Manually Track Activities With Basis Peak

One question that comes up a lot with Basis Peak users is “Can I just manually add my activities that my Peak won’t detect?”. The answer to this luckily is YES! The only caveat is that is requires a work around through Google Fit (this presumably also works with iHealth, but I cannot personally speak to that).

Step 1: Connect Basis Peak to Google Fit

Step 1a.png

Go into the Basis Peak App settings.

Step 1b

Confirm that you want to share your data with Google Fit, which will also allow it to communicate with your other Google Fit connected devices.

Step 2: Allow Google Fit to Collect & Store Data

Step 2a.png

Go into the Google Fit App settings.

Step 2b

Allow Google Fit to collect and store data. This will actually allow it to capture your heart rate and step data.

Step 3: Track Your Activities

Step 3a

If you want to track an activity or workout in real-time, then select “Start activity.”

Step 3b

You can then select your activity type from a wide list and hit “Start.” Once your done with your workout just hit pause and stop it.

Step 3c

Additionally you can add activities that you have already performed by selecting “Add activity”, so you don’t have to worry about missing any.

Step 3d

Again just select your type of activity. Additionally select when you started and what the duration was (you can estimate if you don’t know exactly).

Step 3e.png

Lastly you can go back through your activities in Google Fit and get a nice little summary of each activity that looks a little like this. If you check it right after you finish the workout, the numbers may not quite be accurate because it takes a few moments for it to pull the necessary data from your watch.

Summary:

In 3 easy steps, I showed you how you can manually add activities to be tracked by your Basis Peak. I hope this will allow you to do even more with your Basis Peak data.

If you have any other questions that you would like me to address with another how-to, let me know!

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Thought for Food – Week 10

Previous Posts:

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

Week 9: I include a little bit of world perspective as a backdrop for what is going on in my life.

Week 8: I focus in on establishing standards for my data for my continued comparisons and improvements.

Week 7: I look at little closer at my body goals with tape measurements.

Perspectives:

Domestic: Presidential candidates prepare for decisive primaries in Florida and Ohio. Congress considers new sanctions after Iran tests ballistic missiles. And former First Lady Nancy Reagan is laid to rest beside her husband.

International: Iran test-fires ballistic missiles. The European Union and Turkey reach a tentative deal on migrants. And the Pentagon says U.S. airstrikes killed 150 militants in Somalia.

Tables:

Week 10.png

Description of the Week:

Mar 4: After breakfast this morning, we stopped by the vet to check about the puppy’s retained deciduous or baby teeth. Looks like he should be okay to keep them in until he gets neutered, since he would have to be anesthetized anyways. Went to work. Grabbed some lunch out and walked around the park since the weather was nice. After work we ran a few errands. Had a light dinner, evening walk, and finished off the night with some reading. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 5: Lounged a bit this morning and watched some Netflix while breakfast was baking. We walked around the nature preserve. The pup really flies down those trails. It must be his low center of gravity. We had lunch out. Then we ran several errands before dinner. I had to stop by work briefly, took an evening walk, and read before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 6: After breakfast I started the day off with a little reading. Got some gardening stuff and bought groceries for the week. Had lunch at home. Spent a little bit of time at the dog park. Came home and planted some veggies, so here’s hoping for a good harvest! Got some takeout for dinner. Worked out after dinner, went for an evening walk, and read. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 7: Had a regular work day followed by working out, a little bit of TV, our usual evening walk, and reading. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 8: Woke up a little early to deal with some puppy vomit. He still has incidences every now and again. I was definitely sore from the previous night’s workout. First leg workout in a while. Went to work for the day. In the evening, had some home-cooked dinner and treated ourselves to some frozen yogurt after. I played a little bit of video games before our evening walk and reading. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 9: Had a longer day at work with a couple of lunch meetings and an afternoon seminar, so I got home a bit later. Still managed to get in a workout after dinner as well as an evening walk, my weekly body measurements, and some reading. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 10: Pretty normal work day with some dinner at home and reading in the evening. I was a little lacking on my steps because of the rain throughout the day. The pup was a little more unruly as well because of all his pent up energy. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 4/4

Book of the Week:

This week I am continuing on The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines by Malcolm Gay. It looks to be mostly a historical account of DARPA’s prosthetic missions and brain computer interfaces (BCI). Not sure if there will be anything actionable to take away from this book, but it is an interest read nonetheless to see how far we have come and what the cutting edge research and technology can do.

Workouts:

Mar 6: Weight lifting; One arm row (30 lb each arm x 12 reps x 3 sets), Bicep curls (30 lb x 8 reps x 3 sets), Russian twists (30 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 26:04; 12 calories burned; Average heart rate of 92; Heart rate range of 77-113

Mar 7: Weight lifting; Barbell squats (95 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets), Calf raises (95 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 16:09; 35 calories burned; Average heart rate of 105; Heart rate range of 83-130

Mar 9: Weight lifting; Incline chest press (25 lb each arm x 12 reps x 3 sets), Triceps extension (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets), Sit-ups (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 30:32; 5 calories burned; Average heart rate of 94; Heart rate range of 64-118

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 10 Weight

Shoulders: 43 1/2 inches

Bust: 37 3/8 inches 

Chest: 36 inches

Waist: 31 1/2 inches 

Hips: 36 3/4 inches

Thighs: 21 3/8 inches 

Calves: 14 5/8 inches 

Upper Arm: 11 1/4 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

I decided to include the measurement around my shoulders this week because I was hoping it would help me decide on my body type. Still not sure so if you have any experience on such please let me know.

Nutrition:

Week 10 Nutrition

The new addition for this week is nutrition tracking using MyFitnessPal. While general exercise and activity are important, nutrition can actually be more so for health and well-being. I do not yet have standards set for what sort of macronutrient composition I would like to consume or anything like that. This is more just to see where I stand.

Analysis:

My resting heart rate for this week is relatively stable compared to last week  with no significantly high values relative to my average, so I can say that I had a fairly stable week overall.

I spent less time in my higher heart rate zones this week. This is at least slightly due to a less active day on the 10th, but not sure is that can account for all of the difference. I want to continue working on my strength goals before moving on to focus on higher intensity activities more.

My total sleep is slightly increased from the previous week but I am still under my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality was better than the previous week, but I do have some wide fluctuations. On the 5th I was low on my deep sleep. Both my REM and deep sleep were low on the 10th. I did not notice any detrimental effects on those days. I notice that when I look at my sleep data, on those two days I have periods of time when the Basis Peak is not detecting any sleep phase for me, so I wonder if it is just being mislabeled. It is a very good sleep tracker, but still not perfect which can make utilizing the data more difficult.

I met my step goals for the week except for that rainy day on the 10th. I also met my number of workouts for the week and hope to continue that. I am gradually increasing the amount of weight and/or repetitions I do on each exercise.

My weight and fat percentage are increased from the previous week, but now I am recording it as an average of the values for the whole week rather than at a single time point. As you can see there is some fluctuation throughout the week, which does not necessarily seem to correlate with anything in particular.

Overall I am seeing an increase in my body measurements, so I believe that my currently workout plan is having some effect, but I will continue monitoring it.

This is my first week following my nutrition, so I do not have any weekly comparisons, but I can compare against the most recent USDA dietary guidelines. My carbohydrate intake is a little under the recommendation with my fat intake being over and my protein intake falls in the middle. I am definitely higher on sodium and a little low on fiber. Overall, my food consumption probably looks about average at the moment.

Modifications for Next Week:

Tracking nutrition on a daily basis is still a lot of work even with some of the improvements that MyFitnessPal has made to their application. I would like to delve a little further into it next week and consider some potential tweaks that I might make. I need to establish some standards on my nutrition as well.

As I focus my workouts in more on building strength, I am considering a different way of displaying my results to better reflect any increases I make in terms of weight or repetitions. Also the calorie count I get from Google Fit seems to be largely inaccurate, so I might just drop it for the time being even though I will continue to track it on my own.

Feedback from You:

What sort of diet have you found to work for you? Also how do you track you strength training workouts to really visualize your weekly changes?

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Small Progressive Changes – February in Review

Previous Posts:

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

Month 1: My first monthly review. Just scratching the surface with Zenobase.

Monthly Data Points:

burn-(kcal) Dailyburn-(kcal) Hourlyheart-rate-(bpm) Dailyheart-rate-(bpm) Hourlyskin-temperature-(f) Dailyskin-temperature-(f) Hourlysteps Dailysteps Hourly

This is my second month in review using Zenobase. Again these graphs are generated from data gathered by my Basis Peak for the entire month. In order, calories daily, calories hourly, heart rate daily, heart rate hourly, skin temperature daily, skin temperature hourly, steps daily, and steps hourly.

