16 January 2014 What to Do With All That Data

If you’re reading this, it is highly likely you are a member of MyNetDiary, our popular and easy to use calorie and exercise tracking service and apps, or at least you may be interested in becoming a member. What our members produce, aside from success and awareness about calorie intake, is data, and lots of it. But what do we do with all this data? Sure, you can view graphs, and export our data to Excel sheets and share them with your trainer. But to get the full effect and value from your daily tracking actions, it is important to understand what all this data means and how it can be used to make you even more successful.

Perhaps you use a pedometer to track steps taken and then log them into MyNetDiary. While the average American only takes a little over 5,000 steps a day, it is recommended that we hit the 10,000-step mark, daily. While hitting that target might seem like the obvious goal, we don’t need to get stuck on that number alone. What we can focus on, too, is how much we improve while working toward that goal, on a daily or weekly basis. In fact, taking gradual steps (pun intended) toward that 10,000-step goal, increasing each day by 200-300 steps, will show you how your body gets stronger and improves.

Tracking exercise is always good, but without tools like a heart rate monitor, we may not be getting the most accurate data. Strapping on a monitor during an exercise session shows us just how hard we worked up our BPM, and while it may not be necessary to wear it for every class we take or every hike we make, it will help us “feel” what a “good” exercise should be in terms of hitting goal of 30, 40, 50% of your max heart rate. Once we get a feel for it, we won’t use our heart rate monitor as a crutch to slack off whenever we’re not “plugged in” and counting.

Are we moving more or less when we eat heavy midday meals, light breakfasts, or skipping supper? By keeping detailed notes, at least for a couple weeks straight, after we exercise and eat, we may find a correlation between our energy and our caloric input. This is very important data – the data that shows us what we DIDN’T do that day instead of what we did do. We might see that we ate a heavy meal the night before and DIDN’T hit the gym the next day. Or we skipped breakfast because we were running late and ate extra snacks in the afternoon to compensate. Data like this is important, too, because it allows us to look back on the week and see how many times we were actually active, instead of thinking back on the times we were just thinking about exercising.

So, to recap, don’t get caught up on the goals themselves; instead look at the improvements in progress. Learn to “feel” what moderate exercise is and trust our bodies to be able to push hard. Don’t forget the important stuff by not keeping track of it. Study the data and look for ways you can improve, every day!

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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Weight Loss/Goals & Monitoring

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