I just want to share my experience & approach. I’m beeminding yoga, and feeling the benefits. I had a wonderful yoga teacher for years - who was also a physiotherapist and gave fantastic, detailed instructions, and it’s always great when I do it, but consistency was the challenge – I’d lose track of how many days since doing yoga, and months later I’d think “if I’d been doing my yoga I wouldn’t be in this pain now!”
Paragraph of boring detail: Some days my yoga session is a shorter sequence of poses, and that’s also good. I settled on a value of 0.1 for each group of poses, which makes a longer session (for me) 1.0, and a shorter one 0.7. My weekly goal is 2.5, which I hit easily. (A value of 1 per group of poses is more logical, but it reflects how I started, thinking of my usual sequence as 1 yoga session, and then wondering about times I do a shorter sequence.) I’m going to keep adding poses as I feel stronger and more yogic.
Now I’m thinking about how to encourage myself to swim (I live next to a bay), and I think I’ll start to count yoga and swimming together. The catch: It’s okay to just do yoga (especially when it’s freezing cold or there’s stormwater runoff), but it’s not okay to just do swimming. Yoga is essential. So these are almost-but-not-quite interchangeable.
Here’s what I think I’ll do: Count a swim as equivalent to a short yoga session (say, 0.7), as long as I enter “swim” as a comment. If I notice that my recent data points are half or more “swim”, I’ll consider that a red flag. I’ll also make sure the goal’s slope is steep enough that it would take a lot of swimming to keep up. There isn’t a sting in the red flag, but I’m fairly happy with this. I know how much I benefit from this combination of exercises, and the recent data with comments are highly visible whenever I enter data.
I’ll increase the slope a little now, and once the new slope kicks in, I’ll allow myself to count each swim as 0.7 on my yoga scale.
How would you approach a goal like this?
I’d definitely beemind them separately.
Keep doing what you’re doing for yoga, that seems to be working.
Have another goal/graph for swimming.
You can dial the swimming road up in the summer when the water is nicer and down in the winter.
You’ll need to be a little mindful of watching the weather reports and when your swimming eep days are going to come up so you don’t need to go swimming when the conditions are undesirable.
By mixing them together you lose the ability to dial each individually, and you might find you never go swimming because you do extra yoga to make up for it.
Hmm. See, the fact is that they’re largely interchangeable, and Beeminding something that depends heavily on the weather sounds horrible. And I’m trying to reduce my Beeminders (10 is plenty). But that’s me - interesting to see how others would do it.
The fact that they’re not interchangeable is interesting. If you’re going to do this, I like that you’ll count swimming as less than a full session of yoga. I guess it all depends on life goals. What happens if you don’t do yoga for a few months but you were swimming regularly (and more) to make up for the fact that they’re not equivalent?
It also depends where I need Beeminder’s sting, and where I don’t. In some cases (probably including this one) it’s tracking that I need most: the ability to track exercise types in the comments fields is valuable.
Where do I need the sting? To exercise rather than not exercising. I don’t think I need it for doing exercise X rather than Y. I actually feel pretty good about my ability to balance yoga and swimming, especially if I’m tracking them.
YMMV, of course.
“What happens if you don’t do yoga for a few months but you were swimming regularly (and more) to make up for the fact that they’re not equivalent?”
I’d need to listen to my body, and make sure I’m doing okay, but I’m sure that that is not a likely failure mode at all. One reason is that I’d need to average more than 4 swims a week, and I do sprints, so that would get exhausting. Another is that I enjoy yoga. Another is that I need yoga (as a hypermobile person with problem that can easily recur in my knees, shoulder and back). And another is that Beeminder means it’s not a choice between yoga and doing nothing, which is the dangerous temptation.
I have a general ‘sweat’ goal to encourage me to exercise more. It explicitly doesn’t care whether I swam, pilate’d, trapezed, ran, or went for a long walk. So I agree that there’s value to be had from a generic goal like this. What I lack is any plan for maintaining balance across different activities.
I love that your points system lets you specify the value of doing a particular type of exercise. Remember that you can vary that point value over time. Since you’re worried about neglecting yoga on account of swimming, you could award yourself fewer points for swimming too often. e.g. 0.7 for a swim where the previous exercise was yoga, then 0.6, 0.5, etc. until a yoga session breaks the chain of swimming.
philip: “you could award yourself fewer points for swimming too often. e.g. 0.7 for a swim where the previous exercise was yoga, then 0.6, 0.5, etc. until a yoga session breaks the chain of swimming.”
I love that idea, thanks! I’ll start with a flat point system, for maximum simplicity, but if there turns out to be a problem of this type, I’ll implement the dropping point value.