I’ve learned that there’s something important you need to have a healthy lifestyle: that important thing is balance.
Balance between what you do, what you eat and drink, balance between how you train and how you recover.
They say everything in moderation, but how do you know when you’ve got the balance?
And how do you know that what you’re doing is getting the results you’re after?
Balance is all about a bit of give and take, being dedicated to your goals and having a but of fun too.
Look at all of your life, not just your body shape or size: Improve your social life, your mental health, your learning and development, your finances, your fun time, your family time. Be sure to exercise, but remember your rest and recovery too. Balance your life out.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. And with computers, smart phones and apps, measuring has never been easier.
You can measure your:
– Activity (I use Garmin and Fuel band, and Garmin automatically syncs to run keeper and my fitness pal).
– Sleep (I use my Nike FuelBand).
– Weight / body fat / BMI (I use my withings wifi scale which syncs to my withings app, and I record my body fat % weekly in a spreadsheet!).
– Body measurements (I do this every now and again now, but did it a lot when I started my weight loss journey). Waist to height ratio is a good measure.
– Food and drink intake (I use My fitness pal occasionally).
– Blood Pressure and Resting Heart Rate (I measure this maybe once a month).
– Fitness: VO2 Max estimate, Cadence, heart rate etc measured by my amazing Garmin 620!
I like numbers and I like to improve. I also like to make things automatic so that I don’t need to think about things too much. That’s why it’s good that technology takes some of the thought out of it.
I stand on my withings wifi scales and they automatically send my details to my withings app, and my Garmin updates my activity to my fitness pal which updates to my withings app.
Now I have it all on one place:
– My weight, body fat and goals.
– My activity vs what I intake.
If I log my food, and my activity is recorded, I can easily check if my activity is going to burn more calories than what I’ve eaten.
I don’t really need this much detail as my weight is pretty well maintained, but I can see how they could be used to inform people about what might with for then to lose weight, and get a balance in their lives. But if I want to lose weight, I use measuring against what I’m doing, to help me see my results.
I’m resting this week, but still I’ve had three days this week where I’ve eaten well and walked a bit to balance out any extra treats (a mars bar and a wee bag of chocolate buttons). I kind of know now what I can eat on days I exercise (more) and days I rest (less).
By measuring, my intake and activity, and then by checking my results (weight and body fat) I can check if the actions I’m taking and the choices I’m making, are helping me achieve my goals:
Activity + intake = result: weight loss / maintenance / gain
So I’m aiming to get down to 124lbs, and then 120lbs if possible (body fat will reduce too). I’ll be careful about what I eat (not too careful), I’ll exercise, and I’ll weigh myself to see if what I’m doing is working.
The numbers aren’t particularly important, It’s all relative to where I am (is it healthy for me?) and where I want to get to. (even more healthy?)
And I’ll use my gadgets and apps to help make it easy, simple and as automatic as possible.
As Tom Venuto said in ‘Burn the fat, feed the muscle’:
There is no such thing as failure, only feedback and results.
I don’t get obsessed about the scale, I just see it as a way to measure what I’ve been doing (activity and intake) to see if it’s helping me towards my goals.
And all of the other measures:
Blood pressure, resting heart rate, VO2 Max estimate, BMI, sleep, waist you height ratio, are all just other measures to make sure I’m on track to be as fit and healthy as I can be.
They also give me a measure to work against so I can aim to improve where I might need to or want to. Measuring things is just normal for me. 🙂 I like to be in the know.
Recently we had a well being day at work, and I knew what most of my results would be: blood pressure (115/70), BMI (20), risk of diabetes (0), resting heart rate (50). I even knew my blood glucose would be a little high as I’d just had lunch (and it was: 7.0).
But some people got a bit if a surprise. They found out they were overweight or obese based on the BMI scale, or they found out their blood glucose or blood pressure was high. Some were even recommended to make an appointment with their doctors.
But because I measure most of these things, there were no surprises did me. I measure and manage my health and I get results because of it.
So, after reading this, what are you going to measure and aim to improve?