Books on the Brains – Week 6

Previous Posts:

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

Week 5: I look more in-depth at my workouts using the assistance of some apps.

Week 4: I start exploring my energy levels throughout the day.

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

Tables:

Weekly Report Feb 5-11 2016

Description of the Week:

Feb 5: After getting a full night’s sleep, I had a relatively easy day. I went to work. Got some lunch out with the wife and then went to the dog park. I finished up a little more work and came home for dinner and some Hulu. We finished the evening off with a nice walk. Energy Level: 3/4

Feb 6: Today was mostly about the dog. We lounged around for an extra hour in the morning. After breakfast we went to one dog park, followed by lunch, and then to a different dog park. He can definitely hold his own now even though he’s barely over 10 lbs. We got some takeout for dinner and relaxed inside for the evening. I briefly had to stop by work. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 7: I was a little sleepier in the morning, so I took a nap after breakfast. We made another trip to the dog park. Got some lunch out. Ran a few errands including groceries. Had dinner at home. Made a quick trip to work. Energy Level: 3/4

Feb 8: Slept well. In the morning had the pest control guy come for our quarterly treatment. The wife took our puppy to the vet to get treated for his worms. Poor little guy, hopefully he gets over it quickly. Had a regular day at work. Came home for some dinner. Went to the library to pick up some new books and spent a little extra time reading in the evening. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 9: The pup managed to sneak out of his crate at night. Luckily after going to the bathroom he went back to sleep pretty easily. Had a regular work day. It was puppy graduation tonight and he passed with flying colors. We came back home, watched some Hulu, and finished the night out with some Yoga. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 10: The pup decided to wake up during the night, but it didn’t upset my sleep too much. Had a couple of lunch meetings during work. Left for a haircut and took the pup for a brief visit to the dog park. Came back for a little more work and an evening meeting. After dinner, we spent some additional time reading. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 11: After a regular day at work, we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little earlier by treating ourselves to a nicer dinner. It wasn’t quite as good as we had hoped, but maybe we’ve gotten pickier since we spend so much time preparing things exactly like we like them. We came back and walked the dog, enjoyed a little bit of tea, and soaked in the tub. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 3.7–/4

Book of the Week:

This week I read Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. For the past several months I’ve actually been on a business/startup book kick and this one fits pretty squarely in that. Traction in particular talks about 19 different channels in which one can grow their business and get more people involved to start to build traction. I believe I got some good takeaways from it and might try to apply some of them in the future.

In part, this blog is for selfish reasons; I like to create things. Especially things that people find useful. I hope to be able to help out others just starting out that also want to quantify their lives. Hopefully I’m on the right track and people are already taking insights away from this.

I wanted to start including books that I read to highlight the fact that the mental is just as important as the physical, so it should also be acknowledged.

Workouts:

Feb 9: Yoga; Active for 28:56; 38 calories burned; Average heart rate of 88; Heart rate range of 65-107

Body Composition:

Weight: 153.4 lb 

BMI: 22.0 

Body Fat: 13.6% 

Body Muscle: 47.5%

Body Water: 63.3% 

Analysis:

My evening resting heart rate for the week was decreased while my morning resting heart rate was mostly unchanged. This was likely due to better sleep throughout the week, but also not pushing myself as much activity-wise.

My peak heart rate was down because of slightly less intense activity even though my average was slightly elevated. My maximum heart rate throughout the day was also decreased with my minimum heart rate being about the same.

My heart rate zones painted a similar picture to the above. I ultimately spent very little time in or above the fat burn zone.

My sleep was overall much better, but I did have a couple mornings where I was still more tired. It seems like it is not directly related to the quantity of sleep I get the night before, but I can’t rule out a lag effect. It might be more related to the strain accumulated over the day as evidenced by my higher rest heart rate on those days. Something to continue to monitor further.

I came a little short on both my step and exercise goals, so I will have to be more mindful of them next week. My yoga session was not very intense with an average heart rate of 88 bpm.

Lastly, my body composition went back to basically what it was 2 weeks ago, so I will have to put a little more effort towards that if I want to see some changes.

Modifications for Next Week:

As far as habits go, I want to shoot for a step count of at least 6000 each day again and to increase my workouts to 3 times a week with at least one of them being higher intensity. Everything else I think is in line with where I want it.

I plan to incorporate body measurements into my weekly body compositions, so I can get a better breakdown of my physical self. I don’t feel like weight and body fat, water, and muscle percentage paint a very clear picture, so maybe this will help.

Additionally, I have 4 different heart rate subsets that I’m currently looking at and they all seem to say similar things, so I’m thinking to cut it down to the minimum necessary. All of this goes towards trying to cut down on noise and focusing on what is truly significant.

Feedback from You:

Have you had any success with body measurements? Also what sort of workouts do you find work the best for you?

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10 thoughts on “Books on the Brains – Week 6

  1. How are you measuring your energy levels?
    Also, in terms of start-up books, have you checked out The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, there is also Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder. I have both and found them equally interesting, if for nothing else then to refer to when needed.

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    1. I mention it more in detail in Week 4, but if you’re just curious about the app, I use Trackthisforme.

      I have not checked out either of those, so I will definitely add them to my list. Some of the others I’ve read are Work the System by Sam Carpenter and Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Also Four Hour Work Week seems to be a popular one.

      Did you manage to take away anything actionable from those two books? It’ll be interesting to discuss them in more detail after I finish them.

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      1. Currently tracking everything that Fitbit is able to track (Steps, resting heart rate, kilometers walked, calories burned, floots climbed, weight, sleep, cals in/out, and water), but I am not really keeping the best track of the caloric intake and all that fun stuff, haha.

        I’m hoping to keep it up as well and keep track of everything, especially steps for the challenge that I issued myself (and others, I guess)

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