My fitness architecture

True tech style, this whole fitness thing has its own IT infrastructure with the following components:

Myfitnesspal

A free app which I have blogged on before, it's at the core of things, as it integrates with with a lot of other apps, and is good for tracking the diet, weight loss and exercise in one place, as well as having a good food database which it's easy to add too.

Runtastic

Is a pretty good running app. I probably would have gone for runkeeper because I liked the achievement system in it, but runtastic integrates directly with my fitness pal – so my exercise is entered directly without me having to do anything.

Polar H7 Heartmonitor

This works with the iPhone 5 (but not 4), it's Smart Bluetooth and works great reporting my heart rate to runkeeper.

Withings bathroom scale

Wireless bathroom scales that can sync directly with myfitnesspal. They also have multiple sensors to report your weight distribution more accurately. It can store and track several people and even does a body fat measurement

Withings BP monitor

Does what it says on the box – but I can track my BP over time – it's not as high as I expected! It plugs into the iPad so I get pretty graphs but it doesn't sync into myfitnesspal – which is annoying !

 

Dumb ways to die

A health update

Ok, the lifestyle change continues – I’ve been doing this now for 37 days and my total weight loss is now 8.4 kilos. which i am happy with :) This week has been a little bad in some respects – my gym trip on tuesday was meeting with the instructor – we talked a lot and not much actual training was done – i spent 15 minutes on the elliptical. Fundamentally now we are adding more weight to everything.

Today isnt a working day and i was nowhere near a gym so for the second time now – i ran. At the beginning of the week i completed 1.03 km in 8m 12s -which isn’t fast at all. I figured cardio would be good to supplement the weight loss, but i don’t want to push it too far. My first time the heart beat was a bit on the fast side, and my footwear wasn’t really that good so i went out and brought a few things:

  • A heart rate monitor – A polar H7 – which works with an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5 (it needs bluetooth smart). i can use this with a number of apps – i am using runtastic because when you finish your exercise it automatically uploads the information to myfitnesspal – and i love seamless integration :)
  • Running socks – they breath quite well and more importantly dont slip and slide – so i am less likely to get blisters.
  • Shoes (Nike Airmax Moto +) – they are neither the cheapest nor most expensive running shoes – but they are pretty good – have great shock absorption and the soul is shaped in a way that really helps with running – the toes almost point downwards.

The plan is to now supplement the 2 times in the gym a week with running 3 times a week. because i missed the gym today i went out and ran 2km – double what i did on monday – my heart rate was a bit alarming – it was hitting 170-180, and slowing down sometimes to avoid it going higher – i did 2km in 17mins 41 seconds.

I evidently need to be a bit careful here – in the gym my heart rate gets quite high on the elliptical – i am wondering if theres an underlying medical reason – its quite possible i have high blood pressure – i will see a doctor at sometime during the week i think – just to be sure. i was thinking of buying a blood pressure kit, and a cholesterol testing kit but cannot find a good cholesterol testing kit – there are a few out there but really i don’t want one number for my cholesterol i want two.

Ive spent a bit of money this month on health and fitness equipment one way or another – not because of feeling a need to buy every gadget out there- but because i just want to be careful not to hurt myself with trying to get fit. Theres also been a learning curve – some things i knew already but other things were interesting.

With running – technique is really important – and i am not working against my body. I want to get more fit – not to kill myself. I may well buy one of the training programmes on runtastic – set myself a fairly low level objective and work up. I can easily push myself too hard – its in my nature – I just dont want to ! Below is my weight progress and my stats from running today:

A call from Microsoft Support

This morning i had a call on my mobile from a number in new york – i picked up because i thought it was a friend who was calling. I was quite surprised to hear an indian woman on the other side of the phone. The conversation went along these lines.

Caller: Hello I am from Microsoft technical support. I am calling because i understand you have a problem wih your computer – it contain viruses and is running slow.

Me: oh gosh, no viruses? what do i do….

Caller: Go to your pc and switch it on. Find the Ctrl key… and press Ctrl + R and tell me what comes up on the screen.

…at this point i hung up. i would have played along a little further but i couldn’t be assed to actually boot up a pc, no matter how interested i was in what she was trying to get me to do. I wasn’t about to let her know i was running on a mac either. Its the first time anyone has actually phoned me trying to give me information to allow them go gain access to my PC.

I say this now to my less techy friends – Microsoft doesn’t just call you up to offer you technical support out of the blue and its a bad idea to do anything on your computer that a random caller asks for. I am shocked by this behaviour but really do not know what to do  – Ive no idea where they got my phone number from, or who i would report such things to.  I am sure there are people out there that do get caught out by this kind of con – it makes me fairly angry, and want to do something about it, actually knowing that theres a person out there – a seemingly harmless indian woman who is willing to help someone hack me – it makes it personal, and offensive – that someone i don’t know wants to cause me harm. Social engineering – actually doing what someone tells you is probably the easiest pay off for a hacker – rather than try to compromise your systems they actually manipulate you into giving key information – be it an actual password or tricking you into installing “diagnostics” software.

There are bastards out there. Be careful!

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