Data Centric Fitness 90-Day Challenge

Jul 29, 2019 · 5 min read

I love data because it provides you with key insights for you to make critical decisions. If you know me and what my co-founder do, then you probably already know we are a data centric startup. However, my love for data is not just limited to B2B SaaS platform. You could say I live a data driven life. Because of this I have decided to challenge myself to a 90-day data driven fitness routine.

Back in June 2019 I had one of the most interesting conversations with a friend. He was wearing a smart ring and a smart watch. We were making jokes on how all these new smart devices are taking data but not really providing any beneficial data insights. This got me thinking. What can I learn from these wearable devices about the type of data the general consumer finds useful?

The tools

To equip myself with enough data sets I have decided to measure different data visualization methods in different areas. I settled for the following areas:

  • Activity
  • Sleep
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition

Apple Watch Apps

# 1 Health Ap — one app to rule them all

If you are not familiar with the Health App, it is this nice app that by default comes with your phone. 3rd party apps may send data to it for you to have a centralized data app with all your “health” data. This is part of the initiative of Apple for “a more informed you”.

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Health App Data

#2 Cardiogram — for activity

This is one of my favorite heart rate measurement apps. I prefer this over the Heart Health app that comes with the Apple Watch as this app provides charts which can be downloaded and exported in different formats.


Cardiogram Visualization of daily heart rate

#3 MyFitnesspal — for nutrition

MyFitnesspal is an all-time favorite for tracking calories and breaking down ingredients. It is an excellent app if you are looking to control your Macros (carbohydrates, fat, and protein). What I love the most about this is that it syncs up with the Health App to retrieve any exercise records and reflects it for the remaining calories. Keep in mind that this is related to your active energy and resting energy. If you are looking to shell out a couple bucks out you can get the Pro version which allows you to download your nutrients list from your weekly meals in CSV format.


#4 My Water Balance — for nutrition

It is a great app if you are looking to set a goal on how much water to drink (in mL). For coffee addicts like myself, it syncs up with the Health App and provides you with information on how much caffeine mg you are consuming that day.

Bonus: It has an Apple Watch complication to remind you of the amount of liquids you have left to drink and quickly add information.


My Water Balance data synced up to the Health app

#5 Nike Run Club — for activity

I might be biased on this app, since I had committed myself to getting the Apple Watch Nike Edition just to get the Nike Run Club complication. I like this app because it divides my runs into splits and provides detailed insight into heart rate and pace. The data syncs up with the Health app to show your active energy.


Nike Run Club visualization of my run

#6 AutoSleep — for sleep monitoring

AutoSleep is an app I had to really think twice about before getting it. First, it is a paid app. If you search through the App store you will notice they have plenty of options for sleep tracking. However, most of the free apps require you to either grant access to the phone’s microphone (which I’m not a huge fan of) or manually set the the time you go to bed and wake up. The feature in AutoSleep where it automatically tracks when you sleep is something that caught my attention. Second, the four rings of sleep. By learning more on how much you sleep and the amount of deep sleep you get is an interesting way to get “data analytics” on a topic I’m not that familiar with. I hope by the end of the experiment to learn more on how this app educates its users on improving their sleep through the data visualization.


A 7-hour night of sleep does not mean you’ll wake up feeling well rested

#7 Breathe — for mindfulness

This app is the last one on my list as it is something new and I’m not quite sure on the impact the “mindful minute” will have. However, the app provides beautiful graphics and a nice haptic feedback which guides you for breathing in and out. This is a useful feature if you want to take that mindful minute with your eyes closed.


My daily 1 min of mindfulness

In 90 days I’ll write a follow up post analyzing the benefits of the data visualization of these 7 apps and the impact they provide with the data I received through them.


Written by


FOX-TECH Co-Founder, IoT engineer at heart, automation aficionado, and noodles connoisseur 🇭🇳🇹🇼

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