Walking – Activity Tracking Update…

Yes I’ve been walking. This whole activity tracking business has gotten me motivated and now I’m both biking and walking and feeling the benefits. I’ve also been watching my diet and folks tell me I look a lot better. I know I feel better and more energetic.

At work I now get up every hour or two and go outside for a walk around a block or two. Our own block takes about seven minutes to circumnavigate so I’m not taking a big break; it’s just enough. All in all I’ve been making sure I add up to ten thousand or more steps a day. Actually the Garmin Vivofit is rather cunning that way…if you make your goal one day it adds a few steps to the next, and vice versa. I’m up to over eleven thousand a day so I’ve been hitting the mark.

As for my diet, I’ve been tracking calories which probably isn’t the best thing you can do (tracking nutrients might be better), but as I know I’m eating better with all the salads, less rice and carbs, and so on, it’s an okay way of learning how much food I can actually eat. I’m trying to stop before I’m full.

But here’s the deal, while I’ve had no problems with my new hip (yea!), my right knee, the problematic one, has been a bit less than cooperative. It doesn’t actually hurt after a couple of miles, but I do notice it getting a bit…tight. I’ll be seeing my surgeon and his team again, not because I think I’m ready for more surgery (no thanks), but because they are in a good position to assess things. Orthopedics is, after all, orthopedics.

In the meantime I’ll keep walking, eating right, and worry about other things.


Land’s End to John O’Groats – Normal Clothes

This showed up in my email today via the Brooks Despatch, the newsletter from Brooks Saddles. While the video is more or less an extended advertisement for their saddles, I actually love it because it has great scenery, great bikes, great saddles (I ride ‘em as documented many times here), and NORMAL CLOTHING!

Yes the blokes in this video are riding bikes and look like normal people. In the US we seem to have this, some would say unhealthy, fascination with tricking ourselves out in racing kit, even when we are simply going for bike ride.

While I’ll admit to being careful about what I wear when I ride long distances, underwear that doesn’t bind or have painful seams, things that dry quickly after a rain shower, and so forth, I mostly look like a normal guy. I don’t have special shoes, in fact I wear plain old sandals (though with socks to prevent chafing). I love these guys in the video.

The helmet thing. They don’t wear helmets. I generally do, though not always. It’s up to you.

Finally, I’d love to do this ride. In fact, I’m going to do this ride. Tomorrow. Okay, maybe not tomorrow. I am going to do this ride though.


Activity tracking now that I can walk…

Now that my hip is fixed I figured I’d better keep it that way and, because I can move again and be mostly pain free, it was time to up my activity. 

I saw one of the super Kindle deals for a Misfit Shine about two weeks ago and picked one up for $20 (usually $99). It was really okay and could track cycling (though you had to manually kick it into that mode and put it on your shoe or in your sock, etc.). 
Well they have the #%#$@!’iest band system around and it popped out somewhere in 6 days. I may still find it as it is in my home somewhere, but only God knows where. 
Still I’d gotten hooked so….I did a bit of research and since I already own other Garmin products settled on the Vivofit. Here are some links to decent reviews and advice by a techie guy using DC Rainmaker as his handle:
I like it. It’s not perfect but it does what I expect. Basically I just wanted to track movements and be reminded to move. I also didn’t want something I had to charge every other day – I tend to forget. This has a battery that’s supposed to last 1 year or more.
The reminding this is sort of okay, About every hour (or maybe a bit more), it shows a red band in the display reminding you to go get some exercise. As i can easily sit at my desk all day unless I have to pee, this is a good thing. Turns out walking around my block takes about 750 steps and 8 minutes. That keeps my device quiet for a while. 
It does interface with my Garmin heart strap and can show my heart rate. I don’t use that all the time of course, only during actual exercise or bike riding.  
There is an app for both IOS and Android. I think the IOS version is probably better but hey, I just want to know a few things. In addition it can all hook up the Garmin Connect software which then can combine my Oregon 400 GPS unit (which I need to pull out again), the Vivofit, and heart band. 
For calorie measurements check out http://myfitnesspal.com. It integrates into Connect as well, as does MapMyRide and some other things. 
Connect is a bit clunky, not up to Fitbit standards I guess, but it does what I want and, as I’ve said, I have other Garmin stuff.
That’s it. There are other trackers out there and more on the way this coming winter. As I said it’s likely I’ll upgrade when one comes out that can do cycling (not GPS necessarily, just recognizes the motion), heart rate, and such all in one device – I’ve seen this:
There you go.
BTW – None of these companies pay me anything, but darn it, after reading this email, they should. :-)


My Hip Replacement #18

It’s been a while since I’ve posted…a whole month. To be honest, that’s how little I’ve thought about my hip recently. It’s not that things haven’t happened, it’s just, well my hip feels completely normal for the most part so I just don’t think about it.

It’s been three months since my surgery and this past week I had checkup. My incision has almost completely healed and has filled in very well. I no longer have a ‘pit’ on my leg. It’s not quite done but oh well. I was told by my surgical team that out of about the last 100 folks they’ve only seen in this in 2 or 3 folks. It’s not normal but it happens. Basically it seems my body rejected a bit of the suture. I’ve had a few minor scrapes and cuts since I had surgery and they’ve all healed normally so this isn’t something systemic thank goodness.

My team also commented on how well I’ve done physically since surgery. As I reported I was kicked loose from PT early. Since then I’ve continued to stretch, walk, and yes, bicycle. I’m back to cycling more or less normally. I haven’t done any real long rides (meaning 50+ miles) but have been very happy with rides in the 20 mile range. My team said I’m doing very well for someone after only three months – in fact they did a double check to make it hasn’t been 6 months.

One of the best things that’s happened is that I was able to dance at a friend’s wedding this past weekend. I haven’t danced for years. I’m not a big dancer (well I am kind of big so when I dance I guess I qualify), but it sure is nice to be able to do it when I want!

The wedding was on Hawaii Island so I had to travel…in fact I’ve traveled a lot lately, Olympia Washington, Boise Idaho, and Hilo. I’ve not been flagged by the TSA, no bells have rung and I haven’t been pulled aside for extra scrutiny, besides the normal random checks of course. That’s great because I’m told that sometimes hip replacements to trigger the devices, sometimes they don’t. I don’t.

The only other thing I can think of is that I have a six month check up scheduled, but barring complications, I probably won’t be posting on my hip till then. All is good. If you need one, don’t wait.