If you’re like most people who get a Fitbit or some other form of tracking your activity, steps, etc. than you use it to motivate yourself to hit that 10,000 steps goal (that’s what we’re all striving for, right?) or to use other tools to increase your activity levels (or log food).
That’s what I’d also like to do, someday. But my goals aren’t really the same. I can count on one had the number of times I’ve hit 10k steps over the past four months. So I don’t use it for that.
No. Since Mother’s day (when I got it as a kick butt present), I’ve used it to monitor my energy use when I’m in the fat burning zone or above, or to see where my resting heart beat falls each day.
Why measure these two? Because I received this gift when I was just out of one hospital and still very sick and I was curious as to the stats I was seeing so far. My activity levels were low at this point, but my heart rate was steadily higher than normal, as was how much energy I burned each day. So I started monitoring those two throughout my period of sickness and I found it fascinating how it even dramatically changed when I started receiving chemo and those symptoms started to dissipate.
So here are the two charts.
To see the full picture, you’ll have to click on each image to zoom in, properly, but I’ll give some context here.
Energy burned over the last four months
In May, I was in the “fat burning zone” for an average of 6-10 hours, despite the fact that I’d been sitting on the couch or moving less than normal since I was working from home even when I wasn’t in the hospital. And I wasn’t walking or running outside at all.
In June, some days I was up to 18 hours a day in the “fat burning zone”…again, despite the fact that I wasn’t doing anything.
In July, it almost looks like my fat burning levels just jumped off a cliff. And coincidentally, my symptoms did the same. I could breathe normal, I wasn’t coughing, I wasn’t in pain. All of a sudden my body didn’t have to fight so hard to remain active. And of course, this definitely coincided with the chemo treatments starting.
In late July/August so far, the activity has only increased substantially when I started going for walks.
The takeaway: All of this makes it really easy to pinpoint the days where my body had to work so hard when I was sick, and how much that compares to how my body should be working when I’m not sick. Not to say I’m not sick anymore, just that I’m significantly not as sick as I used to be when I first got the fitbit.
This also makes it really easy to see how I magically lost ten pounds while doing absolutely nothing.
Resting heart rate over the last four months
Before getting sick, my resting heart rate was usually on the lower side, given that I trained for running events and there is very little that stresses me out. I would put it around 65bpm.
In May, it was holding steady at a 75bpm resting heart rate. A little higher than normal.
In June, it averaged 84bpm for a resting heart rate, some days being as high as 88bpm. And that’s not my heart rate at just at any point, that’s RESTING. Meaning, lying absolutely still…my body would sometimes be chugging away at 88bpm. And on those days it wasn’t uncommon for it to be in the 100s most of the day when I actually was moving around.
In July, it plummeted down, just like the energy burning chart, and I averaged out at 63bpm…my normal resting heart rate. Now, the same holds true for August.
The takeaway: If your heart rate is really high for no good reason, maybe you should get that checked out. For me, it was high for a very good reason – it was trying to keep up with all of the infection-fighting battles going on in my body. And now that the chemo has stepped in to help, it doesn’t have to beat so hard.
Overall…it’s just an interesting trend.
There’s not a lot to this data. It was high when I was sick and normal when I wasn’t (so) sick. But I just think it’s interesting to see these stats put into such a clear visual. I’ve also heard about couples finding out they’re pregnant just by seeing spikes in the woman’s Fitbit activity. It’s just neat that we can see how our body responds to changes like this.
Someday I’ll use this to track more activity and use it to fuel my fitness goals, but for now, I’m good with just monitoring my ability to get through these rounds of chemotherapy.
Anyway, that’s all. Thought I’d share my geeky data with you.
Happy Monday, all!