Tagged with exercise

More Push-Ups

An updated plot of push-up statistics:

more-push-ups

I had some problems with my wrists last week, so I had to take a bit of a break. But this has resolved itself and slow progress is being made again. Doing 25 push-ups in a row is already more than I was ever able to, I think.

The thing with the wrists is kinda funny. Whenever I start a new exercise, something unexpected, other than the training goal itself, becomes the limiting factor for a while. This was very clear when I started running; at some point it was the shins, then the calves, or the knee, once even the bones in the foot's arch. My way of handling it is always the same: take it easy, don't push through it. Try to improve form, that is try to figure out if you're doing it wrong. After a while the body adapts and the next thing becomes the limit. Repeat.

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Push-Ups

I have never been good at doing push-ups. Upper body strength in general has never been my thing and I have always preferred low- to medium-intensity exercise, endurance like running.

However, I recently had the idea to change that and I remembered that logging progress helped me more than ten years ago to get into running. Even though I no longer do that (I wear my old GPS clock as a watch, but never turn it on when I go running), keeping tabs might just work as a motivation-hack once more. For added effect, I hereby make this commitment public, which is something that I hear people claim also keeps you from abandoning the routine.

Thus, here is the plot of max and median set sizes, and total number of push-ups every day, for the last ten days:

push-ups

I will occasionally post a plot like this with updated numbers. The script that makes the plot is here.

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Quantified Bull

quantified-bull

I admit, when I started running some eight-or-so years ago, my first smartphone with a GPS-tracker was a strong factor in keeping the motivation up. The feeling of "living the future" was fun, and measuring exactly how far and how fast I was going made progress easily visible.

In the meantime I've "logged" most of my exercise, be it runs, hikes, cycling, or skating on Swedish winter lakes. But I never got into wearing a heart-rate-monitor, or tracking my weight more than twice a year. Plus, I rarely checked the long-term statistics of my exercises - after all I had reached a level of fitness that I am satisfied with and lack the ambition to reach any lofty goals.

So instead of going along with the "quantified-self" movement, wearing a step-counter with unobtrusive heart-rate monitor, or tracking my diet, I recently found myself not even bothering to turn on the tracker-app when I bike 20km to work, and back. Running without a GPS-watch lets you pick up some mushrooms and look around for more, without the nagging feeling that your average speed statistic will be messed up by this. I generally prefer not being in a hurry and physical effort does not need to come with feeling rushed.

Then there is the whole data privacy aspect. Do I want everybody to exercise more and be healthier? Sure. Do I want insurance companies to punish people who are not willing to prove their exercise by sending them their "quantified self" data? I think not.

Whereever data accumulates, it creates desires from companies and governments to use it for originally unintended purposes.

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