Chapter 1 : What is Health Tracking? And Why Should You Care?
If you haven’t heard of fitness tracking, then you’ve probably been living under some kind of health rock for the past several years. Also known as health tracking, or life logging, fitness tracking is all about the ‘quantified self’. In other words, it’s about measuring your performance and your stats throughout the day as you train and as you go through your usual activities. This means things like your steps taken, your heartrate, your calories burned, your temperature, your stress levels and more.
Together, all this information can be combined to create a somewhat-complete picture of your health. You can then take that information and use it to guide your future training, to see where your weaknesses lie and hopefully to further improve your wellbeing.
The old maxim goes: ‘that which is measured, improves’. This applies in business, it applies in engineering and yes, it applies in fitness.
In fact, there are some studies that suggest simply measuring your weight is enough to ensure you shed fat. That’s right: with no other (conscious) changes to your lifestyle whatsoever, just knowing how much you weigh can help you to weigh less.
And it goes beyond that too. The more you learn about your fitness, the better you’ll be able to improve your training methods and the more likely you are to be able to flag up health problems and issues with your routine. It can be highly motivating to see yourself improve and it can provide data that allows you to train more efficiently and easily.
Using a fitness tracker for instance will let you train within your ‘fat burning zone’ and thereby burn fat far more efficiently than you otherwise would. Likewise, it will give you actionable tips on how to improve your sleep, thereby helping you to wake up with more energy.
Of course the reason that fitness tracking is so popular right now is partly to do with the slew of new technology now available that revolves around the tech. There are a huge number of wearable gadgets that provide fitness tracking, including the likes of the Microsoft Band 2, the Fitbit, Jawbone, the Garmin Vivofit, Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit, the TomTom Spark and a plethora of other options.
If you really want to start tracking your health and improving your fitness, then picking any one of these gadgets can help you to do just that. At the same time though, there are also a number of different ways to measure your fitness and track your health that have nothing to do with wearable technology. People have been tracking their fitness and their performance for hundreds of years and there’s no reason to spend lots of money on fancy wrist watches to do the same.
What is crucial is that you understand how to get the most out of fitness tracking, how to avoid some of the pitfalls and how to do it right. There’s more than one way to go about measuring your health and fitness and if you take the wrong approach, you’ll find that you end up ruining your own chances of success.
With the right skills and knowhow, you can track your progress with or without a fitness watch and the result will be better fat loss, more muscle, better sleep and more energy. Sound good?
That’s where this book comes in.