Some of you that know me out there have probably realised that I may not be the most conventional person, at least according to the popular view of my contemporaries.
As previously alluded to in the previous post: The Passing Of Time …, I am still deeply interested in the Quantified Self movement.
For those of you without a background of my health (you lucky people), this started a few years back during may participation in the Brighton marathon in the UK. I noticed at around the 10-13 mile mark I was in trouble. I was running at a normal pace (some may call it jogging, or excited walking), but it felt as if I was wading through treacle. It was very difficult to continue. I invested in a Garmin HR monitor shortly afterwards and started to track things more closely. This revealed that I would have periods in which my heart rate became elevated, and in those times, the life of exercising was far more difficult than it really ought to have been. So became my interest in measuring on some level. When I later started looking into Search Engine Optimisation for work, I understood more deeply the significance of being able to analyse and control those things that we measure. Without measurement it is all guess work.
We are living in a new age of wearables, and if you have been sleeping for the last couple of years you may not have seen the rise in such devices. It is very common now for people to be seen with popular fitness tracking appliances, such as Fitbit, but there are countless devices and apps which do such things. The primary functions of such devices and apps are as glorified pedometers, but additional metrics may be recorded and stored for later perusal and awarding of digital congratulatory badges.
This path has more recently led me into the idea of measuring other aspects. In the UK in January I had a blood test done to take a snapshot of various aspects of myself which I am not able to detect easily through other means. The report from the lab came back with the primary message that I am terribly low in 2 vitamins, B12 and D. Which were to be expected, B12 due to Veganism, and D due to living in the Northern hemisphere. There were some other minor signals, which I am still understanding and attempting to determine the possible effects of. However, this leaves me wondering what else there is to discover.
I often hear people state all sort of comments about their health based on their personality. Some people want to believe that they are healthy, and some people want to believe that they are sick, and this will be reflected in the things that they say. However, either way this is rarely a true reflection of their health. I am not immune to this, so having records mean that I do not have to rely on my less than accurate capacity of recall, and a unbiased measuring device is a great tool in order to remove the possible inaccuracies that I could quite easily assign to such subjective measures like mood.
The more things that I can track and measure, the more possible correlations and causations I hope to find. From this I may be able to find ways to control my heart rate, and detect problems before they arise. I realise that this is a new area of science, and open to all sort of inaccuracies, but hey, you need to take sides every now and then, so I am thinking to follow this one until the coffers run dry! 🙂
Please let me know your thoughts? Do you track any aspects of your health? Would you ever consider trying? Do you think that you have a healthy lifestyle? Do you think that I am a couple of saucers short of a tea party? What ever your thoughts, please let us know! It is always good to know how far I have strayed from normal! 🙂