My Health Tracking Experiment: Self-Tracking to a Better You?

The FitBit

Recently I came across a newer gadget called the FitBit. It is a small clip on device to track your steps, calories burned, miles walked, and flights of stair climbed. The devices uses an accelerometer and a altimeter to determine the steps taken and logs the data to be synced when you are near the base station. This uploads the data to the FitBit site which has a nice SaaS  site to monitor and chart progress. You can manually enter food, water, exercise, weight, and other data points. FitBit also offers a robust API to tie in with 3rd party services like Endomondo, which tracks workouts via phone GPS tracking. Another interesting thing the FitBit does is measure one’s sleep by coming with a strap you put on your non-dominate arm which monitors restlessness to get a picture of how much restful sleep one gets.

Along with the FitBit I have also decided to give a targeted regiment of supplements and diet a try to see if it helps with my sleep and any other health complaints. So I am breaking it down into key parts:

    • diet
    • exercise
    • sleep/relaxation
    • supplements

These are the four high-level things I will be covering and looking at in this experiment. I have been using the “Paleo Diet” as the basic underlying for my food intake. Along with various supplements I will outline shortly.

Diet

Being that I am following the basics of the Paleo Diet (with the exception of a cup of coffee a day) it is basically just eating various meats, vegetables, and fruits. The main things is organic, grass fed beef, and as natural as can be foods basically. You eat no bread, legumes, and milk which contain bioactive things like gluten and casein. Along with cutting out foods with nitrates and other preservatives. So I am basically cleansing myself of 35 years worth of fried foods and additives/preservatives.

Along with the type of diet I am also limiting myself to 1852 calories a day. This is to lose approximately 12 pounds while converting what is left to more muscle than fat.

Exercise

I am currently ramping up my fitness by doing dumb bells, crunches, and other basic exercises to build up to a more strict routine. Being that my fitness level to start this experiment was pretty much non-existent. Once my regiment is more streamlined I will update in a later post the exact things I am doing and when. Along with it being inputted into my FitBit page.

Sleep/Relaxation

I have been using the sleep monitoring the FitBit offers which is rudimentary but gives a good general idea of how much I am getting. Along with the basic tracking I am also noting how much stress and relaxation time I am getting to see its baring on my overall fitness and health.

Supplements

As I said earlier I have been trying a regiment of supplements. The following is a breakdown of what I am taking:

Fiber Fusion – Enzymatic Therapy - fiber plus probiotic for healthy digestion

Planetary Formulas St. John’s Wort Extract 600 mg, 120 tablets - naturally helps mood and fight depression (more)

Source Naturals Alpha Lipoic Acid 300mg, 120 Tablets - antioxidant and many beneficial medical uses (more)

Nature’s Bounty Red Yeast Rice 600mg, 120 Capsules - used in Chinese medicine as far back as 800 AD to aid digestion and revitalize blood (more)

Doctor’s Best High Absorption Coq10 w/ BioPerine (100 mg), 120 Soft gels - helps in a myriad of medical issues including heart, migraine, and more

Vitacost Resveratrol + Grape Seed & Red Wine Extracts — 240 Capsules - Resveratrol/Red Wine Extract (more) and Grape Seed Extract (more) have many antioxidant effects

NOW Foods Gaba 750mg, 100 Vcaps - natural anti-anxiety (more)

Jarrow Formulas Primrose Oil, 1300 Mg, 60 Count - (more)

Vitacost Phosphatidylserine Complex — 1,000 mg per serving – 120 Softgels - vital brain nutrients

Vitacost Ubiquinol CoQH Featuring Kaneka QH — 100 mg – 60 Softgels - antioxidant and cell food

 

Other Data Acquisition

I have also ordered a blood pressure and heart monitor to track daily my stats to input into my FitBit tracker.

Some other options I am looking into are the Zeo since it records actual sleep patterns as opposed to movement over the night. This would give me a much more accurate picture of my sleep quality.

I will be posting additional things once I get more into this experiement.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not a doctor or health professional. All this information is provided for informational purposes only. Be sure to consult your doctor before doing anything that may help/hinder your health. I am not responsible for inaccuracies or misinformation. I am just a guy doing his own thing. ;)

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