Daily Tracking of The Whole Body For A Single 24 Hour Day
After using a variety of fitness and wellness trackers over the past few years, I decided to spend a full day tracking as much as possible. Most of the things tracked don’t matter on any single day. Trends over time are what matter most. Still, it is fun to see just how connected you can be. This is a look at everything I could fit into a single 24 hour period of tracking my health and wellness. Know of anything that’s missing? Let us know!
Morning Health and Body Tracking
Wake up and check on the sleep tracker. Sleep is one of the under looked areas for most performance improvements. Sleep deprivation leads to reduction in mental performance as well as physical performance recovery. If you are a “night owl” this can be hard to overcome since many of us have a hard start to the day with work, school, or other responsibilities. If that is the case finding ways to turn in earlier is super important, but also making sure you are ready to sleep when you do turn in. Spending 2 hours in bed scrolling on social media doesn’t actually count as hours. Most sleep trackers, including the Amazon Halo band, monitor not just the time spent asleep but also the time it takes to go to sleep as well as the amount of day spent in various stages of sleep.
Step on the connected scale. This is one of the scarier daily habits to get started. Most people who are actively trying to loose or gain weight can have anxiety around a scale. If that is the case for you, the sooner you can make it a daily habit the sooner you’ll be able to see that daily fluctuations are normal and nothing to worry about. Often a connected scale, such as the Withings Body+, will measure more than just weight. In this case it also measure body water composition (a good reminder to start the day by getting hydrated). Although the rest of the metrics, including body fat percentage and muscle mass, are often inaccurate they can be used to generally monitor trends if you are actively packing on muscle or cutting weight through a steady caloric deficit.
Take your morning blood pressure. Again using a Withings product, this time the blood pressure cuff. It’s important to take this reading early in the morning before a lot of activity that could potentially increase your blood pressure. This is a simple reading to take, and can be a marker for a lot of health improvement opportunities. See more about the reasons why you should track blood pressure to find a trend over time.
The Withings Health mate also offers a fitness level. This is similar to the Apple option which chooses to display a VO2 max. A comparison of these two daily physical testing options, Apple and HealthMates, is reviewed here.
Monitor blood levels with urinalysis. Using an at home test, like the one covered in the Vessel Health review, you can monitor what your body is excreting through pee. A few of these tests monitor levels of substances that are important to track in the morning, as advised by the instructions of the manufacturers, but studies also show that these values can vary throughout the day.
To date there is no consumer product that allows for monitoring of all of your daily urine, though a connected toilet is certainly one area that is ripe for development. If you know of a consumer option we would welcome a comment so it can be added here. There is simply no other daily habit that has the potential to be monitored using existing tests, which also has the potential to reveal such depth of information about your body.
Check a quick temperature. This is one area that much of the world was simply not doing prior to 2020. However the presence of even a fever or raised body temperature is so strongly correlated with infectious diseases that it is hard to ignore. While often you can tell if you feel poor enough to spike a temperature, it is also important to realize that everyone has a different base temperature. By measuring everyday you can identify if your body “runs hot” or “runs cold”. Knowing this will let you identify low level fevers that can otherwise might go unnoticed.
Read metabolism with breath analysis. Using a metabolism tracker like Lumen, you can monitor the one thing that you are always excreting from your body.
Start a step tracker. Many devices have these built in. Most phones, if carried on you, can pretty well track movement. The Apple Watch and Amazon Halo bands are two others, although each step tracker will record its own results. Still, if you stick with just one it’s easy to tell light days from heavy ones.
Track wellness and daily meditation. Using the breath app is a good way to start with simply meditation. Even one minute of deep breathing can help.
Breakfast and a Monitored Workout
Weigh breakfast and calculate macros for the day. There is simply no way to properly track calories without using a scale. Measurements by volume vary widely depending on how densely packed things are, and eyeballing is even worse. Try pouring exactly 40 grams of cereal into a bowl, then weigh it and see how close you are! We tried this with oatmeal, and then even used a cup measure and still were off by more than 10%.
Track a short workout (or go to body scan or V02 max test). Again the Apple Watch here provides a great proxy. When comparing to a lab based mask test the watch estimates for VO2 max are pretty close.
Peloton rides provide plenty of tracked metrics. The bike can be a significant investment, but it does provide a way to gauge progress through measurement. Unfortunately each bike is calibrated differently so there is much use to leaderboards, but the programs provide good long term training structure without needed a coaches plan. Once the Peloton bike is setup (see the review), the outputs graphs are fun to obsess over.
Lunch and Resting for Optimal Performance
Input lunch into food metric tracker (MyFitnessPal). Tracking calories is the most effective way to having a net calorie deficit and loose weigh sustainably. It only takes
Nap! It’s hard to track naps, since most sleep trackers look for long periods of sleep with deep sleep and REM cycles. Still, taking a nap serves to allow the body to recover and can have similar benefits to meditation.
Pretty much everything about your body can be improved by having good sleep. Same goes for staying hydrated.
Evening Health Trackers and Back to Bed
Do a mental health checkin with concierge doctor. Forward, along with many other doctor services now offer ways to screen simple things and engage with a doctor without making and office visit.
Do breath holding exercises using app timer. STAmina is a personal favorite. It’s a simple app timer that helps train intervals of breath holding.
Drop in a short core workout on balance board with app, like the Stealth Fitness app and board.
The Evidation app (see review) can be linked to many fitness trackers and apps mentioned here. Once done it can provide a few dollars a month for access to data, this is a better return than many apps.