A Slave To The Numbers

I said I was going to wait, but I couldn’t help myself. I bought a Fitbit. I went with just the basic wrist one. The only thing I’m interested in is the heart rate monitor. We’re on day three of wearing it full-time and I’m getting obsessed with checking on my heart rate.

Overall, I’m pleased with my resting heart rate. Averaging 55 bpm. Higher than it was when I was running, but I’m ok with that for now. The purpose of the monitor was so that I can ensure that I’m in zone 2 when walking/running to maximize building an aerobic base. Today was the first chance I had to see what happens while out on my power walk. Turns out, I can’t get into zone 2!

While walking (on flat ground) as fast as I can go without breaking into a jog, my heart rate hovered around 110-115. Based upon the various calculators I found, zone 2 for me should be 120-130 bpm. As soon as I started an extremely slow jog… my heart rate went to 135-140. It didn’t make any difference what I did – I couldn’t get to that 120-130 zone. I was always below or above.

Has anyone else experienced this? I’m not sure what to do. Would I be better off continuing with the fast power walk that’s below, or the extremely slow jog that’s too high? I consulted Dr. Google, but no luck. We’ll see what the heart rate trend is over the next few days.

While the original purpose of the Fitbit was so that I can monitor my heart rate, it has a bunch of other features that I had no interest in. That is, until I discovered the sleep tracking. I’ve had two nights with it now, and I’m amazed at how accurate it is. Both nights it pegged the time I went to bed and woke within +/- 5 minutes or so. How in the world does it know? Technology is amazing.

But now, I have a whole new set of numbers and stats to obsess over. My sleep scores are terrible. Heart rate and Sp02 are fine, but everything else is awful. I thought I was a good sleeper, but apparently not. I was not aware of something called the heart rate variability score. This is supposed to be an indicator of fitness. You want a larger (greater) variability in your heart rate. Meaning, while keeping the same total number of beats per minute, the time between each beat should vary. Mine the last two nights has been low. As in, bottom percentile for my age low. I guess I’m basically a metronome. I was perfectly happy with my sleep habits before, but now I’m going to worry each night about what the metrics are going to show in the morning.

It is now officially my mission to improve that number. I have no idea how, but I’m going to do it. I can see it already… six months from now I’ll be sleeping in a separate room that is specially climate controlled, sound deadened, and has all the electrical circuits shut off to remove any EMF messing with my circadian rhythm.

Maybe I shouldn’t have bought that Fitbit after all…

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