Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Techie toys’ Category

Good walk

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I’m not sure why that drop in heart rate, but I imagine it’s simply that the Amazfit Band 5 lost track of my pulse. As you can see from the chart at the right my walking speed did not drop. Average cadence was 109 steps per minute, and my stride was a little longer than usual to get that speed with that cadence: 34″ stride on average.

I got only 8 PAI this time, when my previous walk on this route, at 3.59 mph average speed, I earned 29 PAI. So it goes. The important thing is that I’m getting out and walking. 

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14 May 2022 at 4:29 pm

Mild walk

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Not much of a walk — 6 PAI — but I was feeling a bit lethargic. Beautiful day, though, and perhaps tomorrow I’ll have more energy. 

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13 May 2022 at 4:16 pm

A shorter walk, but more PAI

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So yesterday I walked 2.7 miles for 20 PAI, and today 1.5 miles for 30 PAI. The difference, of course, is in the heart rate as detected by the Amazfit Band 5, which seems somewhat erratic in detection. But my total PAI now is 119, so I’m good. And I’ll just keep walking regularly.

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9 May 2022 at 4:20 pm

A reasonable walk

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PAI points are now more difficult to gain, and when 41 points expired one day, I simply could not walk enough to make it up. I did a 3.8 mile walk and got only 15 points, so I dropped below 100 for the first time since Feb 18 (of this year).

That was on 5/6, and in fact the day before I just scraped by with 101 PAI, a day I earned 14 PAI for a 3.7 mile walk. 

So I decided not to worry about PAI. I figured the important thing is that I’m getting out and walking, and on the whole that is beneficial. Moreover, the fact that PAI points are more difficult to acquire is in itself a good sign since it means that I am getting to be more fit.

Plus I do enjoy the walk (and more so now that I am fitter), especially with the benefit of using Nordic walking poles. They do greatly improve the walk experience.

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8 May 2022 at 4:28 pm

Truckla: A pick-up conversion of a Tesla

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7 May 2022 at 4:33 pm

I’m not blogging much — as you may have noticed

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Occasionally something will catch my eye that I think is worth sharing — that is, worth your time to read — but nowadays I often avert my gaze from the amazing dumpster fire that is underway in American politics and culture wars. Comment seems superfluous and useless.

So my attention has turned more toward my daily activities: making food (tempeh, fermented vegetables), cooking food, enjoying my walks, doing some reading, and watching movies and videos.

Today’s walk

I do enjoy my walks, though today my Amazfit Band 5 kept pausing in the middle of the workout, sometimes restarting itself, sometimes requiring me to restart it. Highly irritating. But then, thanks to Google, I found that the feature Auto-Pause, on by default, can be turned off. I have done that.

Today it was lightly raining, but I needed 13 PAI to maintain my streak of 100 PAI days, so I went for a walk. It turns out that Nordic walking poles work pretty well in the rain — occasionally a pole would slip on the pavement instead of gripping it, but the slips were only about 10% of the time, probably less.

I kept the rain off my glasses and my face by wearing my Sun Precautions wide-brimmed hat — one something like this. And a windbreaker kept me dry enough. The rain was light. And I got my 13 PAI, with 1 more for good measure. (Tomorrow I’m going to need 41, so that will be quite a walk indeed.)

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5 May 2022 at 4:41 pm

Good walk, few points

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The ways of PAI are mysterious, but I presume the lower score — 7 points for a walk that last time got 41 points and the time before that 15 points. I don’t get it, but I am getting the exercise and it does seem somewhat easier. But not that much easier. Still, no point in whinging about it. I’ll just take the walk tomorrow and see what it is then.

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1 May 2022 at 3:29 pm

A satisfying video of machining

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30 April 2022 at 10:14 am

Same walk as yesterday, but 41 PAI instead of 15

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Yesterday the time was 45:09 and average speed was 3.48 mph, but the big difference was in the measured heart rate: yesterday average was 110 bpm and max was 149 bpm. 