Daily and Hourly Analysis:

I again displayed the data in a polar manner both by days of the week and hourly. In order again, calories daily, calories hourly, heart rate daily, heart rate hourly, skin temperature daily, skin temperature hourly, steps daily, and steps hourly.

Overall, I see more calorie burn on the weekends just because I am more active in general though it’s not totally due to steps as my highest step count is actually on Fridays and Sundays.

I have higher step counts around 10 am and 5 pm when I’m coming into and leaving work most days. My calorie burn is also slightly higher during those time periods.

Hourly Scatter Plots:

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A lot of correlations that I saw in the previous month still remain the same. Burn vs heart rate, burn vs steps, and heart rate vs steps are positively correlated which is to be expected. The unexpected finding from last time is that skin temperature vs all other variables is negatively correlated.

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When I only looked at the time periods when I was awake it decreased the correlation for skin temperature but it was still somewhat negatively correlated.

Monthly Changes:

Weight: 0 lb

BMI: 0

Body Fat: +0.8%

Even though my weight is unchanged, my body fat percentage is increased. It’s hard however to comment on that since I used two different scales. My weekly measurements suggest that it is somewhat steady.

My energy levels have been pretty steady in the high 3’s to low 4’s, so not too much changes there.

My activity has increased overall. My goal is now up 1500 steps/day to 7000. And I have been hitting my goal of 3 workouts a week.

Any further comparisons will have to wait till I have more data.

Summary:

Overall since the amount of metrics I have collected for the full month are small, I can only make some comparisons. A lot of the trends from the previous month remain even when I account for times when I’m asleep vs awake.

For the most part I am more active than I was last month and continue to move in the right direction. I did not expect any large changes as I am just making gradual adjustments week to week.

Next time I might try to incorporate other data sources into Zenobase to see what sort of trends pop out.

Take a Look for Yourself:

If you’re interested in playing around with some data and need a sample set or think you can do a different sort of analysis than I have, you’re in luck because my data for this month is available on Dropbox. You can also access my Basis Peak data on Zenobase. Let me know if you have any questions about it.

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.

Worldly Perspectives – Week 9

Previous Posts:

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

Week 8: I focus in on establishing standards for my data for my continued comparisons and improvements.

Week 7: I look at little closer at my body goals with tape measurements.

Week 6: I give a voice to my introverted side by focusing a little on books.

Perspectives:

Domestic: Former Republican nominee Mitt Romney speaks out on the state of the presidential race. The F.B.I. chief faces tough questions from lawmakers over his agency’s encryption battle with Apple. And the Supreme Court hears arguments in a major abortion case.

International: The U.N. imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program. Syrian forces and Russia are accused of violating the cease-fire. And a top E.U. official warns economic migrants against coming to Europe.

This are the summaries derived from The Diane Rehm Show: Friday News Roundup. I found this to be the most focused on bigger weekly issues rather than just day to day or hour to hour. There is probably plenty more to offer from the international perspective but I would need a recommendation on that.

I wanted to include this for two purposes. Firstly, it is always nice to look back and see what was going on in the world at a certain time. Secondly, no matter how much one might try you can’t remove yourself from the effects that the world as a whole has on you.

Tables:

Weekly Report

Description of the Week:

Feb 26: A nice pleasant day starting with work and a morning meeting. Ate out for lunch with the wife and puppy. We went and walked around a park downtown after. Came back and did a little more work. At home had dinner, cleaned the basement some, went for an evening walk, and spent some extra time working on a presentation for Monday which ultimately got postponed. Energy Level: 4/3

Feb 27: Most of the weekend was devoted to birthdays starting with my brother’s. We cleaned house some in the morning, got ready, and walked the dog. Ate birthday lunch and came home for cake. Spent some time at the dog park. Relaxed to some Netflix in the evening. Read some before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 28: In the morning we went to a nature preserve to get some energy out before birthday celebration part two for the wife. We had birthday lunch with the whole nuclear family. Afterwards we walked around the botanical garden because it was a pleasant day. In the evening had some frozen pizza for dinner, briefly stopped by work, did some more presentation preparation, and read before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 29: Normal work day. Went to work during the day. Came home for dinner. Went to get groceries. Stopped by the library to pick up some new books. Did some weights. Went for an evening walk. Started on one of the books that I picked up. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 1: Went to work and had a lunch meeting but otherwise everything was pretty normal. Got drenched on the way to my car. After dinner, had game night with the brothers. Went for an evening walk. Read before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 2: Helped the wife out with some work today and ended up eating lunch a little later. We pick up some fish to cook for dinner and got shaved ice as a treat. After dinner, worked on a presentation for Friday. Took a break for our evening walk. Stayed up a little later to finish up the presentation. Energy Level: 4/4

