“Body fat percent is more important than weight.”
Critical Metrics and Health Monitoring
In today’s episode, we provide a basis for monitoring health related outcomes using metrics supported in the peer reviewed literature. It is suggested that weight, body fat %, nutrition counting, movement throughout the day, and alcohol consumption are the most basic and critical measures for monitoring wellness. We go on to provide an advanced set of metrics available in the Garmin Connect and Apple Fitness ecosystems.
Welcome to 036 – Critical Metrics
- What We Do:
- Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology
- Today: Listener request to do a show on health metrics worth monitoring.
- Leave a Comment/Question:
- 778-766-4574 (CAN) or, 442-267-3102 (USA).
Critical Metrics For Health
- Two Perspectives:
- Metrics Are Evil
- Metrics Improve Health/Performance
- Science Daily: Tracking Food Leads To Losing Pounds – (Clear evidence)
- National Center fro Biotechnology Information: Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature (Clear evidence with caution)
- Basic Measures For Everyone
- Body Fat % (Avoid BMI)
- Women: 21 – 36%
- Men: 12 – 25%
- Nutrition Counting (Not calories alone)
- Activity (e.g., 10k Steps, Apple Move Ring, etc.)
- Alcohol Intake
- Advanced Metrics (Garmin Connect)
- Garmin Stress Score – Monitors your heart rate throughout the day.
- Garmin Body Battery – Takes into account your sleep, all day heart rate, and workouts to calculate your reserve throughout the day.
- Resting Heart Rate – Taken in the morning, the lower the score (within reason), the more fit.
- VO2 Max – Your body’s ability to utilize oxygen during strenuous activity.
- Performance Condition – Displayed after a running starts, determined by pace and heart rate. Positive number means you are okay to work out.
- Training Effect (Aerobic vs. Anaerobic) – The degree that your workout was aerobic vs anaerobic in nature.
- Lactate Threshold – Specific level of effort or pace when fatigue accelerates. Anaerobic in nature. Occurs when around 90% of your maximum heart rate.
- HRV (Heart Rate Variability) – A measure of fatigue. Higher the number, the lower your stress based on competing dynamics in your Autonomic Nervous System between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System. SNS is triggered by the stress of running, causing release of norepinephrine and decreased interval between heart beats. The PNS counteracts the SNS response. In balance, higher HRV indicates that the body is prepared for external factors. Thus, higher HRV is related to positive fitness and health. Low HRV is associated with anxiety and stress, leading to fatigue, inflammation, etc. Lower HRV has been used to predict injury from exercise. Check out the detailed explanation by Garmin.
- COVID19 and Health Monitoring
- Avoid Metric Obsession
- What metrics do you use? Or, do you think metrics harm health monitoring more than help?