This is the 2nd post of my monthly series focused on monitoring what I’ve identified as being the key components to a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t read the 1st post yet, then check it out to understand why I decided to do this.
How’d I do?
Kcal & Workout Duration
I’m very happy that I’ve been able to push past some plateaus from late 2019.
- Total kcal from all activity was 32,016, down from 33,418 in January. Averages were all up nicely but I didn’t beat January because February only has 29 days.
- Average kcal/day increased to 1,104 from 1,078.
- Average exercise minutes/day increased to 72 from 65.
- The increases in average minutes and kcal per day is explained below in the ‘Time in Zone 2’ section.
Time in Zone 2
One of my biggest focal points this month was paying close attention to how much time I was spending in each zone. I specifically set a goal of increasing the time I spent in Zone 2 while also increasing the total time I spent biking and spinning.
- I spent 617 minutes in Zone 2 between the bike and Peloton. This is 266 more minutes than in January.
- I logged 157 more minutes this month (Feb: 1,410 vs. Jan: 1,253).
- I did a lot more low heart rate focused Peloton rides this month than ever before. I also took more longer duration rides than usual. Each week, I shot for:
- ~2, 2hr Peloton rides focused in Zones 2/3
- ~1, 1hr HIIT Peloton ride (Zones 3/4/5)
- ~1, 2hr outside bike ride (Zone 3)
Biking & Peloton
As explained in the ‘Time in Zone 2’ section, I focused on longer but lower intensity rides this month, which explains why minutes increased but kcal decreased. Overall, I’m pleased with my performance but I don’t think I’ll stick with this same balance going forward. I can’t find a number that people say is the ‘right’ amount of time to spend in Zone 2. But the widespread opinion is clear; it’s very beneficial. We just don’t know if 1 hour a week is needed or 7 hours.
- My Peloton time increased by 77 minutes (Feb: 993 vs. Jan: 856).
- Kcal from the Peloton dipped 275 (Feb: 11,958 vs. Jan: 12,233).
- My highest output ride in February was a 90 minute ride resulting in 589kj.
- I hit a new 45 min ride PR at 552kj.
- My total (Peloton + road bike) mileage increased by 33 miles even with only 29 days in the month.
- Despite more time on the Peloton, distance was basically even with January due to the low intensity. The extra 33 came from an extra outside road ride.
I target an average of 4-5 miles of steps per day (~10,500), so I’m fine with 11,048 for February. Anything much higher results in some knee pain. The keys to the game are life span & health span. I’m learning where I can give, take, and where I need to maintain. I need to maintain when it comes to step count.
- Continued my long (660+ days) move, stand, and exercise streak.
- Wasn’t able to successfully complete my February Challenge which was to burn 35,100 kcal. 29 days in the month just wasn’t enough for me to get it done without risking injury.
I mainly care about Resting Heart Rate, which was down nicely to 46bpm from an average of 47bpm in February and 48bpm in 2019.
Averaging 8 hours of sleep per night requires dedication and effort for me. As I said in the 1st post, getting good sleep is the result of everything I focus on… being active, eating OK, getting outside, feeling financially secure, cutting out booze, and the security that comes with knowing I’m living a healthy lifestyle. I’m extremely happy with my sleep performance.
- Averaged 8:07/night in February.
- Averaging 8:03/night in 2020 (compared to an averaged of 7:44/night in 2019).
- Hit a new heart rate low at 41bpm on 2/15 at 3am.
My short term weight management goal is to stay below 190lbs, so I’m right on target at an average of 186 for the month. Eventually, I want to try to get in the 170s for the first time in a few decades but it’s not a focus for me right now.
- Helped my wife follow this tutorial from Steady Health to help analyze her Dexcom CGM data leveraging Google Colaboratory and a pre-configured python notebook.
- Got lost on Mark Koester’s website; a self proclaimed ‘data driven self-tracker, software developer, writer, and tech entrepreneur.’ Check out his ‘Track Everything‘ posts. I’m going to spend some time eventually learning from: How to Export, Parse and Explore Your Apple Health Data With Python.
- Read Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function, regular aerobic exercise may decrease the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Read ProductivityTodays newsletter covering Apple Watch + AutoSleep.
- Bought the Withings Body+ Scale so I’ll begin monitoring BMI, Body Fat %, Muscle Mass %, Body Water %, and Bone Mass %. I’ll probably set some goals around Body Fat % eventually.
- Bought the Withings Blood Pressure monitor, with a plan to monitor twice daily. Last year, I had to manually watch track my bp for a month after a checkup showed it was slightly elevated. Seemed fine after monitoring for a month but I want to track it more consistently going forward.
- Continue to see how hard I can push myself to be more active month-over-month without aggravating my knees. As of now, I think I have to stick with averaging <5 miles of steps per day. Biking & spinning don’t appear to impact them negatively.
- Continue iterating on the format of this post. Eventually improve the chart generation process.
- Sooner than later:
- Dig into Mark Koester’s open sourced Quantified Self project which is a collection of Python scripts to help collect, process and aggregate data from various services like Apple Health. My end goal is to be able to do this with my wife’s Dexcom data (she’s t1d) as an additional source so she can better understand how different types workouts impact her blood sugar. There’s currently more inconsistency than desired which is very frustrating so I want to help her figure it out. Might also re-familiarize myself with Rapid Miner to see if we can better predict blood sugar changes.
- Down the line:
- Introduce consistent swimming.
- Get a CGM for myself (probably an older G5 on Amazon or eBay).
- iPhone 11
- Apple Watch 3
- WordPress + AWS Lightsail (this blog)
- Google Sheets
- Apple Keynote
- Peloton spin bike (referral code: 3TWTMH)
- Canyon Endurace
- Training Peaks
- Health app
- HealthFit app
- Zones app
- AutoSleep app
- Gyroscope app
- HeartWatch app
- Withings Body+ scale
- Withings Blood Pressure Monitor
Click here for other posts in this series about my fitness and sleep. Please reach out if you’d like to leverage anything I’ve done for your own posts. It would be awesome to get more people involved.