Exploring Energy Levels – Week 4

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 3: I start measuring my body composition to track macroscopic effects on my body.

Week 2: I start logging my going-ons for each day to get a better context for my readings.

Week 1: You can see my baseline Basis Peak readings for the year.

Tables:

Weekly Report Jan 22-28 2016

Description of the Week:

Jan 22: I was able to sleep the whole night without interruptions. Had a nice day at work. Went out for lunch. Had an afternoon meeting, but still went home early to avoid some bad weather. Picked up a book at the library. Did some yoga after dinner and went to bed at a normal time. Energy Level: 4/4

Jan 23: Another restful night. Walked the puppy a little bit before breakfast. Went to visit my parents which resulted in lots of eating and lounging with a nice walk outside. Did a little extra reading and went to sleep early. Energy Level: 4/5

Jan 24: Woke up a little later. Had a lazy morning but spent some time playing with the pup. Drove back home and had to stop by work briefly. Ran a few errands after that and grabbed dinner on the way home. Finished the evening off with a nice walk. Energy Level: 5/4

Jan 25: Went to work after an uninterrupted night. Picked up the wife’s car after being int the shop for more than a week. Who knew fixing a simple dent would take so long. Grabbed groceries for the week.  Making dinner had us up late, so we just ended up snacking and sticking it in the refrigerator when it was done. Energy Level: 4/4

Jan 26: Slept the whole night but still woke up a little sore and tired. Went to work and had an afternoon meeting. Had a quick crockpot dinner, followed by puppy class, and relaxing for the evening before bed. Forgot about yoga! Will definitely work on it next week. Energy Level: 3/4

Jan 27: The puppy woke me up at 4:30 to use the bathroom, but went back to sleep without a fuss. Had to go to work, which was relatively uneventful though I was on my feet most of the time. Spent the evening carboloading and watching Netflix. Sometimes you have to treat yourself. Energy Level: 4/3

Jan 28: Woke up a little earlier to make it to a morning meeting. Had a good day at work. Came home for lunch and spent a little extra time at the dog park since the weather was nice. Had a nice dinner at home and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 4/4

For this week I have begun to include my energy levels for the day measured when I first wake up and at 4 pm in the afternoon. I measure it on a scale of 1 to 5. 5 means I’m extremely well rested. 4 means I wouldn’t mind a few more minutes of sleep. 3 means another hour of sleep would be nice. 2 means I need at least a few more hours of sleep. 1 means I basically got no sleep recovery from the previous night. I am using Trackthisforme for this purpose and it sends me out a reminder at 4pm each day which is pretty handy.

Body Composition:

Weight: 153 lb 

BMI: 22.0 

Body Fat: 13.5% 

Body Muscle: 47.5% 

Body Water: 63.4% 

Analysis:

My resting heart rates have gone down for the week. This is probably related to less interruptions at night this week—hopefully that will continue. I was slightly less intense on average as compared to last week even though my time spent in Zone 3-5 were increased. My sleep was much better this week in all areas besides tosses and turns, but I am not convinced that those affect me so much. I took less total steps throughout the week, but I was more consistent in reaching my goal of 5000/day.

Lastly, I have my energy levels to look at for the week, but I do not have much for comparison there yet. There is nothing obvious to mean that suggests why my energy was low on the 26th. I got plenty of good quality sleep the previous night. On the 27th, my energy level went lower in the afternoon, but that was just because I was running around all day at work. Overall, my energy level looked pretty good for the week. I will continue to monitor it and see what causes any variations.

Modifications for Next Week:

I am thinking to modify how I measure my heart rate zones. I have noticed that I still get spikes at night when I’m sleep so I’m hoping to exclude those times and only include my waking hours. That means that new weeks values may be totally off, but I think they will prove more useful.

I plan to raise my goal for steps to 5500 steps/day. I don’t have an end goal there at this point, but just want to continue increasing my activity as much as possible without disrupting other things too much.

Additionally I plan to track my workouts in a little more detail and start to focus in on those to see what modifications I can make.

Feedback from You:

What sort of things do you find to modify your energy levels?

Also, do you have an recommendations for apps or the like to track your workouts—both of the cardio and strength varieties?

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

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Introducing Body Composition – Week 3

Tables:

Weekly Report Jan 15-21 2016

Description of the Week:

Jan 15: I received a quote for a bathroom remodel in the morning. $10,000 for a new tub! I’m going to take a pass on that. Went to work and got some Vietnamese for lunch. Walked around the park after work. Then had a bit of a cheat day with Italian, donuts, and Netflix.

Jan 16: The puppy woke me up during the night and woke me up early in the morning. We spent most of the day outdoors at a nature preserve and at the dog park. Did a few things around the house and then enjoyed a relaxing evening in, which involved staying up a little later.

Jan 17: The puppy woke me up early again, but I went back to sleep for an hour after and took a nap after breakfast. Went to the dog park again because the weather was still decent. Ate out for lunch, did some errands, and bought groceries. Had to stop by work briefly. We did a little extra reading to finish up some books before their due dates.

Jan 18: I was able to sleep the whole night. Had a normal day at work. Came home for dinner. Luxuriated a little bit with a bubble bath.

Jan 19: The puppy decided to wake up early again, so I slept for another hour after settling him down. Had a normal day at work with a lunch meeting. Came home for a quick dinner followed by puppy class. He was fairly well behaved again if only he could be like that at home. I guess it comes with time. We decided to incorporate a little bit of Yoga in the evening by following a video from eFit30 using our Roku.

Jan 20: The pup woke up in the middle of the night with some vomiting but was able to sleep the rest of the morning after. I went to work and came back after lunch to walk the puppy. Got some takeout pizza for dinner and had game night with my brother and brother-in-law.

