Life in the time of Coronavirus
Most people's lives have changed significantly since a month ago. Managing your health and keeping your Health Score up is harder, but also more important than ever.
New challenges we are all struggling with include:
- Being unable to go to the gym
- Trying to stay productive while working at home
- Your company struggling or being closed
- Managing much higher stress levels
- Stress eating unhealthy food at home
- Needing high quality sleep each night
To navigate these new challenges and adapt, tracking and managing your health is critical. We've made significant updates and reorganized the app to help you through these challenges...
Using Places to track staying at home
Staying at home is the most important thing you should do right now, both for your own safety as well as to not accidentally infect others.
Since the beginning of March, members on Gyroscope have been going out less, with a significant drop throughout the month as more and more people decided to stay home.
A few months ago, the average number of daily visits was 7 — now it is down to around 3. Our goal right now is to get this down to around 1 or 0.
The new Places tab has more details about how long you've stayed at home and important warnings about your area and immune system status.
In the future, once testing is widespread and people start going out again, we'll be able to add additional features like contact tracing to detect and prevent future outbreaks or warn you if you've recently had contact with someone who was contagious. It is important to set up your tracking now and keep an accurate log by identifying all the places you've been.
To help people stay home, there are some new achievements and custom icons you can unlock by sheltering in place for multiple days in a row.
The app now loads much faster, with major upgrades to the app as well as our infrastructure. Viewing your latest data and browsing around in the app should be much snappier. You can also always pull to refresh to make sure you're seeing the latest info, as it can change each minute as new info continues to come in for the day.
Part of making the app faster was moving the most critical information to the front and showing it instantly on open.
The Health tab is now the main screen and will show instantly when you open the app.
We recommend checking it daily for a complete overview. Other tabs like Reports (previously the default) and Places can be easily switched to when you want to go deeper into the data.
Managing your Health
Keeping your body and mind strong while being indoors for weeks and months is essential. It's not easy! The additional stress of what's happening makes everything even harder than before.
Health is more than just working out
The entire premise of Gyroscope is that your health is much more than just working out at the gym. Exercise is a key aspect, but definitely not the only thing that matters.
There are a dozen other equally important factors like steps, sleep, stress, and diet that need the same level of tracking and attention.
It's quite likely that your steps will be lower right now. However, we can compensate by doubling down on the other things that can be controlled — sleeping longer, eating healthier, exercising at home and meditating.
The Health cards let you see an overview of how you're doing across all the categories and focus your attention on what is most urgent. This changes weekly, and isn't something you will be conscious of without having continuous monitoring running 24/7.
Using the dashboards and automated analysis gives you a huge advantage to be much more efficient, spending less time and energy and focusing on your attention on what is holding you back.
Seeing your history & reports
We've been simplifying many things about the app to stay focused on the most important things — your health and recent places. You may notice there are fewer tabs now, the existing tabs are simpler, and the notifications have been removed entirely.
This may be a shock at first, if you've been using it for years in a certain way, but don't panic.
To replace the old notifications, we've added the Time Machine as an even easier and better way to view all your old history. It also means that you won't be getting as many unread notification badges, or needing to open the app just to clear them.
The Time Machine can be easily opened from the bottom of your Reports tab.
The Time Machine
Most of the old notifications were used to open recent workouts or daily reports. Now all of those can be easily accessed from the Time Machine, letting you go back to any day in your history.
Other historical reports like weekly reports, monthly reports and places reports have also been moved here to easily access all these different tools without needing to navigate around.
The weekly view is a great way to see some important trends and correlations, especially around sleep quality, when your immune system is weaker or early signs you may be getting sick.
Looking at a week at this high level view makes it easy to see long term trends, or how one thing like sleeping longer or walking more can affect other metrics like your resting heart rate and productivity.
Weekly goals should be set at the start of week to help keep you consistent and on track. They're based on what you did last week, so they will always be realistic and achievable goals rather than some fixed amount (like 10,000 steps) which you never end up meeting. This also helps adapts significantly based on changes (like Coronavirus).
With the older weeks and months moved from the reports tab into the time machine (which helps make the entire app much faster and simpler), you may be wondering what to do about your weekly goals?
They're even easier to access — just scroll down on the new Health tab!
The new Algorithmic feed for reports helps to go even deeper into your goals and keep you on track—breaking it down into a simple actionable checklist for the day and an overview of how you're doing on your goals.
What if I don't have time right now?
Some people are giving up on their health entirely, not being able to go to the gym anymore or do their daily routine. We're hearing others say they'll get back to fitness or tracking their food once their gym reopens or they're less stressed.
This is unfortunately not a workable strategy, for a few reasons.
First of all, this will last for a very long time. It's necessary to start adapting now. The gym you went to may not open again for another year, if ever. Finding new habits and ways to manage the stress is necessary. Procrastinating will make it much harder to get back to where you left off.
Second, without taking this seriously you may not even survive. It sounds extreme, but thousands of people are dying each day and it is not practical to think you will be the one exception. Even healthy and young people are struggling or ending up in the hospital, so you really want to give yourself as much of a chance as possible by being in the best shape of your life, just in case you do touch your face one day or somehow get infected.
Third, healthcare in most places is overloaded or soon will be. This is not a good time to get sick from anything. You should operate under the assumption that getting medical attention for anything will be a lot harder and slower. What may have been a small issue last year, easily fixed at a hospital, could end up being a life-threatening complication this year.
Finally, assuming we all get through this safely, neglecting your health in the meantime can reduce years from your life expectancy that can't just be fixed later. Just a few months of unhealthy eating, missed sleep, high stress and bodyfat gain can add up to irreparable damage or diseases like diabetes (10% of Americans already have prediabetes). Your liver, heart or brain never take a few months off from their essential duties — you should return the favor and treat them especially kindly during this stressful time.
Nothing is more urgent than staying healthy right now.
Finally, we know many people are suffering right now — both physically and financially. If you need to use Gyroscope but just can't afford it right now, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help.