Sometimes it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the mundanity of life. It’s far too easy to get carried away in a routine or have things get in the way of practice. I should know. My two little timestealers conspire against me every minute of the day to stop me doing anything useful. That’s one of the reasons I’ve completely failed to post anything recently. The youngest has only just started sleeping through the night. Between being two little timestealers and the amount of time it takes to get to and from work I have precious few minutes in a day where I can actually do something. I actually envy people that get a decent nights sleep and have time to practice too. I can choose one or the other but not both. For the past week or so I’ve been starting to get back into the nei gung and that means a 5am start. 5am is not a good time for anybody to be awake…
Despite being half-awake most of the time one thing I have managed to find the time for is fitbit. Fitbit is quite interesting really. It’s aimed primarily at gym bunnies and health people and if you’re not doing a “standard” exercise ( running for instance ) then the results might be questionable. I’m actually quite fascinated by the data it shows though. Gung is really interesting:
I’ve hacked the fitbit graphs together to create an overlay but here the spiky red line is showing my heart rate, the smooth orange line is showing the calorie burn and the stepping yellow line shows the different heart rate zones. I love the fact that there is a correlation between heart rate and calorie burn ( of course there is ) and that certain exercises drive up the heart rate. Not all exercises that increase heart rate increase the calorie burn rather either.
It’s the fact that there’s an initial heart rate spike for unity / holding the golden plate then another spike around flick the whip but a major spike around swallow entering the nest and leading the goat smoothly and a final spike around elephant shakes it’s head and it’s the last two that increase the calorie burn rate. I’ve never really noticed my heart rate increase with these particular exercises ( probably because I’m doing stuff ) but the times I thought I was exerting myself I wasn’t doing anything above or beyond normal gung work. I’m curious to know whether these graphs will level out over time as I get back into the routine but I’ll have to wait and see to find out for sure.
On the weekend I managed to get down to Horsham and have a play with long form while wearing the fitbit. This time the graph looked like this:
Now, the interesting thing here is that there is an entirely different work profile. The heart rate and calorie burn rate increased slowly throughout the duration of the form. I’m wondering how much of this is down to a lack of practice ( the little one actively screams at me if I try to practice in the garden at the moment and she runs in front of me and tries to push me over ) or whether this is what form does. Again, a lot more investigation is needed here but I’m finding these initial results fascinating.
I had a go at sword while wearing the fitbit too but that didn’t record for some reason which means I need to find a good space and have another and so we’re back to the timestealers getting in the way again. This might be a long-term project, not unlike tai chi itself.