Equipment: Fitness Tracking

Apple Watch and iPhone

What a fantastic bit of kit. I have a series 5 Apple Watch which does everything I need it to. The most basic of which is the rings system. This is a really simple system that does daily tracking of movement/calories, exercise and regular standing (to prevent sitting for hours on end).

The aim is to close all three rings each day.

It also records heart rate which I find extremely useful for indicating cardio exercise and overall fitness.

In combination with my iPhone I get a lot of well rounded data such as step tracking, type of exercise, sleep, cycling distance, walking distance, running distance (not that I can do that any more), and the list goes on.

Reebok Fitness App

I use this app to start, control and stop my ride on my exercise bike, a Reebok ZJet 400. The app tracks, cadence, revolutions, heart rate, calories burned, time and resistance. You can also use it to change the resistance on the fly wheel to mimic going uphill.

When I cycle I can use the heart rate detection system built into the handle bars, but it can plug into your Apple Watch, and as that provides more comfort, that’s exactly what I do. The downside is that when using the Apple Watch, it doesn’t record calories burned very well.

The great news is that all the data plugs into the Apple rings Fitness app and Apple Health app. So I get a centralised place to see all data points.

FeelFit Scales and App

Scales are really important to me as I know I’m over weight. I’m over 13 stone which is the heaviest I’ve ever been. You wouldn’t know to look at me because I’m tall and wear it well, but at my fittest, strongest and most muscular I was 11 stone flat. I know I have a lot less muscle since then so there is fat I shouldn’t be carrying, even when you take age into consideration.

I have a set of electronic scales that record over a dozen data points by sending electrical signals into my feet, through my body, and trace the round trip. It’s not an exact science, but it’s better than just weight. This then sync’s with the FeelFit app on my phone. In this app I can set goals, and it will track actual vs desired as well as giving me tracking history over time. Data points recorded are:

  • Weight – Self explanatory
  • BMI – Body Mass Index, what your doctor usually uses to determine if you’re obese
  • Body Fat – Ratio of total weight to percentage body fat.
  • Body Water – Self explanatory
  • Skeletal Muscle – Mechanical muscle for moving limbs, typically those found in your arms and legs.
  • BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate, or how much energy you need per day in an inactive state
  • Visceral Fat – Internal fat, typically wrapped around your organs – THIS STUFF IN LARGE QUANTITIES IS REALLY BAD!
  • Muscle Mass – Total muscle weight including cardiac and skeletal muscle
  • Bone Mass – Self explanatory
  • Protein – The amount of it in the body for building/repairing muscles/organs/tissue
  • Metabolic Age – This works on the scientific belief that as you get older and/or less fit your metabolism (the rate at which you process food) slows. However, recent scientific studies theorise that this assumption is in fact false. So, until we get scientific fact, I take this one with a pinch of salt.

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