Most of my day job revolves around metrics, which is really just monitoring Key Performance Indicators – KPIs – to see where systems are going sideways. Since I now have a deep desire to understand my body more, I decided I wanted to monitor some KPIs for my body. While I end up gathering tons of datapoints, I mainly focus on HRV, resting heart rate, and respiratory rate overnight as these seem to be the most impactful to my overall wellness.
I use a few different wearables (and one app) to gather all these datapoints:
Whoop – An interesting, if somewhat expensive, concept. It’s a wrist band worn 24/7 that monitors a number of different KPIs but then breaks them down into Strain and Recovery. The key metric I watch with the Whoop band is my Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which is a surprisingly accurate summation of how I’m feeling, and it also measures my respiratory rate when sleeping.
The band also functions as a BLE heart rate monitor, but it is not the most reliable for that.
You can get a free Whoop band and the first month of service free here.
Oura Ring – I really like the Oura ring. The battery life is pretty tremendous for a ring (I get 4-6 days at a charge) and it does a fantastic job at monitoring my sleep. I will say though that, months into wearing it, I still notice it. It would be nice if the ring were a bit slimmer as the profile is juuuuust thick enough that I frequently notice it when typing.
Garmin Instinct Solar – I only really use this for two things: telling the time and measuring my heart rate, with the super nice feature of heart rate alarms. If my heart rate gets too high or too low, based on thresholds I’ve set, then a rather annoying alarm goes off. Considering my heart isn’t the healthiest in the world, this is a super nice feature that Holly really appreciates.
Oh, and the battery life is almost two weeks, which is absolutely phenomenal for a smartwatch.
Welltory – I really, really like this app. It basically measures your HRV in detail and then presents a very accurate graphical representation of how you are feeling.
I’d really love to get this consistently working with my Whoop band via BLE, but in the meantime I perform the measurements with the camera on my finger tip without issue.
In the end, I spend a lot of money on these things monthly, and once my Whoop band commitment is up (you commit to 6 months to get the “free” band), I’m going to have to decide whether to keep the Whoop or Oura. I’m not sure which will win out just yet…