The One Way to Get Better Results with Your Fitness Tracker

In 2016, 61 million wearable fitness devices—fitness trackers, activity, and sports trackers—were sold. Wearable tech is making its mark, especially when it comes to human performance. And it will continue to play a bigger role in our lives in the years to come.

The Value of Measuring Advanced Data

Fitness trackers measure a variety of standard data points, including calories burned, pulse, heart rate variability, body temperature, and steps taken. They can also measure advanced data like strain and recovery needs so you can “unlock human performance,” as Will Ahmed, CEO of Whoop states. I like that last feature as a central premise of a fitness tracker because learning how to live with optimal energy levels is the primary objective of Performance Lifestyle. To maintain optimal energy levels, you must understand how to manage stress and recovery.

In the athletic world, recovery means a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

Recuperation or regeneration are broader terms that include recovery, but also encompass the energy you need to restore or replenish to function and perform at capacity. Restoring human energy must take place systematically and regularly, in healthy ways, so you don’t get caught up in addictive and unhealthy lifestyle habits to try and keep pace with a busy life. And that is only possible when performance is a way of life.

The Impact of Fatigue

Athletes are more in tune with a performance lifestyle approach because they regularly prepare for events where officials, the media, and the public judge the results of their preparation. They can’t cover up their fatigue the way many non-athletes attempt to do because it will show in their performance in an accentuated way.

But you don’t need to be a sports or fitness enthusiast to recognize how fatigue impacts performance. It’s true for all of us. You can’t cover up fatigue for long.

Restoring Your Energy

Even in athletics, there is still a bias toward focusing more on sophisticated training systems than on the one thing that powers the results they are training to achieve—replenishing energy. Energy restoration guides the regeneration of all human capacities, from memory to muscle repair and more.

To get better results with your fitness tracker or sports tracker, you must sufficiently recuperate. Even the most sophisticated fitness tracker won’t do squat for you unless you have enough energy. Without adequate energy, you’ll just be the smartest person still suffering from the hidden lifestyle challenge of fatigue

This is why it’s of the utmost importance to track daily strain and recovery needs over all other metrics.

The New Big Thing

Performance Lifestyle Advisor Ian Jennings, renowned strength and conditioning coach and author of Coaches’ Guide to Enhancing Recovery in Athletes: A Multidimensional Approach to Developing a “Performance Lifestyle”  states that “fitness-fatigue theory is the basis of performance lifestyle training.”

He goes on to say, “Under-recovery will always compromise performance, and to be effective, any performance-enhancement program must ensure that recovery is as well-planned and programmed as the athletes training.”

This statement is true whether you’re into sports or not. You are always spending your life force energy and recuperating; it’s a never-ending process. And this is why I think measuring daily strain and recovery is the new big thing.

Getting Results with a Fitness Tracker

So what’s the one way to get better results with your fitness tracker? Optimize your lifestyle to make the behavioral changes you need to perform better. If you want the numbers to improve on your fitness tracker, this is the way to do it. You won’t see the progress you want unless you have enough energy to support your goals.

Fitness, sports, and activity trackers require changes in lifestyle and training to be effective. You need to leverage the data to make lifestyle changes that result in increased energy, health, and performance. Just knowing that you are taking 10,000 steps is probably the most common way to use a fitness tracker. But walking in and of itself is not a hard practice to master.

It’s the pulse rate, strain, recovery, and training metrics that require the biggest changes. Resolving the factors that result in excess strain and lack of recovery can be challenging because so many of us are performance addicted. The simple act of getting more sleep and managing recovery requires training so you know how to create boundaries and change your priorities to avoid incessant activity and make more time for recuperation.

With 123 million fitness trackers, activity trackers, and sports trackers expected to be sold by/in 2020, the march is on to do something with all this self-quantified data and knowledge about our behavior patterns. That something is performance lifestyle training and coaching.

Do you know what needs to change to alter the numbers and results in your life?

Combining Your Fitness Tracker with a Performance Lifestyle 

A performance lifestyle is all about optimizing your lifestyle to look, feel, and perform better. The emphasis is on the regular, systematic recuperation required in today’s performance culture so you can live with the optimal energy levels that make all three of those outcomes possible.

Every principle, practice, and strategy in a performance lifestyle is health-promoting as a given, not the end goal. This creates the framework you need to focus on your life goals without being distracted or held back by hidden lifestyle challenges.

One practical application for the data from your fitness tracker is to use it to guide the lifestyle optimizations you learn about in Performance Lifestyle training. Once you measure your performance using the credible and useful stats provided by wearable fitness trackers like Whoop or Fitbit; Performance Lifestyle training can help you move the needle and improve your numbers.

Human performance is not just a function of willpower and the psychological strength to get things done. It’s about knowing what powers the body and brain and employing the essential lifestyle skills to perform and succeed in a way that’s balanced and healthy.

Getting Started

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To do that, you must master the primary requirement of human health and performance—regenerating your life force energy. Learn how to harness, maintain, manage, and sustain the vital performance energy that is consumed by stress throughout the day.

