Saturday, September 12, 2015

Technology for Footbag: Activity Monitoring

I find real value in monitoring my step count while playing freestyle Footbag!

As a freestyle footbag enthusiast who has been playing every day for 3,169 days in a row, I'm always looking for ways to improve my game.  About a year ago I started to realize the value of counting my steps.  My iPhone 5s does it for me, all I have to do is look.

When I started to pay attention to my step count during my freestyle footbag workouts it was very revealing.  I bought an armband so I could wear my phone during workouts, I found that an hour of good solid solo shredding with a footbag equaled about 2000 steps.    On the other hand, if I walked for an hour I would get about 5000 or more steps.  So I like to think of my workout steps as 'Workout Points', as I work very hard for every recorded step.

Since I have always broken my daily jams into 15 minutes each of 3-add drills (for getting warm), 4-add flow, 5 add tricks and experiments and juggle practice with 5's sprinkled in.  I now have an additional way to gauge my performance!

I now know that when I am indoors playing alone in my living room, it takes me more time to achieve 500 points than when I'm outdoors in public.  Things that slow me down are: Lack of sleep, lack of stretching, dehydration, large circles and distractions like television.  Often I get interrupted by the dog needing to be walked. 

The movement sensors in the iPhone are clearly not giving me credit for all the effort I put in, but by observing how it reads my movement, it gives me powerful insights into how to keep improving as I continue to play freestyle Footbag every day.   

I am hoping to add several additional data points to my arsenal in the form of a new Apple Watch and an iPhone 6s in my future.  Which adds a gyroscope on my wrist, heart monitoring and even elevation.  I'm sure I'll gain additional insights with all this new data. 

I've also been motivated to walk more.  I've been averaging over 15,000 steps a day and for the past 8 weeks, I've hit over 100,000 steps a week!  As long as it doesn't get in the way of my daily shreds.

My conclusion is that by observing how many 'steps' I've taken informs my workout efforts, and helps me to know when to push harder as well as a gauge to measure my sessions against each other.  Today will be my 3188 days in a row shredding every day, and technology is my friend when it comes to my quest for mastery in the most difficult sport on Earth!

This is an instagram video compilation of a bunch of loops I made recently.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How exercising every day positively effects my work...

When I think about the many benefits that I receive by exercising everyday, I mostly think in terms of improved health and fitness.  And while doing research about daily exercise and the physical benefits, I realized that there are many great reasons to exercise, that are specifically related to improving my work performance.

Exercise has many positive mental benefits: reducing stress and anxiety, improved focus, better mood, increased energy, and better sleep quality!

Every one of these mental benefits translates to better performance at work.  When exercise reduces my stress and anxiety, I go to work more relaxed and calm, and enjoy my interactions with co-workers and clients even more than usual!  When exercise improves my focus, I'm better able to efficiently complete the tasks at hand and helps me to innovate effectively!  And when exercise improves my sleep quality, I arrive at work more alert and feel rested throughout the day!

I exercise everyday, and I have since I turned 40, over 8 years ago.  It has had a positive effect on my work and my family life.  Consider pushing yourself to break a sweat every day!  It is amazing what you might accomplish!

Here is a video showing off what I have accomplished over the last 3000 days of exercising everyday.

Even the US Government has done research to prove the benefits of exercise in the workplace.  Read more about it here.

Thanks for watching!

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