Still, the important thing is the effect on my fitness, not the numbers on the app.

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29 April 2022 at 4:27 pm

Only 15 PAI after 2.6 miles in 45 minutes?!

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So it goes. But I’m suspicious of the reading. Take a look at the heart rates (above right), and then note the graph of the altitude along the walk route.

First, you’ll notice at the bottom of the image at the right that I maintained a steady cadence of around 112 steps/minute, and that my average speed was 3.48 mph, a decent clip. 

More important, note the altitude: I had a fairly good climb the first 13 minutes or so of the walk, then it was downhill for 13 minutes, the basically flat. 

So you would expect heart rate to rise during the climb, then hold steady or fall on the downhill and level parts of the walk. Instead, the heart rate held steady for the climb and the descent and only accelerated in the last 10 minutes of the walk, when it abruptly shot up and then held steady around 135 bpm.

I’ve seen this pattern before, and I think it is due to the exercise tracker not finding a good pulse reading until near the end of the walk.

Still, I got the exercise, and though it is only 15 PAI instead of (say) 43 PAI, that means that a week from now I’ll lose only 15 PAI and not 43 PAI. 

Even though the Amazfit Band 5 occasionally doesn’t pick up a good reading on my pulse rate, that has really been its only drawback, and I do very much like all the information it provides.

I particularly like the way it displays my route, which can be as a map (above) or satellite view (at left). 

And the PAI readings, for all their occasional misfiress, have been greatly motivating. As I have mentioned previously, this was a gift from The Eldest, and it has supercharged my exercise walks. The only thing comparable to this degree of motivational improvement was getting Nordic walking poles — and those were a suggestion from The Eldest. I had never heard of them (and in fact I first purchased trekking poles in error, not knowing the difference — which was the motivation for my post on Nordic walking).

Although I had been thinking of a 4-mile route, this 2.6 mile route seems pretty good and does deliver (usually) a good number of PAI points. And 45 minutes is a good duration. Greger’s Daily Dozen calls for 40 minutes of vigorous exercise, and despite the heart-rate readings above, I think this counts. And I know I’m getting at least the recommended amount of PAI.

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28 April 2022 at 4:43 pm

A no-jacket walk: 55ºF, very light breeze

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Nice walk. First mile I did in 17 minutes on the dot (mostly uphill), second mile in 16 minutes 38 seconds. Cadence averaged 112 steps per minute, stride averaged 30 inches. Garnered 44 PAI points. 

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22 April 2022 at 3:55 pm

Yet another good walk, with cadence of 113 steps/minute

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Good walk at a brisk speed on a overcast day that was a little chilly. 

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20 April 2022 at 1:15 pm

31-point walk

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Not a bad walk, though I could tell my fitness had ebbed a it from the three days off. Today, however, is lovely, and I enjoyed the walk. The heart-rate chart looks reasonable and a close match to my perceived effort. 

I’ve mentioned that the trick with the Amazfit and PAI is to begin by raising your heart rate quickly — in my case, by walking briskly uphill with Nordic walking poles — and then maintain the rate by continuing brisk (but less strenuous) exercise (though I continue walking briskly, it’s not uphill, so it’s easier). 

The chart at the right shows the walk altitude (y-axis) vs. time (x-axis). As you can see, there’s a big uphill right at the outset (from home up to Douglas), but the rest of the walk is downhill and then flat — but my heart rate stays elevated because I maintain a pace of 3.5 mph — and, I imagine, because of using Nordic walking poles, which increase calorie expenditure by 20%, which means more exertion (and thus demand on the heart rate), even though the increased effort is imperceptible to the walker — indeed, the poles seem to make it easier, increasing speed and stride.

The 31 PAI points is welcome since tomorrow 41 points drop off my 7-day cumulative total. With the 31 points, my cumulative total right now is 146, so I’ll still be above 100, as I have been each day since February 28. And, of course, I’ll walk again tomorrow.

