Fitness Data Freak
Michal Ozogán

Automate your postworkout ritual

Automate your postworkout ritual

A good habit isn’t born easily. We have to start, care about it and fight against tempting thoughts that we can skip it only one time. The good habit doesn’t give us benefits immediately. Its strength grows with time. And technology can help us with it.

I will show how to remind yourself of your ritual after every workout. You will get a notification on your phone that you should do something.

It doesn’t matter how you track your workout. If it’s by your phone or watch. Only important thing is, that data should be uploaded automatically at the end of the workout. In another case, the system would be susceptible to human error.

After upload of your workout to your fitness app, you will get a notification that can recommend you to:

  • Have a good stretch.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Get enough carbohydrates to your body.

You will get whatever message you want, it’s up to you.

Integration services.

Let’s start at the beginning. To keep your after workout rituals by the way that is described above, you need an integration service. It can be used for free (with some limitations) and its setup is easy (if you know how to do it).

There are many integration services on the internet. The most known and most used is IFTTT. It is the abbreviation of “if this, then that”. For the basic usage is great, but I will show the process in Zapier. It integrates much more apps and has advanced functions.

  • Zapier – To use Zapier you need to know some basic terms.
  • Apps – It’s the list of available apps that you can integrate together. There are Gmail, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive and many more.
  • Zap – Zap is a connector that bounds services between each other. Each user can create its own Zaps based on his needs. In our case, Zap will connect Strava to Wunderlist. New activity on Strava will lead to new task on Wunderlist.
  • Trigger – Now we are getting to parts of Zap. A trigger is an event that leads to an action. It can be “create a new activity”, “a new tweet” or “accept of new email”
  • Action – Actions define what happens after a trigger. When a trigger is a new tweet, action can be – repost its content on Facebook.
  • Filter – Filter is between trigger and action. It allows you to skip some triggers. When I put it to our fitness example, it allows us to create tasks only for runs.

So … we have basic terms. Now let’s put it together.

Let’s create the first Zap

After you register to Zapier, create in menu your first Zap. As trigger choose create a new activity. You can use one of the followings apps:

  • Strava
  • Runkeeper
  • MapMyFitness

If you don’t use one of those apps, don’t panic. Try to look if your watch or app does support synchronisation to one of them.

In this example, I will integrate Strava.

  • In the first step choose trigger “New activity”
  • Connect your Strava account
  • Download your last activities that will serve as testing data for actions of Zap.

Use filters

The trigger is now ready and Zapier will offer you to create an action. Before that, I will show you how to use a filter. We will test if the activity meets certain criteria.

There is no need to use filters. If you don’t use them, every new activity will trigger an action.

You can add the filter by clicking on plus button that is under the trigger on left.

Let’s say that you want to limit actions only to runs. Choose following values: “Type”, “(Text) Exactly matches”, “Run”.

Notice that in first input you can see an example of the activity that you pick at the beginning. It will help you to assemble conditions easier.

In the screen, you can see settings that create actions only for runs longer than 10 kilometres.

Action

The last step will be action – create a task. You can choose from several task services in Zapier. I choose Wunderlist because it allows me to set notifications on defined time.

To create action, choose Wunderlist and “Create Task”. Now we will fill a template. Choose a list, full a message (title) and optionally some other inputs based on your needs.

The most important thing is the time of notification. It is not easy. Let’s do it step by step.

  • In input “Due Date” click on right icon, choose your activity from Strava and pick “Start Date”
  • Repeat the same process, but this time pick “Elapsed time”
  • Split those values in input by space.
  • Before second value put “+” and after it “s”
  • Copy content of the field to the reminder input.
  • The results should look like this:

And now, what was it? We put to input information that Due Date is counted by getting the start of the activity and adding its duration. It will send the notification right after your workout.

If you want notification 30 minutes after the end of your workouts, just add +30s to the end of input. But be aware, Zapier read activities from Strava every 15 minutes so there can be a delay.

At the last step, you can test your Zap. Install Wunderlist on your phone and will see if you get your notification.

You can have more actions on one trigger so you can have more notification on one workout that can diff in time.


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