I got a new cheap biofeedback toy: the Sportline Solo 910M Men’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch. It looks like a regular cheap digital watch but can take a heart rate reading in a few seconds with no chest strap using ECG type technology. It also has a timer, chronograph, time, date, and calorie counter. It also lets you enter your age so it can show you a % of max. I plan to measure heart rate as a very rough measure of internal state of tension.

Today, I woke up and took my resting HR, which was 55. An hour later, still lying in bed, it was up to 66. This afternoon, I did bodyweight squats following the tabata protocol. Starting out, my HR was 84 (no idea it was this high). Right afterwards, it was up at 141. 5 minutes later, it dropped to 95. My cool down consisted only of pacing around and drinking some water. 12 minutes later, it’s still at 100. Not too good, really, but nice to know and start tracking more easily. Actually, maybe it’s ok because the tabata squats are intense. I don’t even need to add weights and it’s a good exercise for me. My goal is to get my resting HR below 50 (the HR measurement has a lower limit of 43) and see how fast I can recover after this test. I will probably only take my self test every few months, whenever I feel like it. I also won’t be doing this exercise too often so my body shouldn’t be too adapted to it. My tracking attempt won’t be too systematic but that’s ok as long as I see a trend of improvement over time.


Tonight was the first night we tried the Wii Fit. Overall, I really like it! It’s a lot of fun, and it tracks your weight, BMI, and activities. My “Wii Fit” age was 9 years younger than my real age, so I was happy about that.

However, it focuses a lot on the stability and centering of your balance on the balance board. That isn’t exactly where my focus is if I’m doing zhan zhuang, but as a side effect it’s interesting to see that my balance is fairly stable and centered. That is really a minor gripe.

I’ll be using the Wii Fit to track some weight loss and activities and enjoying some games. The best benefit is its addictive nature. It makes you want to keep using it, collecting points, unlocking more games and activities, improving your balance and tracking your progress.

Well, it seems my blogging has really turned to gadgets and neuroscience lately. Sometimes i get bored of the martial arts (gasp). I should probably split up my blog but, well, it’s really for myself, and not so much for publishing for readers (I think there are 3 of you out there that check back semi-regularly, heh).

Wireless EEG article in Science Daily.

The Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre, affiliated with the Holst Centre, has developed a battery-free wireless 2-channel EEG* system powered by a hybrid power supply using body heat and ambient light which could be used to monitor brain waves after a head injury.