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Why WHOOP Is Our Favorite Wearable

We are obsessed with tracking and have tried almost every wearable on the market. The incredible accuracy of the WHOOP tracker makes it not only great for fitness, but sleep and recovery as well

Tracking is something we are very into. Self-knowledge is empowering — my feeling is that if we measure something we can improve it. We are often asked about the many sleep/activity trackers on the market. They are all different and they tend to be suited to different needs for which some work better than others. I use a WHOOP, as do my wife and a number of the people we know. Having tested pretty much all the available trackers out there, WHOOP is the most accurate one. My understanding is that because it takes in much more information than most other wearables — on the order of 1000x more information — its sleep readings will be more accurate as will all the data it tracks.

WHOOP has generously offered all AGEIST readers 15% off here.

If you see Anderson Cooper with a black band thing on his wrist, that is a WHOOP. Once you know what to look for, you will see them on pro-athletes and Hollywood celebs. But they are not just for super-performers. They are incredibly useful and probably the most accurate wearables out there. I have worn one every day for 2 years and I now can’t really imagine not wearing one, it is just so useful. They are what I recommend to all our SuperAge Master Class people.

They are incredibly useful and probably the most accurate wearables out there

The WHOOP does not have a display screen, which is fine by me. There are enough blinking, flashing screens in my life already, and I don’t really want my texts or emails barraging me via my arm. Nor do I need to be shamed into getting enough activity each day; I can manage that just fine without an alert. WHOOP does a couple of things really well. The first is it gives me a granular breakdown of my sleep — not 5-minute averages as some trackers do, but truly granular. From this, I will get an accurate sleep efficiency reading: how much time in bed vs how much time asleep, and an accurate breakdown of my REM, deep and light sleep. One of the other big-name wearables I tested insisted that I was getting less than 5 minutes of deep sleep a night, which means I would probably be near dead. This was because it was not taking in enough data to discriminate my sleep cycles. Why would I want to know all this? Sleep is essential to long-term brain health, to my body recovery, and to my mental clarity. I take it very seriously. In order to get my best sleep, it is helpful to know accurately how much I am really sleeping — not just how much I imagine I may be sleeping. 

With this information, I can make adjustments to how I prepare my sleep ramp — hot bath, sauna, reading, meditation — and then see how these are affecting my sleep. By doing this, my sleep efficiency now averages around 96%, which is huge. I could not have done this without having my sleep information, though. For instance, a hot bath and a 68-degree room work better for me than a sauna and cold shower. 

Daily Recovery Score

The other, and probably the main feature of the WHOOP, is its daily recovery score. This number is based on a combination of my sleep, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability readings. The tremendously useful number will let me know if I am recovered enough to have a big day at the gym, or if I should just have a slow recovery jog. It will also indicate if I am about to come down with some illness. Several times I have gotten up in the morning feeling fine, and my WHOOP tells me something is wrong, only to develop a cold later in the day.

WHOOP may not be for everyone; some people like the rings of an Apple, or the step count on a Fitbit. For me, though, WHOOP makes the most sense. My feeling is that if I am going to have a wearable, I want the most accurate one I can find; otherwise, what is the point?

WHOOP has generously offered all AGEIST readers 15% off here.

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David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

 

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