I’m embarking an eight-week challenge and it’s one that only my very own two feet can help me with. Up until the 21st December, I’ll be competitively step-step stepping away representing Team Yorkshire, all in the name of heart research.
The challenge has been bestowed upon the North by Nokia and the Connected Health Cities (CHC) who have launched the CityMoves programme.Split into four teams of Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, North West Coast, and North East and North Cumbria, all will be fighting for first place in this northern race. And every step is like gold dust.
As for the current leader board, we, Team Yorkshire, are in a comfortable and fighting fit silver place, with Manchester sort-of in the lead. Us Yorkshire folk have 200 team members less, but on average steps per person, we’re smashing it.
To help Yorkshire win, I’ve decided to set goals. For the first four weeks, I’m wanting to achieve 10,000 steps a day, and over the past two weeks of this challenge, I’ve already had the odd few ultimate lazy days reaching nowhere near that figure.
So, I’ve given myself a new step-challenge-rule. My weeks’ worth of stepping must tot up to a grand total of 70,000 which will average out to meet my daily goal.Halfway through the challenge, from week five right through until the end, I’ve been toying with the idea to up the daily goal to 15,000 steps. I’m hoping that in the next three weeks or so, I’ll be back to running, which will make that goal more achievable.
Squeezing in the steps into my daily routine so far has been fairly simple. Not too much has changed as I always, mostly, walk to work and back, of course walk around the office for important tea breaks, and join a gym class in the morning.What I’ve been trying to do more of though, is go for a brisk walk at lunch and pick up myself up from the couch after tea to go for a walk around the block.
Especially on weekends where we have no plans, we’ll factor in a walk, going for as long as we fancy. Last weekend we ended up walking from Horsforth into town, and back again. That took us to a nice total of 10 miles.
The watch has become the apple of my eye. Unisex, stylish and sleek, and not only is the watch obviously great at telling the time, it shows me the progress of my daily step goal via its analog subdial.
The Steel connects to the Health Mate application on my phone, where from here, I can operate both devices, check into my health log and join activity programmes.
As part of the watch’s capabilities, it tracks more than just my physical activity, delving deeper into movement such as detecting when I am asleep, offering a full picture of my nights and naps.As for a morning wake-up call, I can set a vibrating alarm that will wake me up during my ideal cycle.
The application encompasses all the data, and from here it’s also where I update my goals, timings, alarms and manually add health data and check my heart rate.
Weighing myself has not really been anything I’ve been too fussed about. In terms of weight for my height, I know I am fairly healthy. What I do find interesting though is more so what’s going on within my body.
These scales alongside the standard weight measurements, identify BMI, body fat, water percentage as well as muscle and bone mass.For me, what I find particularly interesting are the measurements for muscle mass and water percentage. I’m back at the gym now, so it’ll be such a great way to keep track of my progress by hopefully seeing my muscle mass increase and the body fat reduce.
And being back at the gym means getting sweaty and needing to keep hydrated. I usually try to aim for at least three pint glasses of water in the office day, so it’ll be really useful to see the water level of my body, and increase my consumption if levels are low.
Something I had never heard of that the scale measures as well is pulse wave velocity, an insight into cardiovascular health. As part of the app, based on your readings, it recommends tips around diets or activities you could try to improve the health of your arteries.
Mine currently suggests eating dark chocolate and green tea. Certainly can’t complain about that.
The scale also begins to recognise profiles of people sing the scales based on repeat measurements. It’s great for us, as it gives both myself and Nathan the opportunity to have in-depth readings.
It can register and recognise up to 8 different users.
I’m having a complete hoot trying out these products, it’s been motivating and so educational. Looking after our bodies and health is number one.
Taking part in the eight week step challenge so far has been really addictive, and I’m opting for walks whenever I can, and dragging Nathan along with me too. What I’m truly most looking forward to is seeing the final leadership board as I still have hope for Yorkshire.From there, I’m also intrigued to see what this research piece highlights. All the data from the challenge is being used to inform heart health research, supporting science to understand how low-intensity exercise improves heart health.
I’ll be documenting more of the challenge on my blog, so please keep tuned. If you’re taking part and fancy a chat or you just want to ask questions or have more information, I’d love to hear from you.
You can also use #DataSavesLives to see what’s going on and follow: