Recently there was a commercial for the iPhone in which a woman is swimming and then taking something off her suit and putting it on her phone to record how her swim had gone. I wanted it right away.
It's 100 dollars. Nothing if you have disposable income. I don't. And more to the point there wouldn't be much data gathered. I swim back and forth. I swim forward and then back wards. I do a few side strokes. I hold onto the side of the pool and kick really fast a few times. I swim for an hour. That's it. I usually get out because I need to pee. People always congratulate me for "keeping it up". They don't understand how much I love it. If there was a pool right outside my door I'd be in it several times a day. But I'm not trying to be a great swimmer. I'm just enjoying being able to move with less pain than I have when I'm walking.
Generally speaking I am not in favor of all the new fitness tracking devices. Paul wrote about it recently and David Sedaris wrote a funny piece about his Fitbit. They both talk about the obsession with numbers. I am data curious and have fun with things for awhile but I always get out of control and obsessed.
When I was working on the junk room I found some old diary pages from the time when I'd been given the assignment to track my food for a biology class. I actually enjoyed it for a time. I eat around 2000 calories a day give or take. More if I eat out. More if it's a holiday. Reading through those pages I saw that not much has changed. I enjoyed doing but eventually I started worrying about it. I'd eat a cookie and not write it down. I had elaborate and loopy reasons for why not. Or I'd eat two cookies and write down one. My inner diet food cop rose up and and my inner shame about wanting a cookie (wanting a cookie) (shame) (sheesh) rose up and they did battle. What a waste of time.
I enjoy being weighed at the doctor because it's interesting to me to know exactly how much I weigh. But if I buy a scale I'm on it twice a day. I start eating less and then eat too much in rebellion. Not at all useful.
Our definition of heath is important. Numbers tend to over simplify. And for some of us numbers create obsession.
I'm thinking about this today because I updated my iPhone and got their new "health" app. I jumped right in trying to enter data. I can't figure out how to enter some basic info, which may be because it's designed to get that information from other apps. They give you this free thing and then sell you a bunch of new apps. Ah. Capitalism.
I'm always amused by yoga in this country. People have been doing yoga almost naked in the wilderness for years. Now yoga has it's own magazine, special bags for special mats, clothes, music, straps and blocks and videos and on and on. I own a strap and some blocks and a video so I'm not above the market. I'm just ... chagrined. Or something.
The swim tracker thing also tracks your sleep.
I might need that.