Mar 3: Had a normal day at work while the wife had a spa day for her birthday. We went for a nice dinner out and had a much better experience than for Valentine’s. Came home and spent some time with the pup and took our evening walk. Tweaked a few things on the presentation. Did some light reading before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 4/3.9↑

Book of the Week:

This week I started on The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines by Malcolm Gay. I’m still early on into it, so I can’t speak in much detail just yet, but I picked this book out because I have a long standing interest in augmentation. Obviously the brain in one area that could see a large effect from any sort of augmentation.

Also in the interest of living a long fulfilling life, I see two research areas as being critically important. The first is tissue engineering/regeneration and the second is neuroprostheses. Even if cancer were cured today the body would still degrade with use and these are potential ways to combat that.

Workouts:

Feb 29: Weight lifting; Incline chest press (25 lb each arm x 10 reps x 2 sets, 8 reps x 1 set), Triceps extension (25 lb x 12 reps x 2 sets, 8 reps x 1 set), Sit-ups (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 25:11; 5 calories burned; Average heart rate of 95; Heart rate range of 74-112

Body Composition and Measurements:

Weight: 154.4 lb ↑

BMI: 22.2 ↑

Body Fat: 14.6% ↑

Bust: 37.5 inches 

Chest: 36 inches 

Waist: 31 3/8 inches ↑

Hips: 36 3/4 inches –

Thighs: 21 inches

Calves: 14 5/8 inches

Upper Arm: 11 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Analysis:

My resting heart rate for this week is slightly down from last week with no significantly high values relative to my average, so I can say that I had a fairly stable week.

I spent more time in each of my heart rate zones this week. This is presumably due to my increased step activity throughout the week as compared to the previous week.

My total sleep is slightly increased from the previous week but I am still under my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality was good though my deep sleep was decreased. On the 26th I was low on my deep sleep which might have caused my energy levels to be low that afternoon. Both my REM and deep sleep were low on the 1st, but I didn’t notice any specific effects as a result of that. I will have to look more in depth in the future to try and determine what causes those sleep phases to be below optimal range.

I met my step goals for the week ultimately even though a few days I was shy a couple hundred steps. I was short on my number of workouts because of focusing on getting my step goals in by taking evening walks. Also various events throughout the week were outside the normal routine. Overall still a good level of activity for the week.

My body composition by weight and fat mass is increased from last week. There is a caveat, however, I decided to switch over to the Withings WS-50 scale, so I can’t guarantee that the readings are 100% comparable. However, since it makes recorded measurements much easier I will try to get my weight on a daily basis and see what sort of variations I see throughout a normal week. It also takes readings of air quality, which might be interesting to examine in the future. My body measurements are pretty much stable from the previous week except for a significant increase in my chest measurements.

Modifications for Next Week:

Establishing standards last week definitely made my analysis easier and allowed me to focus is more on my goals.

I met my step goals for the week and attempt to increase it to 7000 steps/day. At that point I think I might just try to maintain for a while and instead focus in more on strength training and higher intensity workouts. I am still shooting for 3 workouts in the next week and it looks like I will need it to see any increases in muscle mass according to my tape measurements.

Nutrition is also important to reach any weight or composition goal, so I’m finally going to attempt tracking my nutrition as imperfect as that is. It will still start to give me some picture of what my intake looks like and will allow me to start making modifications in the future.

Feedback from You:

Let me know what you think about the worldly context/perspective and what I can do to make that better. Also what is your experience with nutrition tracking? Any advice or pitfalls to watch out for?

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.

Establishing Standards – Week 8

Previous Posts:

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

Week 7: I look at little closer at my body goals with tape measurements.

Week 6: I give a voice to my introverted side by focusing a little on books.

