How to track your activities
Track your activities at the end of each day. You track three things: 1) The number of steps you took, 2) your cardio exercise, 3) your strength/stretch exercise.
Track your Walk (W)
Version 1.1: Track you walk time
Instead of steps, the updated version tracks the duration of your walk. You get two hearts when you walk 30-minutes or more, and two hearts when you walk 60-minutes or more. It doesn't have to be consecutive.
Version 1.0-11.03: Track your Steps
You might have a watch or steps tracker. If not, your phone can also track your steps. If you don't have either of those, you can still approximate using distance or duration. A 10-minute walk is about 1,000 steps. A 1-mile walk is about 2,000 steps.
When you reach 7,000 steps in a day, you fill in the heart with the "7k" in it. When you reach 10,000 steps in a day, you fill the other heart with "10k" on it, for two hearts in total. Don't be a stickler and give yourself some wiggle room; 9,763 steps are as good as 10k.
Track your Cardio (C)
Cardio exercise usually means your heart rate is between 120-160 bpm (assuming you are between 20-50 years old). The most common types are running, biking, swimming, CrossFit, HIITs, stair climbing, rowing, etc. There is no other form of exercise that will have such a long-term positive impact on your health as Cardio. Study after study has shown the benefits in longevity, quality of life, heart health, stress reduction, boosting the immune system, and more. It also helps you run away from Zombies faster.
Walking, even briskly, might not be enough for you to get the right level of beats-per-minute to reach the Cardio range. Yoga, most of the time, it's not sufficient either.
Fill in one heart if you do at least five minutes of cardio exercise. If you haven't been very active, five minutes might be all you can do, and that's OK. It's best to be consistent than to do a lot in one day and nothing for the next six days. If you are just getting started, starting small is what any trainer would recommend. Your body needs time to make some adjustments.
I grouped Cardio physical activities into two types:
Activities Type 1:
Running, CrossFit, HIITs, rowing, spinning (Peloton), hiking uphill, Zumba, fast cycling, elliptical, etc.
Activities Type 2:
Cycling, hiking, climbing stairs, basketball, soccer, tennis, other sports, swimming, water sports, snow sports, martial arts, etc.
Both activities are excellent. You shouldn't try to pick one or another just because it's harder. Pick the one that you can do with more consistency.
For Activities Type 1, you fill the first two hearts if you do at least 20 consecutive minutes in a day and three hearts if you do at least 40 consecutive minutes in a day.
For Activities Type 2, you fill the first two hearts if you do at least 30 consecutive minutes in a day and three hearts if you do at least 50 consecutive minutes in a day.
Track your Strength/Stretch (S)
While cardio exercise is the best for your heart, circulatory system, lung, and liver functions, strength training is excellent for your muscles, bones, ligaments, and more. Strength training, stretching, and resistance training fall into this category.
This type of exercise includes plank, crunches, push-ups, weights, resistance bands, squats, stretching, lunges, punches, etc. More elaborate exercises include yoga, pilates, etc. There are YouTube videos, websites, and many apps of great programs for you to follow.
Fill in one heart if you do at least 5 minutes of strength/stretching exercises. Fill in two hearts if you do ten or more minutes, and fill in three hearts if you do 20 or more minutes.
Bonus hearts for consistency
Exercising only once every blue moon and trying to do as much as you can in a single day to catch up to some fitness goal is a recipe for disaster. The risk of injury is significantly higher. You won't achieve the benefits listed above for Cardio and Strength training at all. You are adding all the risk with none of the benefits.
Consistency is more important than intensity. I designed Tiny Fitness to motivate you to be consistent.
There are 14 bonus hearts you can earn each week.
You get one set of four bonus hearts for consistency in walking (W), a set of four for consistency in cardio exercise (C) and another set of four for consistency in strength/stretch exercise (S).
If you walk 30-minutes or more for three times (3X) in that week, you get one bonus heart. If you walk four times (4X), you get two bonus hearts,. Five times (5X) gives you three bonus hearts, and six times gives you four bonus hearts. Same thing for the Cardio and Strength/Stretching rows.
What about the "M"
You get two bonus hearts ("Me" bonus) for whatever reason you want. You get to decide. It could be because you feel like you pushed yourself even when you didn't want to do it. Maybe you want to reward yourself if you do four consecutive days of Cardio. It could be because you manage to do it first thing in the morning. Give yourself credit.
Add it all up
At the end of the week, count the number of hearts you earned during that week and celebrate!
Read about how to pick the right goal →