How to track your physical activity

How to track your physical activity

There are several ways to track physical activity. It can be done manually or digitally.

Manual ways of tracking physical activity

The simplest way of tracking physical activity is to do it manually with a simple pen and notebook. To do this, you will need;

  • a clock or watch to track the duration of the physical activity. This entails taking note of when you started and when you completed the physical activity.
  • a timer to track the duration of each round of physical activity. This means you will also need to take note of the type of physical activity and the repetitions you completed within this time. Using a timer is also very crucial if you have a goal to complete a round or bout of physical activity within a specific time frame. For example, you may intend to jog 100meters in 1 minute or jump 100 times within 1 minute.
  • a fitness log or notebook:  to record the date, time you started, duration you used to complete the physical activity, the duration of each round of each type of physical activity and other observations you intend to record about your physical activity.

The main advantage of manual recording and tracking of physical activity is that it does not require complex or expensive gadgets or materials. We encourage our clients at Viedial to start this way to avoid further delays or excuses.

However, we acknowledge the disadvantages of manual tracking. It is difficult to compare the trend of your physical activity over a long period of time. You can compare the trend within a week or two but when you have been active for a long period of time, it becomes difficult to track manually. It is also difficult to compare the intensity and duration of your physical activity to your health goals like weight loss, reduced blood sugar or reduced blood pressure. For women, it is also difficult to track and compare your physical activity, health goals and your menstrual cycle or other reproductive outcomes like pregnancy.

Hence, we advise you to start small with the manual records and migrate to digital ways of tracking as soon as possible.

Digital ways of tracking physical activity

This involves the use of computer or mobile applications to record and track your physical activity. These applications (“apps” for short) are usually in form of wearables (wrist watches etc) and the apps are also installed on your phone to make it easy to use. When using an app, you don’t need to manually record the duration or intensity of your physical activity. It is done automatically for you. It makes it easy to track over a long period of time. It is also easier to compare it to you fitness or health goals. Examples of commonly used fitness apps include Nike Training Club, Fitbit, Ladder, Garmin, Strava, Samsung Health, Alo moves, Google Fit etc.

There are too many options to choose from. Some of these apps are more specialized for certain types of physical activity. For example, Strava, Fitbit, Google Fit and Samsung Health is good for walking, jogging and running. On the other hand, Alo moves is good for Yoga and Ladder is better suited for strength training.

In choosing which app you want to use, you will need to consider your budget, the comfort of the wearable, the type of physical activity that you will be doing most of the time.

How Viedial helps you to make sense of your data

Viedial app (coming soon) helps you to bring together your health goals, the progress you are making in achieving them, the progress of your physical activity, your diet, your menstrual cycle and other reproductive parameters such as pregnancy and menopause. This data will be automatically analysed by the upcoming Viedial app to help you understand how your physical activity, diet, menstrual cycle and reproductive stage is affecting your heart health. It also uses this data to draw insights about your future health outcomes. This helps you to plan and make adjustments to improve your health.  

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