Jan 21: I was able to sleep all the way through without interruption. Had a normal day at work, coming home again to walk the pup. Cooked some dinner and relaxed to some Netflix.

Body Composition:

Weight: 151.4 lb

BMI: 21.7

Body Fat: 13.2%

Body Muscle: 47.7%

Body Water: 63.6%

This is my first week adding in body composition. It was recommended as something I should include in my monitoring by Eric Jain in the Quantified Self Forums. I measured my composition with a Tony Little’s Body Express Body Fat Scale. I am unsure of the accuracy of it, but I at least seem to get consistent results. I measure on Thursday mornings just before breakfast.

Analysis:

My resting heart rate was higher for the week—most likely due to night time disturbances from the puppy. This was also seen by a increase in my minimum heart rate for the week. My maximum heart rate and peak workout heart rate were both decreased because I was not as intense this week. Overall, my sleep was decreased but it’s been hard to control that so far. I can only hope that the puppy is better able to sleep through the night as he gets older. I walked more but still ended up burning less calories for the week—again I attribute this to a lower intensity.

Modifications for Next Week:

For next week, I am shooting for a minimum of 5,000 steps a day again. I just need to focus in a little more on busy work days. Additionally I began measuring my body composition, so I hope to see how that changes. In the short term, I would like to but on a little more muscle mass and currently feel okay about my body fat percentage. Additionally, I will start tracking my energy level in the mornings when I wake up and in the afternoon based again on suggestions from Eric Jain. This will better let me see what effects these nightly disturbances have been having on me.

Feedback from You:

If you have a recommendation for a scale that does body composition and allows for export of data, let me know. I hope you are still sticking to your resolutions! Also let me know if there are any other things that you think it would be important for me to track.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

Beginning to Make Comparisons – Week 2

Tables:

Weekly Report Jan 8-14 2016

Description of the Week:

Jan 8: I woke up during the previous night as seen by the 2 interruptions. My wife and I stopped by the car dealership to get an estimate on some car repairs. We had a nice lunch out and did a little walking. After work we mostly relaxed at home and were up a little later.

Jan 9: We finished up some work on the kitchen and ate out for both lunch and dinner, but got a little bit of walking in to balance it out hopefully.

Jan 10: Last bit of work in the kitchen with some additional errands after it was all said and done. Ate out for lunch, but had dinner at home. Got a fair amount of walking in, but felt relatively tired for some reason.

Jan 11: Just a regular day of work. Grocery shopping in the evening.

Jan 12: Work during the day with an unintended fast for lunch, but my energy level was still pretty good throughout. We had our second puppy class in the evening. He was probably the most behaved one there.

Jan 13: We had to wake up early for the vet and to drop the car off. Then I had a presentation during lunch and a seminar in the evening, so a bit of a longer day at work.

Jan 14: I was woken up twice by the puppy, so I didn’t get quite as much sleep as I had hoped for. Had work but got to leave a little earlier so we went to the dog park as a treat.

Analysis:

Compared to the previous week, my average resting heart rates are pretty much the same. I was a little more intense this week as evidenced by my heart rate though I noticed it also being suspiciously high during period of sleep, which I assume to likely be inaccurate. This also seemed to lead to the watch not picking up on my sleep phases for the 9th. If anybody has any ideas for how to avoid that let me know. I did seem to get more overall sleep but more of it was light rather than deep or REM sleep, but again that might just be due to the 9th. Another reason could be more sleep disturbances from the pup, but hopefully those will decrease with time. I took less steps than the previous week probably because I was back at work for a full week.

Modifications for Next Week:

I would like to shoot for a minimum of 5000 steps a day, just to raise my average slightly. I would like to be getting closer to 7 hours of sleep at least, but I will just continue to monitor it for now before I try to really push for more changes.

Feedback from You:

I decided to use Google Keep to better track my going-ons for the week. Let me know if you have used any apps to help you with that. Also, how is your year going so far?

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

Baseline Readings to Start – Week 1

Baseline Tables:

Weekly Report Jan 1-7 2016

Description of the Week:

Jan 1: New Year’s Day so I was up a little later the previous night, but nothing too eventful during the day other than heading home.

Jan 2: I spent the day doing things around the house and got a little bit of walking in with my wife and pup.

Jan 3: I was woken up early in the morning by the pup. We also went hiking in a local nature preserve.

Jan 4: It was a normal day, so just went to work and spent time with the wife and puppy. I was up late working on a presentation so got very little sleep.

Jan 5: Work during the day and puppy class in the evening, so that kept us pretty busy.

Jan 6: Work and then game night in the evening with my brother.

Jan 7: Work during the day. We decided to treat ourselves to some dinner out and then spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Analysis:

good-resting-heart-rate-chart-table

Based off of the chart above, my resting heart rate falls within the athlete and excellent range most of the time, but there is definitely some variability throughout the week. It does not seem to be primarily tied to activity of quality of sleep, but that’s something for me to investigate further. Surprisingly the lack of sleep one night did not appear to affect that much. I could also stand to get more high intensity exercise throughout the week, but I’m starting with small steps for now.

Modification for Following Week:

I think I will try to keep better track of what I do on a daily basis to get a better idea of what things might be affecting my heart rate and sleep quality before I attempt any modifications.

Have you had any success for fitness tracking? Let me know what worked and what didn’t.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

New Insights for a New Year

As a New Year’s resolution I want to take the data I have been collecting for a couple of years now and actually do something with it. You can get tons of information about yourself now, but fitness tracking companies still struggle to do much with it, so I’m going to give it a try.

Feel free to follow along to see what sort of insights I find. I plan to look at my heart rate, sleep, calorie, and step data; I will try to correlate all of that with what I’m doing and how I’m feeling that week.

Do you have related goals for the New Year? Tell me about it; I would love to hear what you’re up to.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.