Friday, September 9, 2011

Take Advantage of the Hawthorne Effect

Hawthorne Effect: a term referring to the tendency of some people to work harder and perform better when they are participants in an experiment. Individuals may change their behavior due to the attention they are receiving from researchers rather than because of any manipulation of independent variables. source: About.com. I believe you can have the same effect while using technology to improve fitness levels and improve health outcomes.

First thing in the morning before you even roll out of bed your checking your bodies recovery status from the previous days training session using a Restwise pulse oximeter which monitors your oxygen saturation level and rHR as well as some subjective data that you enter into an app on your smartphone.

Next, you step onto your scale and check in. Checking your body composition first thing in the morning using a Withings Scale. This enables you to see your breakdown of lean body mass compared to %body fat. The data gets directly uploaded to your smartphone.

After this you clip on your Fitbit to record your daily steps. Your goal, first determine a baseline, and then shoot for 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. Eventually 10,000 steps which is about 5 miles a day (for me this includes my exercise). You can also use the Fitbit to monitor your sleep pattern.

For me, the best part of the day, however, is when I'm doing a circuit-based strength session on the Koko Smartrainer or listening to an audio interval-based cardio session. Nothing compares to this and I enjoy checking my daily results online. I also look forward to my monthly progress report on the first of the month to see if I reached my goal in terms of the number of strength/cardio sessions for the previous month.

While doing my cardio sessions - I can use a Polar heart monitor to ensure that I'm getting an optimal workout. Now what about those Apps?

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