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

Tables:

Weekly Report Feb 19-25 2016

Description of the Week:

Feb 19: Started off the day with some breakfast before heading to work. Got some lunch out. After work we went to the dog park. We had a little dinner and relaxed to some Netflix and Hulu. Stayed up a little late before reading and bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 20: After breakfast, packed up to visit the in-laws. Had to stop by work briefly. Starting feeling a little queasy at this point and it lasted most of the weekend. Grabbed some lunch on the way. Helped with a little housework. Then relaxed most of the rest of the evening with some TV and reading. Grilled out for dinner.  Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 21: Woke up during the night because my stomach was upset, but slept okay the rest of the night. Had some breakfast before heading to church. Got some lunch out and some new tires for the wife’s car. We drove back home and I took a nap in the passenger’s seat. The puppy got a little car sick and we had to address that, but overall he’s been better. Made some dinner at home, stopped by work briefly, and watch a little bit of TV before calling it a night. Energy Level: 4/3

Feb 22: We woke up early to get the puppy his last tapeworm shot. Then got ready for the day and had a normal day at work. Came home and had dinner before getting groceries. Spent most of the night up working on my presentation for the morning. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 23: Slept in a little bit later. Got ready and went to work and gave my presentation, which went relatively well. After coming home had dinner out, watched some Netflix, and spent some time on the stationary bike. Read some before bed. Energy Level: 4/3

Feb 24: Slept in a little bit again. Move some furniture around after breakfast before heading to work. After work, had dinner and game night with the brothers. It was the first in a while. The puppy peed on the bed to remind us why we don’t put him up there. Oh well, shame on us. Did my body measurements before reading and bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Feb 25: Slept in a bit. Did my body composition before breakfast. Had a standard work day. Came home for some dinner, a nice walk, and some weight training. Relaxed for the rest of the day and read a little bit before bed. Energy Level: 4/4

Weekly Energy Level Average: 4/3.7↓

Book of the Week:

This week I finished up Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. Many of the things that I mentioned last week still stand true. While reading the book, I was continually evaluating my mindset to various things and to various relationships. I used it as a lens through which to see what things could be improved. I would encourage most everyone to read at least the first couple of chapters as it does start to get a little redundant with examples, but she really hammers the points home.

Workouts:

Feb 23: Stationary Bike; Active for 16:49; 17 calories burned; Average heart rate of 94; Heart rate range of 79-123
Feb 25: Weight lifting; One arm row (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets), Bicep curls (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets), Russian twists (25 lb x 12 reps x 3 sets); Active for 27:00; 22 calories burned; Average heart rate of 94; Heart rate range of 63-124

Body Composition and Measurements:

Weight: 153.8 lb 

BMI: 22.1 

Body Fat: 13.6%

Body Muscle: 47.5%

Body Water: 63.3%

Bust: 37 inches 

Chest: 34 3/4 inches 

Waist: 31 1/8 inches 

Hips: 36 3/4 inches

Thighs: 21 inches 

Calves: 14 5/8 inches 

Upper Arm: 11 1/8 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches 

Analysis:

My resting heart rate for this week is pretty much unchanged from last week  except for my evening resting heart rate being higher on a couple of nights. The first after being sick for the weekend and the second after using the stationary bike in the evening.

I spent less time in each of my heart rate zones this week. Likely because I have less step activity throughout the week as well.

My total sleep is slightly decreased from the previous week but the sleep quality is still good and maybe a little bit better actually. I did not quite hit 8 hours on average, but I was short one night so it’s expected. For REM, light, and deep sleep I have switched over to percentages, because I think that is more important than actual time spent. I am shooting for a REM range of 20-30% or better and a deep range of 15-30% or better.

I was short on my step goals pretty much every day. It’s funny how quickly some of those things fall back. I was short on my number of workouts but at least did not have less than the previous week.  It was still difficult to get my heart rate up on the stationary bike even with increased duration. I might consider switching over to running as it starts to get warmer.

My body composition by weight was the same as the previous week, though you can see some differences in the tape measurements. The hip measurement is largely different because I am measuring around my buttocks rather than my hip bones. I don’t want to make any conclusions on that yet because I don’t know what sort of variation I can expect. But if I continue to see trends in the same direction then I will know it’s real.

Modifications for Next Week:

Now that I have some conditional formatting setup to better highlight values relative to certain goals, I can focus in on those values that are outside of that.

I will double down on my step and workout goals. So 6500 steps/day and 3 workouts a week.

I think I want to try and provide some weekly perspective in the form of weekly news highlights just to provide a worldly context to things and I think it would be interesting when looking back on these.

Feedback from You:

What are some good news sources that seem to have adequate coverage of areas outside of the USA?

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.