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The quantifiable self in the world of fitness

By Trainer Genevieve 

I have always had good physical awareness.  I know when I should be scaling back or when it is time to turn it up as far as fitness goes.  I don’t need a device or doctor to tell me when I am run down.  I have never race trained with a watch, heart rate monitor or coach and reached a PR.  I find I excel when I ignore the data and train based on my energy level, muscle fatigue and overall attitude towards my planned workout.   All of this is true, yet I want to be part of the movement to embrace the “Quantifiable Self”.  Your Quantifiable Self is who you are based on how well you sleep, how many steps you take, how high you can get your heart rate, how fast you can get back to a resting heart rate, your EEG wave patterns, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and  the list goes on and on and on. I want to embrace the quantifiable not from a fitness standpoint, but with more of a wellness approach.  

I like activity trackers because the encourage my clients to move more.  People are motivated to stand up and walk throughout the day, the way our bodies are intended to.  Standing up and walking around at work will not make you fit, and it will not help you lose weight alone, but it is a tiny habit that can you to make a shift towards a healthier lifestyle.  I love hearing about step competitions at the office or in the teachers lounge.  It is literally a step in the right direction in our sedentary world.

We have all heard about how detrimental extended periods of sitting can be, so why do we do it?  I blame it on busy lives and the lack of priority towards wellness.  I see fitness trackers as a small step towards a healthier everyday life.  Someone who once paid no attention to their sleep quality and daily movement is presented with readable data.  I have found that so many of my clients are motivated by numbers.

These fitness and activity trackers are still in the Beta phase as far as mainstream use.  It seems like every few weeks a new product comes to market and they are often filled with glitches and rash causing materials.   I find it overwhelming.  If I was to recommend any type of tracker I would go with something simple.  Just to get you into the habit of moving every day.  If the tracker does its job, you can shed it when the habit sticks.  

So while I don’t think that a FitBit will make you fit, I do think it is a small step toward living a more healthy everyday life.  Being active is cathartic.  Go play with your kids in the street, walk your dog an extra lap around the block, park at the back of the parking lot, take the stairs and please don’t ride the moving walkway in the airport.




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