How healthy are you? The only figure you need to track!

Lifestyle

Who can remember that dreading moment just before stepping onto the scales?

The anxiety. I would strip down to the bare minimum, God forbid those extra grams from the sleeveless top would get in the way of that week’s results/punishment craze! Butterflies in my tummy, it was like walking into an exam room. And then, the horror! What do you mean I haven’t lost any weight??? Result: feel like a failure, closely followed by stuffing my face in cake.

Who can relate?

All I can say is this: what a bloody waste of time.

Ladies, I’ve finally found the only figure I want to keep track of. And it’s NOT the one on the scales.

Having kids has changed the way I think about my body. It’s not about aesthetics, it’s about performance. My priority is to nurture a strong, healthy body so that we can create shed loads of awesome memories together.

It’s a long term commitment to myself, not a short term fix to please the mirror or an a**hole boyfriend.

Ok dear fitster, so you’re telling me to ditch the scales, you’ve told me before not to count calories, so how exactly am I supposed to keep track of how I’m doing? I need a NUMBER in my life!

Don’t worry, I hear you – would I be writing this story if I didn’t have one for you?!

Darling, it’s called your Resting Heart Rate. And you can measure it using super cute bracelets called fitness trackers.

What is the Resting Heart Rate?

This means how many times your heart beats per minute when you’re awake and relaxed. Generally speaking, the fewer beats the better. The healthier the heart the stronger, more efficient the pump so the lower your resting heart rate.  The average range is said to be between 60 – 100 beats per minute, with athletes being lower.

Why is your Resting Heart Rate such a great health indicator?

The beauty of this marker? It reflects all aspects of your health – including how you move, sleep, manage stress and what you eat. Which is why this well-rounded number is so much better than dress size, how heavy you’ve lifted or how fast you sprint; it’s your lifestyle score.

In a very simplistic way it’s telling you, based on how healthy you are today, how likely are you to live a long life, packed with the good stuff!

I want to carry on doing more of THIS !

What’s your resting heart rate telling you? Not happy with your score? Make changes and see that figure come down.

Take my sister. Last year her resting heart rate was 100. Borderline red. Fast forward a year and it’s down to 75. What changed? Her life, basically. She’s eating healthy, regular meals, working out consistently and has changed jobs – reducing her stress levels, BOOM!

Are you on a happy resting heart rate zone? It must mean you’re doing something right. Keep at it.  As I sit here writing this piece for you lovely people, my fitness tracker shows a 62 resting heart rate, which I’m happy about (clearly there’s room for gelato).

I’m obviously under the illusion someone may be interested in what goes on with my internal organs. 

Doesn’t my Fitbit Charge 2 look cute on me?

Keeping track of your resting heart rate is easy. Get yourself a fitness tracker, definitely one with a wrist heart rate monitor (unless you’re into torture belts around the chest). I love the Fitbit Charge 2 because it does the job beautifully and looks great on my wrist, meaning I wear it everywhere.

You could also hold your wrist for a minute and count the number of beats, but that’s not terribly practical, is it?

The Fitbit Charge 2 is also a great workout buddy: see it in action in HIIT-ing IT With FitBit and Ministry Does Fitness!

Have I mentioned that the kids love my FitBit Charge 2 too? They beg me to borrow it, go about jumping around the house driving me nuts in a process to find out who scores the highest. Usually this means I’ll lose my Charge 2 only to find it under a pile of toys days later. Maybe I should keep some spare ones, just in case?

Anyone listening?

With love,

C x

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  1. Yes, definitely a good marker of *cardio* fitness.

    Top tip: Try to take a reading first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, as that’s when you should be most rested. This will allow you to make more meaningful comparisons between readings.

    🙂

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