The Pros and Cons of metrics from someone familiar with medical devices who also teaches Pilates.
With the New Year comes resolutions and gumption to fulfill said resolutions. Maybe you got a gift card for Pilates classes! Perhaps you received a Fitbit or Apple watch to help you track your progress. Whatever motivated your fitness goal, there are lots of tech-y gadgets out there to offer performance statistics. But do gadgets help or could they hinder our fitness too? Our Pure Movement studio instructor Leah is familiar with the idea of medical devices since being diagnosed with Type 1. She has worn several iterations of the Dexcom, as well as the Loop and Omnipod. There are pros to more information and better metrics. But there’s also an argument for listening to your body and improving mindfulness. Leah takes a look at where metrics fits in with a mindful movement like Pilates.
Pros of Metrics in Pilates Mindfulness
1. Establishing a Baseline
When you begin your exercise journey and need help establishing a baseline, some kind of fitness tracker can be really helpful! You will want to establish what your resting heart rate is. Keep track of your sleep and observe mornings when you feel well-rested or have high energy. Good metrics can help you recognize a “good day” and try to repeat it.
2. Compare and Contrast
It helps you see how different types of exercise look in the body. If you are active and like moving, you can start to track what a strength training class like Pilates looks like versus, say, a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout looks like in your body. You can compare your stress levels, intensity minutes tracked, whether you were in the optimal fat-burning heart rate zone and for how long. Even monitor your post-workout resting heart rate throughout the day. This information may help you develop the right workout schedule and variety for your body and help you better meet your fitness goals.
3. Get a Big Picture
Step back and look at the big picture! Quantitative data can also be beneficial when comparing where you started to how it’s going now! You may observe physical changes, like waistband or general ease of movement and living pain-free, but want help to see the larger trends. Some devices have weekly, monthly, or even yearly insights! Some devices can even share your performance and daily tracking with your physician so you can get a whole health picture.
Cons of Metrics in Pilates Mindfulness
1. It’s Distracting
Pilates is about centering and being mindful. It is distracting when your wrist vibrates, dings, or buzzes. It pulls you out of your body, or you miss what the instructor cued. The whole idea of exercising to gain metrics is the antithesis of mindfulness. Mindful exercise builds better body awareness and balances the nervous system. Being interrupted or unable to establish a conscious competency in how you move diminishes the benefits of mindful mastery and whole-body restoration.
2. Setting Goals
Health trackers and monitors are undeniably helpful in prompting movement. But it doesn’t necessarily help you figure out what movement to track! Nor do all devices track the type of movement you enjoy. This may all depend on the gadget; some let you create a goal, and some offer a specific training program. Some fitness trackers don’t categorize Pilates; options are Yoga or cardio – which Pilates isn’t quite either, but somewhere between. Lay out your goals, separate from the device, to avoid being influenced. Then, shop for the device that will serve your fitness goals. Use the device to help you achieve that one goal, recognizing it might not support all your health needs.
3. Health Is More Than Physical
Pilates teaches us to tune into and listen to the body! Following a programmed workout or responding to push notifications to move may not be what you need now. A healthy body is a healthy mind in spirit, self-identity, social well-being, and cognitive function. It’s our relationship with ourselves and within our communities. It is how we physically feel and move, but also how we hold still and listen. There are so many influences that a device cannot track! Please don’t give it control over what you feel in your body; what you know brings you joy or when you know you need to stop and recover!
So, set your New Year’s resolution! Start tracking your sleep. Calories eaten. Steps taken! Let’s accomplish that fitness goal! Monitoring devices are awesome for looking into the body and getting a better picture of what’s happening! But devices can fail and information can be misleading. Letting numbers dictate your relationship with your body can create unrealistic expectations or send you into an emotional plummet.
Schedule An Intro
Remember that being mindful of your workout and how it feels in your body will motivate you to keep going more than data or metrics. Monitor mindfulness, not numbers. Don’t let external influences dictate what you do and how you feel in your body, like running on autopilot. Stepping back from performance-based working out can help maintain the joy of working out and keep Pilates a part of your life forever. When we lose mindfulness of the moments, we lose fulfillment in them.
THE INFORMATION EXPRESSED ON THIS SITE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. WE DRAW ON OUR EXPERTISE AS PILATES AND MOVEMENT SPECIALISTS BY EXPANDING OUR PROFESSIONALISM THROUGH CONTINUING EDUCATION AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. WE AIM TO PROVIDE VALUABLE INFORMATION CONCERNING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PILATES, FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT, AND FITNESS. YOU TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL DECISIONS NOW OR IN THE FUTURE CONCERNING YOUR HEALTH, LIFE, AND WELL-BEING. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE USED AS MEDICAL ADVICE EITHER TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE OR AILMENTS. YOU SHOULD CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM.