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.  

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