I’ve enjoyed dabling with a few bits of data tracking for a while now, but haven’t really done a full experiment as of yet. I’m looking to start making some meaningful impacts on my health and other areas of my life and was wondering what others had done that had made the most difference.
What are your most successful experiments and/or what you’d recommend starting off with?
Tracking my sleep quality (initially just a subjective score, then a Fitbit) was really helpful to me. It helped me recognize the payoff I got from a metabolism-supporting lifestyle and the habit of trying to fill up my glycogen stores throughout the day.
Inflammation bloodwork (hsCRP partly because it’s less expensive than a lot of the others) was also helpful to see when I was on the wrong track diet and lifestyle-wise. And it’s sensitive enough for mini experiments with quick turnarounds unlike some of the slower-moving blood markers.
I keep meaning to track heart rate variability more consistently, it seems like it’s probably good for similar purposes…
I’m a long slow distance runner. I wanted to improve my recovery times and used #quantifiedself techniques to monitor sleep, diet, weight and exercise tracking. I found five strong indicators of the body still recovering from a long run:
- water retension
- HRV (20-40 ms below normal)
- RHR (20-40 BPM above normal)
- breath/min (3-5 BPM above normal)
- body temperature (1-5 F above normal)
Now I know when to take a day or two off. Also that getting sick and running 100 miles look pretty similar.