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Workout Tracking: Benefits and Limitations

October 31, 2022
9 min read
Workout Tracking: Benefits and Limitations

TLDR

  • Using the Hint app, you can track your workouts within a few seconds.
  • Workout tracking helps in building the habit of regular physical activity.
  • You can know your physical activity level by tracking your exercise.
  • You can benefit from shorter workouts if you are tracking.
  • On the Hint app, you can test a variety of workouts before even trying them.

What is workout tracking?

Workout tracking is the process of monitoring your fitness-related metrics such as walking or running distance, calorie burn, and duration of the workout.

All these metrics help you understand your physical activity level. 

In other words, with workout tracking, you can determine whether your lifestyle is sedentary, moderately active, or highly active.

Learning about your physical activity level is particularly important as it can have direct effects on your health and quality of life.

At Clearcals, we have defined these three physical activity levels following this simple measurable approach.

What is a sedentary lifestyle?

This is the lifestyle or activity level of people who do not exercise at all or exercise for less than 3 days per week. 

In this case, a workout or exercise is defined as being physically active for at least 30 minutes in a day.

According to a recent study1, people who are inactive for most of the day by sitting for long hours are considered to have a sedentary lifestyle and are at high risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

What is a moderately active lifestyle?

If you perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3 to 5 days per week, you can consider yourself to have a moderately active lifestyle.

What is a highly active lifestyle?

If you perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for more than 5 days per week, you can consider yourself to have a highly active lifestyle.

How to track your workout using the Hint app?

Workout tracking is pretty easy if you are using a smartwatch with a pedometer or accelerometer. However, most of these wearable devices like the apple watch are quite expensive.

Meanwhile, you can track your workouts for free using the Hint app.

It just takes a few seconds to track workouts using the Hint app.

All you have to do is follow these three steps

1. Select a workout

Click on the FAB + button on the home screen and select the workout you want to log. 

If you have already logged this workout before, you will find it in the recent tab. Use the exercises or favorites tab, if you are logging in for the first time.

2. Enter the duration, distance, or effort 

Once you find the workout, enter the duration, distance, or effort of the workout. 

3. Save and check your calorie burn

Save the workout after changes and have a look at your detailed activity summary.

That’s it! You have logged your workout.

Benefits of Workout Tracking

Tracking simplifies your workout routine and has several benefits. Here are the top 4 benefits of tracking workouts regularly.

1. You will know your physical activity level

Once you start tracking your workouts, you will know whether you are following a sedentary or active lifestyle.

Using the Hint app, you can go back to the workout summary anytime and review how many times you worked out in the last week or month.

You can also learn the intensity, frequency, and duration of your workouts.

Learning from your past workouts and making small changes every day can help you avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Numbers dont lie

As legendary American marathon runner Frank shorter said “Numbers don’t lie. You always seem to remember your workouts as being a little better than they were. It’s good to go back and review what you do.”

2. You can break down your workouts.

Exercising for 10 minutes three times a day has the same health benefits as 30 minutes of nonstop exercise.

In other words, you can break down your workouts into shorter exercises and perform them multiple times a day to achieve your workout goals. This helps you in being physically active according to your schedule for the day.

Every day your target should be burning at least 10% of your daily calorie intake through exercise.

It does not matter what is the duration of the exercise as long as you are achieving your calorie burn target. 

If you track your workouts on the Hint app, achieving your daily calorie-burn goals is just a walk in the park. 😃

3. Plan your workouts beforehand

Most of the time we hesitate to try new workouts. 

It could be due to a lack of awareness about the workout and its benefits. Or general confusion about how to include the workout in your schedule.

With the help of workout tracking on the Hint app, you can check how many calories you will burn before even performing the workout.

Log any workout you want to do and check the workout summary. See how long it takes for you to achieve your daily calorie-burn goal.

Here is an example of how to explore new workouts on the** Hint app**.

Let us assume that your daily calorie burn target is 200 kcal. And walking for 3 kilometers for 30 minutes helps you burn more than 200 kcal. 

You are bored of walking every day and want to try running or cycling.

The Hint app suggests that you can achieve your 200 kcal target by running 3 kilometers in about 20 minutes. Whereas, you can achieve the same goal by cycling for 7 kilometers in 30 minutes.

Pick a workout to burn >200kcal

Now you can easily choose between running or cycling. 

If you ask me, you should go for a run 😃.

It will save you time.

4. You can workout regularly

Tracking your workout data helps develop consistency in your workout routine. Regular physical activity is critical for achieving and maintaining good health. 

It is proven to be effective in the prevention and control of a wide range of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

The following are numerous health benefits associated with regular physical activity.

a. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Both aerobic and resistance types of exercise are associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Walking at least 2 hours per week was associated with a reduction in the incidence of premature death among patients with diabetes. 
  • If you are diabetic, tracking your walking workout on the Hint app and as a result walking for more than 2 hours per week eventually helps you live longer.

b. Lower risk of hypertension1

  • Strong evidence indicates that performing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, particularly aerobic exercise, and improving cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) reduce blood pressure (BP) levels and lower hypertension incidence.
  • Improving muscular strength lowers the incidence of hypertension and replacing sedentary time with physical activity could lower blood pressure.

c. Lower risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke)2

  • Regular physical activity increases the life span and cardiorespiratory fitness of patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD). 
  • Several studies have clearly shown that engaging in regular exercise reverses the disease process in patients with cardiovascular disease.

d. Weight loss

  • Consistently performing moderate-intensity exercises for more than 150 min per week contributes to weight loss and weight maintenance efforts over the long term.
  • Only regular exercise is not sufficient for weight loss. It is important to monitor your diet along with regular exercise for long-lasting results.

e. Various other health benefits

  • Weight loss
  • Slowed or reduced weight gain
  • Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile
  • Lower risk of all-cause mortality
  • Lower risk of cancers
  • Reduced anxiety and risk of depression
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved bone health

Accuracy Concerns of Workout Tracking

Workout tracking using apps is a relatively new concept for Indian users. Despite the huge list of health benefits, like any new technology, it has its limitations. 

When it comes to physical activity tracking apps on smartphones there is always a debate about the accuracy or inaccuracies of their measurements.

In the case of the Hint app, we determine your calorie burn using a proven scientific methodology. 

Based on your age, height, weight, and gender we calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Using your BMR and the metabolic equivalent of task value called the MET value of the corresponding physical activity. 

For more detailed information, read this article on the compendium of physical activities3.

For all practical reasons, a very high level of accuracy is not always the highest priority especially when our goal is to monitor your progress and improve your performance.

The goal is not to be better than anyone else but rather to be better than you were yesterday.

As American author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon said, “ The goal is not to be better than anyone else but rather to be better than you were yesterday.”

Hope you found this article helpful and are clear about the value of workout tracking. Download the Hint app if you haven’t already and try to follow an active lifestyle.

References:

  1. Bakker EA, Sui X, Brellenthin AG, Lee DC. Physical activity and fitness for the prevention of hypertension. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2018 Jul;33(4):394-401. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000526. PMID: 29762150.
  2. Lavie CJ, Ozemek C, Carbone S, Katzmarzyk PT, Blair SN. Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Health. Circ Res. 2019 Mar;124(5):799-815. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.312669. PMID: 30817262.
  3. Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett DR Jr, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities: a second update of codes and MET values. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Aug;43(8):1575-81. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821ece12. PMID: 21681120.

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