Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A year with Polar Loop

I've had my Polar Loop for almost a year now (it was a Christmas present last year), and I've worn it almost every day since then. Accepting that these fitness monitoring bands are more about trends that truly accurate raw data, it still makes interesting reading to look at the numbers it produces.

I have my Loop set set to a very active day that would normally take about 1.5 hours of running or similar high intensity effort to hit the 100% target activity level. Given the amount of time I spend on a tennis court, this isn't usually problem, and as some of you know, I often hit 300% on my big training day on Friday each week.

Anyway, I had a quick look at the numbers for 2015 which showed an average monthly amount of activity as follows:

Total time spent being active: 7 days (i.e. 168 hours of activity a month)

Total steps recorded: 429026 (this is all movement converted to steps)

Distanced covered: 326Km

Kcal burned: 88127 (that's around 3000/day)

Those are pretty impressive numbers given that I don't go out of my way to exercise for the most part except the occasional swim, walk or short run when I'm not playing tennis.

I wouldn't want to use this information to plan my diet, but it does give some indication of my activity levels and why I occasionally feel a certain lack of energy when I get to my last coaching session on a Friday evening and find myself ready to flop onto the sofa when we get home after the weekly visit to the supermarket after finishing on court. Imagine what an 8 hour day on court might look like!!

I'm not convinced to Kcal number is accurate because I'm sure I don't eat that much on a typical day. In fact I know I don;t because I've used an app to measure that and it doesn't come near 3000.

I suppose the point is this: if you find collecting such data motivating or at the very least rather entertaining and interesting, and if you understand that it's not a precise measure, then you might find it helpful to wear a device. Having done the data collecting thing a few times using a pedometer and now the Loop, I still find myself intrigued by how the numbers build up and what they might actually be telling me.

Mind you, how loose the jeans are getting is also a pretty good indicator that something's happening!

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