I’m one of those people. One of those guys that records everything, as in everything. Partially because of my role on our Community Management Team, where testing is invaluable.
One time I even recorded a 2 hour session of chopping wood.
The other reason I record everything is because I believe that an active lifestyle isn’t just about epic century rides or whether or not you can run a marathon or a 5k for that matter. I believe that just about everything we do where we move our bodies, counts towards being active. In short, I believe it all adds up. Last year I recorded 610 activities for a total of 450 hours.
After breaking my back many years ago (which thankfully did not result in spinal cord injury but required a fusion and many months of rehab) I became even more appreciative of, well just about everything, but especially the ability to be active and I began to appreciate just walking as an activity.
I still consider my walks to be an important part of my active lifestyle. I walk a lot, and I record it all. I’ve recorded almost 200 walks in the last year. It’s mostly dog walks, a lot of dog walks, but sometimes it’s long walks to escape my in-laws during the holidays, know what I mean?
Bonus on that walk was that I saw an amazing lady bug hatch.
I was always an active person and although I was never really into organized sports (not sure if it was the intensity of the practices or the fact that it meant I had to focus on only one sport), I was always outside being active. I enjoyed playing a variety of sports, riding bmx bikes for hours in the foothills of central California, hiking in the Sierra Nevada and skiing there as well through my grade school ski program.
I still love to ski and it’s probably my favorite activity and definitely my favorite one to do with the kids.
In high school, I took up strength training and I’ve kept up with it for most of my life, if only because I know how hard it is to come back after a break. I’m fortunate to have a watch with heart rate sensors, so I can easily record activities and capture the effort with heart rate data right from the watch. So I get Relative Effort for all my activities which contribute to my Fitness and Freshness on Strava.
Here’s a recent gym session. Pretty solid Relative Effort for strength training actually, and you can see all the heart rate spikes from the sets. Pro tip, for the most accurate heart rate measurements when using a watch, keep the watch high and tight on your wrist.
Now, as a busy father of 4, I have to balance my active life, but staying active is still important for my physical and mental health. Strava is a fantastic motivator and by using Strava’s Relative Effort, I can get a sense for how all my activities add up to contribute to my overall fitness.
Another big motivator to maintain fitness is to play with the kids, and playing with the kids also contributes to my fitness. I recorded this nearly 2 hour session of playing tennis and pickleball with the family where I ended up with a Relative Effort score of 24.
Running is probably the activity that contributes most to my overall fitness. This recent one has a 158 for Relative Effort which brought my fitness up 4 points!
Often I don’t have the time, or don’t want to be as spent so I run short runs. This one had a Relative Effort score of just 53 but it felt great to get out and left me with plenty of energy for the rest of the day with the family.
And the interesting thing is when I start to add up my activities on certain days, the combined Relative Effort can be the same as a run, but more fun and better for my head to just be out more throughout the day and engage with different family groups. One day I did a short walk with the dog in the morning, a longer walk with my wife in the afternoon, then played pickleball and basketball with kids in the evening which had the same impact on my fitness as a 40 minute run.
As it turns out, even chores contribute to being active and your fitness. Yardwork, or other home projects can be physically demanding. I’ve recorded washing cars which burned nearly 800 calories and had a 27 Relative Effort!
As you can see, there are many different ways to stay active and track it on Strava and I encourage everyone to get out there and record everything you do to stay active. And while I record just about everything, I don’t post it all publicly, I keep most of it private to conceal my elite level athlete training practices, er actually just to be thoughtful about feed spam.
Now what I want to know is, am I the only person who records everything? What’s the weirdest activity you’ve recorded on Strava?