What is Dan's Plan?
To be healthy, you must live a healthy lifestyle. No one can do this for you. We can help.
Our mission is to help you get enough daily activity and sleep, and to help you eat the right amount of the right food. If you are overweight, we help you get to a weight where you feel best. If you're at a healthy weight, we help you stay there long term.
To do this, we have created tools that do two key things: 1) develop daily insight into how you're living this week, 2) give you daily information to make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle today.
What is the Health Zone Score?
Health Zone Score = Weight Score + Activity Score + Sleep Score
Overview: Modern health issues are a result of a broken lifestyle. Health is not simply a state of wellness or sickness, but a personal practice. This practice must sustain good behaviors across key areas of health. The Dan’s Plan Health Zone Score lets you know if you’re meeting your lifestyle goals on a daily-to-weekly basis. The goal is to sustain a Health Zone Score as close to 100 points as possible. The score changes on a daily basis to summarize your last 7 days. The score is comprised of three parts: your Weight Score, Activity Score, and Sleep Score.
Weight Score: While weight fluctuates daily, your Weight Score will be calculated based on how your weight is trending. The calculation is different depending on the program you are in (IDEAL WEIGHT or OPTIMAL HEALTH). In the IDEAL WEIGHT program, your Weight Score will be calculated based on the progress you’re making towards your target weight. If you are in the OPTIMAL HEALTH program, your Weight Score will be calculated based on whether or not you are sustaining your current weight. Weight is not a behavior; however, it is to some degree a reflection of behavior. Use the Weight Score to keep focused on behaviors that effect weight. For example, eating according to your meal plan, maintain a mixed intensity movement practice (Activity Score), and maintain a healthy, regular sleep practice (Sleep Score).
Activity Score and Sleep Score: One third of your Health Zone is based on your current Activity Score and one third is based on your current Sleep Score. Please see FAQs titles "What is the Activity Score?" and "What is the Sleep Score" for more information.
Customization: By allowing you to set your own Weight, Movement, and Sleep goals, your Health Zone Score is a very personalized measure of how your individual health practice compares to your goals. If you do not record data for one or more measurements, we will automatically exclude them from your Health Zone Score so that it fits your personal situation. For example, if you do not care to track weight, the feedback you receive from your Health Zone Score is related only to sleep and physical activity. If you begin tracking weight in the future, we will automatically activate your Weight Score and include it in your Health Zone Score.
What is the Activity Score?
Activity Score = Walking + Exercise
The Activity Score is a simple measurement of your daily-to-weekly movement practice. The goal is to sustain an Activity Score of 100% or more. Your Activity Score is comprised of walking (daily steps) and the number of minutes you exercise (exercise minutes). It is recalculated on a daily basis by looking at your last 7 days of activity. You can earn more than 100% by walking more than your goal or exercising more than your goal, but aim to sustain a score of 100% or greater. We recommend that you achieve both your step goal and your exercise goal on an on-going basis. We believe better health results from the combination of a mixed-intensity movement program that is sustainable for you.
The goal is to average at least 10,000 steps per day. If you averaged exactly 10,000 steps per day over the last 7 days, you will earn 100% of your step goal. You will need a tool to track steps. You can collect step data in multiple ways. Manually enter daily steps by collecting steps from a pedometer, a pedometer app on your smart phone, a Nike Fuel Band, or Jawbone Up. We highly recommend that you invest in a Fitbit, which counts your steps and wireless and automatically updates your Dan’s Plan Activity Score (and Sleep Score too!).
The remainder of the Activity Score is earned by achieving your weekly exercise goal. You can reach your exercise goal by doing a wide variety of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (e.g., gardening, CrossFit, dancing, weight training, or yoga). In the activity Tracker, enter the total minutes of daily activity in each of the three categories: Moderate, Strenuous, and Aggressive.
- Achieve 100% of Your Exercise Goal From: 150 minutes of moderate activity each week (e.g. jogging),
- Achieve 100% of Your Exercise Goal From: 75 minutes of strenuous activity each week (e.g. running),
- Achieve 100% of Your Exercise Goal From: 30 minutes of the highest-intensity activity each week (e.g. sprinting or lifting weights),
- Achieve 100% or More of Your Exercise Goal From: A combination of the above.
