At this point in my POTS "tenure," I am able to stand and walk in small spurts. The things that keep me from working out more than anything are my dizziness, heat intolerance and fatigue ... oh, how very tired I am. My doctor told me she wanted me to start walking every day at least 10 minutes and then build up from there when I am ready. Luckily, with the spring-like weather, I have been able to walk down the street and back with my mom or my brother this week.
I like to track my workouts so that I can see my progress. We did this in cardiac rehab, and it has stuck with me. There are two tools that are really making the tracking so easy for me: my Fitbit HR and MapMyWalk.*
I love my Fitbit HR and have found it to be very accurate. I have a Polar FT4, which I still highly recommend, but I was getting a little sick of putting on the chest strap every time I needed to monitor my HR. I've been wanting a Fitbit for a while — especially for the sleep tracking — so once I saw the HR version had come out, I was game.
The Fitbit has a way to track exercise, but for what I am wanting to track and monitor, I use an app to track my workouts.
|This is what the HR chart looks like on the Fitbit dashboard. It gives you your HR average, and let's you slide along the chart to see what the specific HRs were throughout the workout. This was a pretty good walk for me HR-wise!|
This is where MapMyWalk comes in. I use the app on my smartphone and just carry my phone with me when I walk, which I recommend you do anyhow if you are walking alone. I hit "start workout" on the app, and it uses GPS to track my route, distance, speed, etc. You can also set it to give you updates on how long and how far you have been walking, which I love! Back in my pre-POTS days I would run with an app that did something similar. I just prefer knowing the app will tell me what's going on so I'm not watching the clock.
Once I get home, I transfer my workout data to my Fitbit dashboard, which then incorporates my HR data for the time frame that I was working out. The one downside to the manual exercise tracking through the Fitbit interface is that is doesn't let me edit seconds. If I worked out for 11 minutes and 20 seconds, I can only choose 11 minutes or 12 minutes. I'm sure for most fitness gurus seconds doesn't matter, but we know that for us the seconds can matter.
So to work around this, and to help me see the data the way I want to without having to consult both apps later, I've been putting the data plus the HR chart together in an Excel doc. This will also give me a place to easily print from to provide info to my doctors.
Do you track your exercise? What tools or apps do you find most helpful?
* I have not been paid for my review or recommendation of these products. This is just based on my personal experience and opinion.