"Come on! Two more sets, let's get going!" roared the voice of my personal trainer. I'm in a mess gasping for air, and it was not the prettiest sight."
Peter Davidson, 39 years old, is a dedicated father and husband, with a highly demanding job to top it off.
"On and off when Summer comes basking in its glorious rays, I've jumped on the fitness bandwagon and attempted to eat healthy and go for regular runs. Somehow my enthusiasm usually wanes as we move into winter. Then it's not long before the beers and bacons win me over."
While Peter was aware that he hadn't been conscientious with maintaining a fitness regime, he began to feel the more apparent strain on his body when he was out playing with his four lively children.
"It's not so much that I've lost my once-chiselled and toned body that upsets me, but it was the recent shortness of breaths I experienced when playing with my children that jolted me to make a change. I didn't want to miss out enjoying fatherhood."
Peter had a BMI of 27 when he decided that getting fit would be his top priority. And then his wife presented him with a surprise in February 2013. The first was a personal trainer. The second was an unexpected gift that piqued Peter's curiosity.
"... it was the recent shortness of breaths I experienced when playing with my children that jolted me to make a change. I didn't want to miss out enjoying fatherhood."
"It's puzzling yet interesting to me how my gift works. This clever, unobtrusive, savvy-looking device called Tinké measures my heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen levels in my blood and rhythm of my heart rate relatively easily under a minute, simply from my thumb."
Now Peter had specific goals he could work towards. Personal training meant hitting the gym for an hour, three mornings in a week. The four weeks of training sessions were tailored to target his obesity in varied phases:
"To quantify my progress, my personal trainer, Ben, analyzed my body fats and weight at the beginning and end of the 4-week training regime."
On my end, I was mindful to conduct a daily measurement of my fitness every morning and to take a relaxing breathing exercise with my Tinké either at home or at work. Then I'd share the results with my wife through what is called the Tinké social network".
After a rigorous 4 weeks, Peter couldn't wait to see how well he had done. Yet, the numbers weren't what he had expected.
"The improvements charted individually were all under 10%. This may not have seemed exactly motivating, yet I could in fact feel a change taking place in my body even though I couldn't quite explain it. I was feeling confused and discouraged."
Peter then used the daily measured data from his Tinké to piece together what was happening to his Weight, Vita (Fitness) and Zen (Relaxation) over the four weeks.
"I then realised that while my weight remained fairly constant due to muscle gain, it was evident that my fitness was creeping up alongside with my level of relaxation especially on days I had exercised."
Peter also discovered that those few weeks of training had helped reduce his heart rate and breathing rate. In correlation with the two, the level of oxygen in his body had improved resulting in that new found energy he had been experiencing.
A chat with his GP helped him understand that the three variables do work in tandem with each other.
Number of heart beats per minute, in second
Number of breaths per minute
Amount of oxygen carried by the red blood cells in the blood
Changes in the heart rate
Personalized fitness score created by piecing and analyzing data collected from heart rate, blood oxygen level and respiratory rate
Indication of level of relaxation, upon completion of the 60 seconds controlled breathing exercise
"I have been diligently using Tinké to track my fitness level since, and I am motivated to stick to my workouts."
Previously, when his exercise attempts yielded little physical change in his appearance, Peter would be easily discouraged and return to his unhealthy lifestyle within months.
However, with Tinké analysis showing him quantifiable measurements of improvements, Peter was truly motivated to keep up with his fitness regime. The benefits were clear.
"The fact that I can monitor and quantify changes in my fitness and level of relaxation in real time and the thought of achieving higher fitness scores serve as primary motivation for me to consistently exercise. I have been diligently using Tinké to track my fitness level since, and I am motivated to stick to my workouts. My Vita now hovers around 80-85, which is not too bad when compared to global users of Tinké. I'm proud of the progress I have achieved and will even occasionally share my results through the Tinké social network and Facebook to let them know how fit I have become!"
Peter's new understanding of what was happening in his body is just the tip of the good news iceberg. He says he is now able to run with his kids joyously and go into work with a clear head.