Working out outside of the dojo

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Orion Nebula, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I had a hard time holding back at first too. Monitoring my heart rate with a Fitbit took care of it pretty quickly. I make sure I’m near the max rate during rounds, and I try it near resting rate during breaks. Having my pulse displayed on a watch at all times helps immensely. Sometimes I feel like I’m pushing too hard when I’m not and other times I feel like I’m slacking when I’m actually not. And as stupid as it sounds, it’s got this deep breathing relaxation timer that I use after cool down that’s pretty cool. On top of that, seeing a graph of my heart rate during the entire duration of the workout after I’m done and my stats puts things into perspective. I’m not guessing how many calories I actually burned, how much time I spent in each zone, stuff like that. It’s a great $125 investment IMO.

    My wife bought me my initial one as a birthday present because I was having some sleep issues and I was curious about how much I was actually walking around at work. I’d have never bought it for myself because I thought they were too gimmicky. After her surprising me with it, I really liked it. I bought a newer version about 2 years later because it had more stuff I wanted.

    Rowing, bikes and treadmills are way too monotonous for me. I don’t mind outdoor biking, but it’s too much of a hassle.
     
  2. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Green Belt

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    I often wish I was wearing my Fitbit during class to see what's going on with my heart rate. Of course, I know I'm working hard, but I'm still curious. I feel like my instructors would probably be cool with me wearing it as long as I took it off for sparring (I imagine it could lead to problems accidentally hurting someone else or myself), but I can still hear my instructors in my mind from when I was a teen telling me that if I have anything on my body besides my uniform, I should be prepared for many, many push-ups.

    Do you find that your Fitbit accurately calculates calories burned? I know that's really hard to determine, but when I initially got my Fitbit and was trying to lose weight by tracking calories in and out, I found that I wasn't seeing results unless I assumed the Fitbit was overcalculating by 1000 calories. Of course, I know my metabolism is strange, so perhaps it would be more accurate for someone a bit more normal.

    I also really like the sleep tracking function. Not sure how accurate it is in terms of sleep cycles, but it was quite illuminating when I realized being in my bed for 8 hours didn't translate to 8 hours of sleeping.
     
  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I don’t know how accurate the Fitbit nor anything else is at tracking calories burned. The caloric information for stuff you entered could’ve been wrong. And don’t count portion size out either. Unless you were weighing everything or everything came from a package that was exact, people quite often underestimate portion sizes.

    Your calorie thing could’ve been a combination of any or all of that.

    The Fitbit isn’t the most accurate thing out there. It’s a good approximation of everything, but it’s not medical grade anything. Pulse is determined by light rather than movement or electricity. Light is the least accurate method. It’s also reported that the higher your heart rate, the less accurate it is.

    Sleep experts (people doing clinical tests) would probably throw out the data collected from a Fitbit. I haven’t read research on its accuracy, but I’m quite sure it’s an approximation that experts would humor you by looking at.

    I’m not sure what the most accurate way of determining calories burned is. I’d imagine it’s a complex mathematical formula involving work (work = force x distance). I’d imagine it could also be done by heart rate somehow too.

    If you want clinical level heart rate accuracy, get a Polar chest strap. They’re the exercise physiologist standard. They measure the electrical activity of your heart like an EKG. Polar makes a version were it connects to your smartphone and an app does all the calculations. If you really want to get accurate, that’s the best way to go. And it would be easier to sneak in under your gi or clothes. Just don’t get hit in the chest :)

    I keep telling myself I’m going to get a Polar monitor because it’s better than wearing a Fitbit while I’m hitting the bag. Boxing gloves interfere with the watch, my punches get counted as steps, and it’s more accurate. One of these days.

    https://www.amazon.com/Polar-91043550-PARENT-Soft-Strap-Set/dp/B00SIS3IEG123
     

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