So I've noticed the overwhelming majority of folks I talk to about their activity levels over Thanksgiving week all report little to no physical activity. So I've been inspired to talk a little bit about an experience I had on Thanksgiving day that relates to this. :)
The last few years on Thanksgiving Day I've participated in what's called The Turkey Bowl, it's a group of guys and we play Flag Football. I recently bought a Chest Strap Polar H10 HR Monitor in order to get more insight about what my HR is doing during various workouts, as well as things like recovery time and Heart Rate Variability and whatever else I can come up with.
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I always thought this was a great way to at least get some work in on the day of Thanksgiving to at least partially offset the eating behaviors. I figured I'd use it while playing football and see what comes back. I couldn't have my phone on me during football, so I programmed the HR Monitor to record my HR and store it for the entire football game, and then to sync that data to the Polar Beat app on my phone after. It worked perfectly, and I was quite surprised with the results.
This is what came back during the game of flag football
Several things stand out here:
The game made me work hard for about an entire hour! And it was a blast. This hour was composed of sprinting, jogging, short bouts of recovery, and tons of lateral and backwards movement - this covers a TON of bases as far as goes movement and energy system training. It's timing, coordination, balance, direction change, etc. My Hips and legs were sore for several day Lol.
The next thing is the Max Recorded HR at 174 - which I have yet to replicate during training in the gym, although I have come close, and I also have not deliberately tried. But that's the beauty of playing a game - it makes you try much harder than you would if you weren't competing! For me, I've learned 174 is quite high, and when I get into the 170's, recovery from such workouts takes more time and more carbs than recovery from workouts where my HR never gets into the 160's.
The next thing was the Estimated Calorie Burn for my size weight sex age activity level and fitness level and HR expenditure and activity profile. This came in at 874 and I was quite impressed. It would require monumental amounts of focus and dedication for me to match this on a cardio machine, I typically don't even touch the 400 Calorie mark on the Concept 2 or AirBike, although I am NEVER on there for an hour at a time, to be fair. This left me extremely impressed at how effective going out and playing sports can be, plus it's a good explanation for why I was STARVING after this! Hence the Duck, Turkey, White Sweet Potato, and Veggies after this on Thanksgiving day :)
Another cool set of data points:
1:32 in the most intense, max performance and max speed zone (this level does not get reached often or for long, except during the highest intensity intervals in training)
23:11 in the increasing max capacity zone (this is quite good!)
28:34 in the aerobic fitness impovement zone (Interestingly this time must have been primarily the time between plays when my HR was recovering from the spikes that happened with the sprints during every play)
I could have learned a lot more data with a high level sports watch that was coordinated with the HR Monitor - this may be something that I'll look in to and share my insights about the data I learn in the future. I would have underestimated how hard I worked if not for this data tracking - it's true I was quite tired at the end and there were moments where I was utterly exhausted (HR 174!) but still, I would have discounted and minimized the overall work I performed. Cool stuff - excited to keep learning more as I go.
Going out for a sport game can be surprisingly effective.
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