As a recent convert to wearable technology, I thought it would be interesting to see what a Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment could tell me. In particular, around how my body reacted to and recovered from the stresses of a busy lifestyle.
Being a relatively healthy individual who exercises regularly, eats sensibly and gets between 7-8 hours of sleep each night, I thought I was looking after myself and recovering well – how wrong could I be?
I wore the Firstbeat bodyguard for a total of three days, from Sunday to Tuesday, to pick up any differences between the stress reactions on the weekend, (which can be quite significant with three small children in the house) and during weekday working hours with the normal stresses of my job. I also made sure that I wore the device for one exercise session to understand how this affected my body.
The results were very interesting. On weekdays I was getting very little recovery during the day and despite going to bed around 10:30pm, I was not getting in to a recovery zone until around 2am in the morning; while I recovered well as this point it simply was not long enough. In essence I was building up a recovery deficit which I then needed the weekends to recover from.
After meeting with Tim Wright from First Beat to understand the results, I made a couple of small changes to my lifestyle that have made a big difference to my energy levels and overall performance.
Firstly I met with our Dietitian, Linia Patel to see if there was anything in my diet that was affecting my ability to recover during sleep. Very quickly we changed two things; I stopped drinking caffeine after 2pm in the afternoon and improved my general protein intake.
Secondly, I adapted my exercise programme with Matt Curley to move the high intensity session to earlier in the week when my body was better equipped to deal with it.
Both interventions made a significant difference to my performance both mentally and physically and I am intrigued to see the difference in the numbers when I retest in a few weeks time.
For more information on Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessments, click here. We now offer this service with our Strength & Conditioning Coaches at all clinics.