Friday Fitness (no Fitbit)

It appears that big data and big insurance are encouraging people to wear their apple watches and/or fitbit to “get their steps in” because sitting around is deemed the new smoking. I have a couple of problems with this.

The first is that I mistrust Google and these insurance companies, and I’m not the only one. People are taking their fitbits off.

Some critical users say they’re now considering Fitbit’s main rival, the Apple Watch, while others longed for the early days of low-tech fitness tracking.

“This may push me to pay for an Apple Watch, and jettison my current Fitbit (assuming I even still want a thing strapped to my wrist collecting data about me),” tweeted author Stephen Anderson. “Can we just bring back Pebble?”

Carpenter and Kleinman later pointed to the news about Google’s partnership with health giant Ascension, saying they were glad they made the decision to leave their Fitbit devices behind. “Google could know which medications I take, and what any medical diagnosis’s I have,” Carpenter said. “It makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

The second is this: when you are working on something difficult you have to concentrate. You do not, repeat not, want interruptions. It takes me at least two cups of coffee and a half hour to be able to do peak writing and analysis — and no, this is not the blog. It’s too early. It is at peak concentration time, and only one interruption and it is gone. When I’m doing that kind of work, I don’t want to look at the email and I don’t want someone asking me to go to freaking meeting, or ask me a question by email.

When I am in that flow, leave me alone.

Getting up every hour would destroy my productivity. Far better that I do all those tasks by walking around and solving problems when I am not at peak concentration.

So, what to do practically?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote what options to consider about smart watches and fitness trackers. You can get hiking watches that function like the pebble and will keep you at arms length of the googleplex. They have usefulness — some of them — in dense bush (you need glonass here as well). But consider going analogue. I have.

When I was young and in heavy training, we all did.

Any benefit of knowing that information is significantly outweighed by the disadvantage of Google also having it

Vox Day, Vox Popoli

In addition ditch the headphones when you are running. You need to hear the cars behind you. We have had road works from last summer conitnuously around here, and there are no shoulders on any of the quite narrow roads. Cyclists and runners are being treated as road obstacles, and people are trying to overtake, almost hitting other cars head on.

If you are doing gymnastic moves or weight lifting, you need to concentrate on what you are doing. See above.

Use the hiking trails or footpaths that exist, Stay safe. In risky areas, take a dog and a friend with you.

Mark Sisson has a good comment on Obesity. Any bad habit or sin — and gluttony was one of the traditional deadly sins — has an industry behind it. You can’r rely on the government. Most dietary guidelines have less than zero evidence behind them. If food was a drug, medsafe would not licence it because there are not the trials.

You cannot control everyone else. You can control you. So choose wisely.

Oh, so what about everyone else, you might be asking? How can I guarantee that my neighbors and the other parents are my kids’ school are doing the same thing? Or those unfortunate kids on the other side of town? Or the impoverished ones in that other country?

You can’t. That’s how it works. You can’t control it. And once you allow the experts to start dictating how everyone else eats and lives, you’ve lost. You won’t like what they come up with. No government official will ever advocate or enforce the kind of diet we believe in. The best hope you’d have is for a Primal Caesar to cross the Pepsi Rubicon and wrest control of the government from the corrupt bureaucrats and establish a Primal regime. I’m too busy for that.

I’ve got rid of my traditional running shoes and wear zero lift shoes half he time (the rest of the time, like most Kiwis, I’m barefoot or in Jandals). The back is better.

This week demonstrated, again, that deliberate walks are not enough to get enough bulk aerobic activity in. A 40 minute walk is about 4000 steps and a run is a few more. Walking to do tasks, parking away from work, and getting jobs done will increase step count considerably.

The dogs and Kea manage this by walking to the top of the hill behind our house every day. I need to walk at lunch and then again in the evening.

The second thing from this week is going as low carbohydrate as you can is important — at least for me. This has led to glucose levels towards the normal range.

Weka Kea
Loss this week. -1.5 kg -0.6 kg
Loss from Baseline (August 12) -8.9 kg -8.5 kg