical data above, which I like. I used to run quite a lot, but have found my joints don't like it so much these days, and so it's good to see that the heart can be given a good workout on a non-impact machine.
Life of PAI
One metric counted each day is your PAI or Personal Activity Intelligence.
PAI's algorithm is based on data collected from the HUNT study, which took place over a 25-year period involving 45,000 participants. It was conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and developed by Professor Ulrik Wisløff, one of the world’s leading scientists in Exercise in Medicine source
Basically, you earn PAI for getting your heart moving, the faster it beats for a given period, the more you earn. As the name alludes, the PAI you earn are personalised to your age, sex, fitness level, and so some people will need to work harder to collect a score.
The idea is that you should be maintaining over 100 PAI constantly, with the score accumulated over the past 7 days.
Jogging, Eliptical, or the HIIT training 3/4 times a week will be enough for me to maintain 100+. The ab workout and 90 minutes of Yoga has earned me 0 PAI so far!
Sleeping 'better than most'
This was a big surprise to me as I thought that my sleep quality was pretty poor. To be fair it has gotten better in recent months, and so perhaps the exercise has helped.
Pretty smart that they know the colour of your pee?
I was on the sofa, void!
I generally have around 6/7 hours sleep and that seems to be more than what most people using the watch/app are getting. I'm also told that the amount of time I spend in deep sleep is more in comparison to others. Going to bed a bit earlier might help further, as well as drinking less in the evening so I don't need a middle of the night pee.
I like my watch!
I was worried it wouldn't be comfortable or I'd smash it into something on the first day, but so far so good.
The last three months have been hard work, but I feel good and friends have noticed a change. I hope that my workout buddy and the watch will keep me motivated, and if not, I'll just resort to dreaming about beers in the sun, this year I hope!