Fitness trackers typically give you a better understanding of what you’re doing with all your energy. But what are you doing to make sure you have enough energy? This is the reason we love Whoop as much as we do.

If you have a fitness tracker, get the most out of your wearable fitness device by signing up for Performance Lifestyle training. If you don’t have an activity tracker yet, you can get the tracker and the training together. With this combination, you have a powerful solution for successfully making changes in your lifestyle and “unlocking human performance.”

Are Working Under the Influence—at risk of WUI

Another great article by Thea Lee— Field Studies Manager at Whoop, which will enhance your performance lifestyle.

Productivity: the cornerstone of capitalist America.  But how do we achieve that magical state? That optimal flow where deadlines are met, schedules grind forward at ever-increasing pace, and you’re staying on top of the competition?

The answer, most often, seems to require cutting corners on sleep. The average working American spends 9am-5pm at a job site (if not longer), commutes to and from work, and in what little free time remains will sprinkle in social time with friends and family, exercise, or any number of leisure activities of interest. After all, the more we fit into waking hours, the more we get done, right?

This logic certainly appeals to me. I’m notoriously bad at compromising, and why should I? If I manage my time right, I can balance exercise, socializing, some cooking (it’s a struggle), and reading, all in the non-work time frame.  As long as I’m in bed by midnight I’m getting some good sleep (it only takes one cup of coffee in the morning to get me going so that’s pretty good!). I don’t have kids so what’s my excuse not to optimize my time?

That schedule, however, has chronic partial sleep loss written all over it. And I would not be in the minority. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, published in February 2016, concluded that more than a third of American adults aged 18-60 years do not get enough sleep. The recommendation they cite, determined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, calls for at least 7 hours each night for optimal health. Your precise sleep need is much more individual than that (consult this white paper for more information) but the aforementioned 7-hour threshold is a good place to start when evaluating the average American’s schedule.

The reality is: if you’re operating with chronic sleep loss you’re not only functioning sub-optimally, you’re impaired. That may sound dramatic, and before last week I would have agreed with you. But then I read the article “Fatigue, Alcohol, and Performance Impairment” from the journal Nature.  In it, the researchers quantify the impact of fatigue due to sleep loss in terms we can understand: equivalent alcohol intoxication. For the experiment, a group of 40 participants was broken up into two groups: one group was kept awake for 28 hours, simulating pulling an all-nighter, and the other consumed 10-15g of alcohol at 30-minute intervals until their blood alcohol concentration reached 0.10%. Each group was given a performance task that required them to react as quickly as possible to visual cues randomly timed on a computer. The results were fascinating.

As you would imagine, the longer a person was kept awake, the worse they did on the performance task. The same, of course, was true for the subjects getting progressively more intoxicated. The correlation between the two groups, however, is the scary part. The researchers determined that after 17 hours of sustained wakefulness, performance on the task decreased to a level equivalent to a participant whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.05%. Further, after 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, performance on the task was equivalent to those with a BAC of 0.10%. For reference, you’ll get a DUI in every state if your BAC is 0.08%.

Stressed Man Working At Desk In Busy Creative Office; Shutterstock ID 130606217; PO: The Huffington Post; Job: The Huffington Post; Client: The Huffington Post; Other: The Huffington Post

Now you may think, “well those are extreme examples. I never stay up 24 hours straight.” And me neither, at least not since I moved from New Orleans. But consider the example I gave prior. In that scenario, I was waking up at 7 am, doing my work day, going out to see a friend, watching TV at home, and internet trolling until midnight when I’m off to bed. That’s not a day out of the ordinary and right there I’ve been awake for 17 hours. And, as we’ve now learned, without sufficient sleep to catch up, it is highly probable that I will show up to work the next day at the equivalent of tipsy, at the very least, and be bordering on cognitively drunk.

What’s worse, humans are decidedly poor judges of their own levels of fitness, mentally and physically. We may think, after that cup of coffee and a solid meal, you’re not that sleepy. Studies have found, however, that subjective ratings of sleepiness do not correlate with subsequent performance. We aren’t good at assessing our own attentional state or well-being. And, as a result, may often sacrifice sleep without knowing the physical toll that’s actually taking on our bodies. It’s not socially acceptable for me to show up intoxicated to work. Beyond the basic lack of professionalism, I’d be displaying, I’d also be unfit to contribute productively to the team. This begs the question: should it be considered unprofessional to get too little sleep?

As a society, we put a premium on efficiency. We go to great lengths to fit as much activity as possible into waking hours. But maybe we have it all wrong. If our executive functioning is as compromised by sleepiness as it is by alcohol, we ought to put sleep in the forefront of our plans if we truly want to get the most out of ourselves during the day.

When you’re ready to say goodbye to WUI, then get started with Regenerate Your Life Force – 30 Days to that will ensure you never live without enough sleep ever again. For now, have a read of the page and we’ll notify you of the course start date.

Another great article by Thea Lee— Field Studies Manager at Whoop, which will enhance your performance lifestyle.