It's no secret that I'm a little bit obsessed with recording my health and activity data. Early in May I was scrolling through my activity when I realised that I am lazy. At least, I'm lazy on the days that I don't go to the gym.
18 months ago I moved house which resulted in me living closer to work. A quicker commute is great but sifting through my health data I can see that I average 4K steps a day when I don't go to the gym. Prior to moving house that figure was around the 9-10K range on a normal day meaning that I now do less than half the steps that I used to do. This hasn't gone unnoticed physically as well. I'm not overweight by any means but I have put on weight and I have to work harder by going to the gym regularly to top up my exercise and keep the love handles at bay. I decided that in May I should make a change.
Most fitness trackers have a default target of 10K steps a day so I used this figure as my target. It's a bit of an arbitrary number and of course running 10K is different to taking 10K steps but I took this as an achievable target and got stuck right in. I guess it was 10K almost every day in may considering I decided to start doing this a few days into the month but whatever.
I've had to make changes to my routine to accommodate for all this. On the days that I don't go to the gym I've taken to walking a really long way home from work which means walking down to the beach from work and then back to my flat which adds around 6K steps to my count (+40 mins). On the days that I do go to the gym I'm usually only a few thousand short so I walk towards the beach but take a right half way there and cut back towards my flat (+25 mins). With the summer months rolling in this has generally been a pleasant experience and I have been known to take a selfie or two whilst down there. Don't get me wrong there have been days when I've been caught in the rain and come home soaked through but I've managed to keep it up.
I think living by the beach has certainly been an influencing factor for being able to do this and for that I am thankful. I can't imagine taking an extra walk through Central London at 5pm would be an enjoyable experience.
It's nice to see the spikes in my data thanks to doing this.
The health app shows a massive spike in total steps for May, towering well above anything I have done in the past 10 months.
That's a lot of steps
Every time I post a screenshot of my activity someone asks me what I'm using to make these graphics. I pool all of my health data into Gyroscope who makes these lovely graphics for me. I actually have all of the data available over on my website for you to take a look at. Some of you are probably now sat there going "Oh god this is a lot of personal information, why is he sharing this". I understand that this kind of tracking isn't for everyone and the good thing is you can use Gyroscope without sharing any of it and even just some of it, it's up to you which sources you add (although it makes it less fun). I share it because I find it interesting and I don't think being able to see my heart rate or the places I check in on Swarm is really a problem. I'm into health and activity tracking for the long haul and I hope that in 10 or 20 years I'll have even better data and be able to find interesting patterns in it.
That's enough from me for now I think. I'll be continuing to walk 10K a day for the foreseeable future and until the next time, here's my setup
- Step tracking: Apple Watch and iPhone
- Sleep tracking: Sleep++ on Apple Watch
- Run tracking: Strava (via Apple Watch)
- Computer usage: RescueTime (Only at work currently)
- Location tracking: Swarm
And of course, special thanks to Gyroscope for making everything pretty.