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19 April 2022 at 2:04 pm

Same walk as yesterday, 19 PAI instead of 43

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Mysterious. Yesterday’s walk was 1.51 miles at 3.10 mph; today’s 1.55 miles at 3.67 mph. (Yesterday’s slow average speed was because of a couple of stops to rest.) I suppose the difference is simply the difference in heart rate: yesterday’s average was 138 with maximum of 169; today’s average is 125 with a maximum of 137 — below yesterday’s average.

So, in that sense, they were not the same walk; they were the same route. Heraclitus observed that you can’t step into the same river twice; similarly, you can’t take the same walk twice.

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14 April 2022 at 1:36 pm

Making a mechanical whale – Short Version

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Long version also available.

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14 April 2022 at 12:33 pm

Today’s walk has suspicious heart readings

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My pace was steady, with an average cadence of 111 steps per minute, and I can see no reason for my heart rate to suddenly jump from a steady 105 bpm to 160 bpm. I’ll attribute this to the $35 price of the unit. Regardless of the odd reading and the meagre points, I did get the benefit of real exercise.

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11 April 2022 at 3:52 pm

Short walk but 10 PAI points

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Very windy today, so I cut the walk short. My cadence was 111 steps per minute, which is brisk, and during the first leg of the walk (an uphill leg) my heart rate accelerated nicely, as you see in the chart below,  but as I started the downhill leg, even though I maintained the pace, my heart rate dropped — damn that increasing fitness! 🙂 It makes it hard to accrue points, since the best source is the amount of time spent in VO2 Max..

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8 April 2022 at 1:57 pm

The heart-rate trick works: Start your walk by going uphill

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Today I wanted to confirm my finding that I get more PAI points when I begin my walk by going uphill for the first leg of the walk. That raises my heart rate, and then a reasonably brisk pace (3.45 mph, 110 steps per minute) will maintain the elevated heart rate, that that’s what delivers the PAI points. Today I garnered 38 points with a relatively short walk.

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2 April 2022 at 2:27 pm

Learning more about walking and PAI

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After the two 4-mile walks I didn’t have much energy for the next couple of walks. So I decided to cut back to 2-mile walks, and that has worked well. I’m gradually extending the walks as I gain fitness.

Because PAI is based on heart rate and not distance or time, I noticed that walks that are superficially the same (roughly the same distance and the same time) can differ a lot in their PAI value. Specifically, I figured out that if I begin the walk by walking briskly uphill (a gradual incline, but still up), that will increase my heart rate, and then by walking briskly I can maintain the increased rate. And that’s what I did today.

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1 April 2022 at 3:46 pm

Walk notes

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I noticed that after a couple of days of 4-mile walks my energy level dropped, so I think I probably overdid it. I decided to cut back while still maintaining at least 100 PAI each day. Eventually I may work up to a longer distance, or vary the distance depending on my energy level. Here’s today as shown by my Amazfit Band 5:

That got 38 PAI. FWIW, that walk is 4.1 Cooper points (3.4 plus a 20% bonus for using Nordic walking poles). From Norwegian University of Science and Technology:

PAI is short for Personal Activity Intelligence. You earn PAI points every time your heart rate increases: The higher heart rate, the faster you earn PAI. Our research shows that those who achieve 100 PAI or more every week over time live on average eight years longer than others.

PAI is based on the only thing that reflects the intensity of your activity: your heart rate. Everything you need to do in order to use PAI is to measure your heart rate continuously. Today, PAI can be measured with several of the most common fitness trackers and smart watches, and you will either see your PAI score on you wrist or in an app on your mobile phone. If the score is 100 or higher, you’re active enough. If not, you could reduce your health risk by becoming more physically active.

Written by Leisureguy

27 March 2022 at 2:42 pm

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