Wellness Tracking Metrics Glossary

Keeping track of your wellness is a difficult task. Almost as difficult can be understanding what it all means. While we cover the details of measuring and tracking metrics here, as well as topics on staying active, knowing some terms and acronyms is helpful.

Below is a list of terms and wellness metric acceptance that you should know to get the most out of your wearable or fitness tracker.

BMI (Body Mass Index) – A measure of body mass to height. This is a simple calculation and reported by many smart scales but does not take into account the any body composition.

BPM – Beats per minute. A measure of heart rate , which is counted in beats per minute. Resting heart rate, lactate threshold heart rate, and average daily heart rate are reported and relevant to wellness.

ECG– Electrocardiograms. The strength and time of heart beats, measured by popular wearables including the Apple Watch.

FSA – Flexible Spending Account. This account is offered in the US as a common employer benefit. It can be used on qualifying purchases including smart scales, concierge doctor subscriptions, and many wellness trackers. See Measuring FTP on Strava.

FTP – Functional Threshold Power. A measure of the power output an athlete can sustain for approximately one hour. This is a typical measure of fitness used for cyclists, it can be reported as an absolute or on a per pound basis to account for variances in riders weights.

GAP – Grade Adjusted Pace. A measure in Strava that normalizes your pace based on the steepness of the area you ran. This makes it easier to understand how steady your pace was even over changing hills. See Strava GAP for details.

Heart Points – Google’s version of a fitness score. Heart points are acquired by doing an activity that raises your heart rate.

HRV – Heart Rate Variability. The measure of difference beat to beat for heart rate. A higher value equates to better fitness and wellness. HRV is sometimes used to predict onset of sickness.

Lactate Threshold. The limit of exercise output where the body is producing more lactate than it can clear. Lactate build up leads to muscle “burn” and ultimately a degradation of muscle performance.

REM Sleep – Rapid eye movement sleep. This is the less deep part of sleep assocaited with dreaming and rapid behind the eyeliid eye movement. It is tracked and estimated by Halo bands and other trackers.

RHR – Resting Heart Rate. The average resting rate of the heart in beats per minute. Higher than normal for an individual can be linked to stress, high altitude, or sickness.

Strava Fitness Score – A proprietary rate that approximates training load over time.

VO2 Max – Volume of oxygen maximum pumped by the cardiovascular system. Typically higher rates are linked to improved cardio performance. See how accurate common wearable are in measuring VO2 max.