Incentives for an active life

A lot of people start their more active life because they either experience some health issues that may be alleviated/improved by becoming more active or want to lose weight (to look better). 

It’s not difficult to start, but it’s much more of a challenge to continue and that’s mostly because we would like to see fast progress and sometimes we don’t have the right measurement tools to allow us to understand the trend and support it with our actions. 

If you can’t measure, you can’t improve it — that’s why we start with at least a piece of paper and a pen…but now we have better tools to manage our progress.

I started with a Fitbit Flex (one of their first wristbands — the first one?) and I soon upgraded to Fitbit Charge HR to collect also the information about heart rate. Fitbit designed their applications nicely, so you could have some feedback based on the data collected by your wearable — the gamification helps as well to hit your targets.

All the recent devices are pretty much autonomous, having a wide range of sensors (including GPS, accelerometers, barometer, HR, SpO2, etc), you only need to pick your favourite brand and use it consistently. My experience with Fitbit, Garmin, Suunto, Polar and other sport platforms supports the idea that partnering with a device to measure your activity is a very effective way of become more active.

Number of activities since my first wearable (2021 is still in progress..)

The pandemic period increased the general awareness regarding the positive impact of having an active life over your wellbeing — I added more walks. That’s one of the the benefits of having dog 🙂 

The driver for my walks ..

Set up a goal — be it the number of steps measured in a period (month, year), the distance you’d like to run/cycle/swim in month/year — measure it and be consistent. Join a club, challenge your friends — that would help your motivation.

I spent more time outdoor or doing exercising (2021 is not over yet..)

If weight loss if your thing, get a “smarter” scale which reports your progress in your platform of choice (Fitbit, Garmin, Polar, Withings, Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, etc) and use it while measuring your activity level.

There are so many options, with a wide range of prices — you may look for an Renpho scale (rather inexpensive, but with consistent good results), Fitbit Aria, Garmin Index or Withings (all of them being well integrated in the vendor’s ecosystem — with wearables and smart[er] watches).

For weight management, low HR (zone 1–2) and some quality HIIT can help

One of my findings when trying to lose weight (it wasn’t that difficult..) is that you can’t exercise enough to compensate unhealthy eating habits — you need to improve your diet as you become more active … actually 80% of your success in weight loss is due to your diet and exercising has only a 20% contribution, no matter how much you train.

Walking (not very fast) allows you to use more your fat than carbs

Create habits you can maintain for longer term, be consistent, partner with friends/family to have a healthier life and you’ll see a lot of positive results — your tonus, mood, overall status will improve.

If gadgets are your thing, from time to time allow yourself a boost of motivation with new devices or gear — it will have a positive impact on the long run.

Enjoy a healthier life and be active!

Author: Liviu Nastasa

Passionate about software development, sociology, running...definitely a geek.

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