March 2020 Health Review

This is the 3rd post of my monthly series focused on monitoring what I’ve identified as being the critical components to a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t read the 1st post yet, then check it out to understand why I’m doing this.

How’d I do?

  • Holy shit. Life is different today on April 1 than a month ago. I’m logging that stuff on this living page and keeping these posts focused on my personal health.
  • I wrecked my bike early in the month, so I only logged 25 miles outside. I decided not to replace my helmet or fix my bike until all of the coronavirus mayhem blows over down the road. I don’t want to contribute to overloading the healthcare system. We should all stick with low-risk activities.—nomore outdoor cycling for me.
  • My resting heart rate was elevated for the first week of March. It was about 20% higher each night while sleeping. Maybe I was fighting off some type of virus.

Activity

Kcal & Workout Duration

  • Total kcal from all activity was 34,089, down from 32,016 in February. But averages were slightly down.
  • Average kcal/day decreased to 1,099 from 1,104.
  • Average exercise minutes/day decreased to 70 from 72.

Time in Zones

I didn’t focus on any particular zone this month (unlike Februarys focus on Zone 2).

  • I spent 569 minutes in Zone 2 between the bike and Peloton. This is just 48 less minutes than in Feb. 9.5 hours is almost 2.5 hours per week which still feels like an adequate amount of time in Zone 2. I’ll probably stick with this being my min goal going forward.
  • I logged 47 more minutes this month (March: 1,457 vs. Feb: 1,410).

Biking & Peloton

I didn’t really have a focus this month. I did a mix of Peloton ride types. Not being able to ride outdoors for most of the month explains the big increase in Peloton activity in March. That will continue in April (probably May and June too at this rate).

  • My Peloton time increased by 357 minutes (March: 1,290 vs. Feb: 933).
  • Kcal from the Peloton increased 4,992 (March: 16,950 vs. Feb: 11,958).
  • I had 2 Personal Records this month (short rides though). My highest output ride in February was a 30 minute ride resulting in 401kj and a 20 minute ride resulting in 264kj.
  • My total (Peloton + road bike) mileage increased by just 5 miles even with 31 days in the month compared to 29 last month. I think I’m plateauing. I’ll probably set my goal to just maintain in April instead of exceed.

Steps

I target an average of 4-5 miles of steps per day (~10,500), so I’m fine with 11,093 for March. 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.

Awards

Apple Watch

  • Continued my long (700 day) move, stand, and exercise streak.
  • Completed my March Challenge which was to double my move goal 13 times.

Peloton

Heart Rate

I mainly care about Resting Heart Rate, which was up 2bpm to 48bpm from an average of 46bpm in February and 48bpm in 2019. As mentioned earlier, I have no idea why. Maybe I was fighting off some kind of virus.

Sleep

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. With that being said, I think the average amount of sleep for Apple Watch wearers across the country and world decreased in March and will continue in April. These are stressful times.

  • Averaged 7:45/night in March, down from 8:07 in Feb.
  • Averaging 7:59/night in 2020 (compared to an averaged of 7:44/night in 2019).

Weight

My short term weight management goal is to stay below 190lbs, so I’m right on target at an average of 183.6 for the month. Corona diet (our household isn’t eating out at all) has definitely resulted in some weight loss for me. I haven’t been this low in decades.

  • Average weight down to 183.6lbs from 186 in Feb.
  • Weight is at a year low. In fact, a 5 year low.

Interesting content

Next steps

  • Upcoming:
    • Continue playing my part to destress the healthcare system. Being super risk averse with all of my actions, and continuing to preach to others why they should do the same.
    • Maintain March activity numbers.
  • 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).

Key tools

  • iPhone 11
  • Apple Watch 3
  • WordPress + AWS Lightsail (this blog)
  • Google Sheets
  • Apple Keynote
  • Peloton spin bike (referral code: 3TWTMH)
  • Canyon Endurace
  • Strava
  • 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.

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