We think you’ll discover that the goals we recommend are enjoyable to achieve. However, some members will want to build to these levels, and others will want to challenge themselves to do more. Click Plan Details & Settings on your My Plan page to personalize your goals. To further customize your program, we exclude either Steps or Exercise from your Activity Score if you do not log data. For example, if you don’t currently track and log your steps, we automatically exclude this so that your Activity Score represent only your exercise.
There are many ways to achieve your Activity Score goal of 100%. Here are a few examples:
- Kate is a working mom and has always enjoyed exercise. She was interested to use Dan’s Plan to check to see if her activity level is consistent, and sufficient for health. She attends a spinning class twice a week and plays outside with her two children for about 15-30 minutes a few times a week. Kate also regularly completes sets of push-ups, sit ups, and other strength exercises at home when she can find a few minutes. In addition to her exercise program, she decided to purchase a Fitbit to track her daily steps. Kate tracks her daily activity on Dan’s Plan and regularly maintains an Activity Score between 115% and 145%.
- Chris was very active in college but has had a hard time maintaining a regular activity practice over the last few years. Despite several attempts to make the gym a more regular part of his life, he just hasn’t been able to keep it up because of his busy work schedule. He begins to use Dan’s Plan to help him move more. He purchases TRX bands, which help him use his body weight to perform exercise at home. He has now made it a habit to do 10 minutes of exercise each morning before work and he feels much better. He also keeps track of his daily steps with smart phone (iphone or android) pedometer app names Moves app. This app integrates with Dan's Plan so the steps he captures on his phone wirelessly sync with Dan's Plan. On Dan’s Plan, Chris initially sets his step goal at 7,500 steps per day. Over a 2 month period, he increases his steps to our standard of 10,000 steps per day. Now that he is in better shape, he finds that he regularly makes plans to be more active on weekends because it’s so much fun. When Chris first started tracking his activity on Dan’s Plan, he was regularly maintaining an Activity Score of about 65%. Now, he averages between 100% and 110%.
- Sara loves yoga. She attends class two to three times per week. Her class lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Out of that 75 min period, considering warming up and cooling down, she estimates that she works for about 60 minutes. Of that 60 minutes, she rates 45 minutes of class to be moderate in intensity and 15 minutes to be strenuous in intensity. She maintains 10,000 steps per day with her Fitbit, and her weekly Activity Score ranges between 100% and 115%.
As you can see, there are many possible ways to reach your Activity Score goal. Experiment, decide what works for you, and then modify your goals in order to become an Enduring Mover!
What is the Sleep Score?
Sleep Score = Bedtime + Time In Bed
The Sleep Score is a simple and powerful measurement of your sleep practice that focuses on important, actionable metrics: Bedtime (i.e., sleep timing) and Time in Bed (i.e., sleep duration).
You set these parameters according to your schedule and individual sleep need. Once these two metrics are set, your Sleep Score is recalculated on a daily basis by looking at the average of your last 7 days of data. The maximum score you can attain is 100% (unlike Activity Score, which can go over 100%). The goal is to sustain a Sleep Score of 100% (or as close to 100% as possible). Half of your Sleep Score is based on how your average bedtime compares to your goal over the last 7 days and the other half compares the average time you spent in bed with your goal.
The time you go to bed each night matters for two reasons. First, you’re more likely to get the duration of sleep you need if you go to bed at your selected goal. We tend to have more flexibility around the time we go to bed, compared to the time we wake up, because most work and school schedules are fixed. Second, going to bed at the same time and getting a full night of rest is different than going to bed at a different time each night and still getting the same amount of rest. You will likely perform better with a more regular bedtime, regardless of sleep duration.
Time In Bed:
You cannot directly control the amount of sleep you get on a given night, but you do have more control over the time you spend in bed. For example, you’re not going to get 8 hours of sleep if you’re only in bed for 6 hours. Focus on what you have more control over. Focus on how much time you’re giving yourself to sleep each night. You are more likely to fully satisy your sleep need if you’re in bed long enough to allow for a full night of rest.
You can manually enter your sleep information each day in our Sleep Tracker. However, we highly recommend that you invest in a Fitbit, which when worn on your wrist at night can measure your sleep and wirelessly and automatically update your Dan’s Plan Sleep Score.
You can modify your Bedtime and Time In Bed goals by clicking Plan Details & Settings on your My Plan page. We also allow you to exclude Bedtime from your Sleep Score. This is beneficial for someone who does shift work, because it allows them to focus on Time In Bed only as Bedtime may vary according to their work schedule.