Put a ring on it

Date: 11/19/2020

If you are like me and think that health wearables are unsightly, bulky, and fixated on steps, steps, steps – keep reading, this post is just for you. I found an absolute must have health wearable health tracker at the recommendation of a couple of health care professionals in my circle of trust. Let me start by clearly stating that this is not an ad and I am not being paid to promote this product. I am writing this post because I encourage everyone to own their health which means paying attention to your body, sleep, and diet. It means vigilant research, constant learning, and an openness to try new things. It also means surrounding yourself with a like-minded community that inspires, supports, and sometimes pushes us – a.k.a., my “circle of trust”.

OK back to the ring… Oura has quite a buzz right now. Perhaps it is the link to COVID prediction or Pro Athlete endorsements or the diamond version retailing at a whopping $1k! All well worth the hype! In terms of looks – it is sleek, unisex, scratch and water resistant, lightweight, holds a charge for about a week and takes an hour or so to fully re-charge. The inside is where the good stuff happens – loads of infrared LED’s, temperature sensors, accelerometer and a gyroscope enable this sweet little device to track heart rate, HRV, temp and steps.

The magic of the Oura app still has me amazed! How is this possible? It is easy to use and interprets the data based on your unique baseline and history. It is categorized into three meaningful scores that provide clear, actionable insight – readiness, sleep, and activity. This is your personal data and recommendations based on your own trends – not some arbitrary, binary pass/fail finish line.

Below is a summary of data points tracked during sleep and during the day all in the pursuit of providing the wearer trends, patterns, insights, and recommendations to consider. Remember that life is a marathon and not a sprint – one night of less than optimal sleep is not the moral of the story! Keep going, keep tweaking and keep moving forward!

Measured During Day:

• Activity Levels
• Calories
• Steps
• Inactive Times
• Naps

Measured During Sleep:

• Resting Heart Rate
• Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
• Respiratory Rate
• Body Temperature
• Light, Deep and REM Sleep
• Nighttime Movement
• Sleep Timing and Quality

One of the main reasons I was interested in the Oura ring was to track stages of sleep and, oh boy, did it deliver! I quickly discovered that my deep sleep (not to be confused with REM) was well under recommended amounts for restorative sleep. I was able to target this sleep stage and have been actively working to improve the length of it. Humans need about one to two hours of deep sleep to heal and recover. I was consistently getting around 15-30 mins – insert frowny face emoji here!!

A new feature recently added to the app is called “moment” which is a conscious break from the day to meditate, relax and breath. This is a chance to take a thoughtful break in your day to be mindful and to bring your resting heart rate down to help alleviate stress. Here is an example of how I used the data and “actionable insight” to manage stress. After wearing the ring for a month or so, I started noticing trends during certain times of the day where my heart rate was elevated. I changed my typical daily mediation time to coincide with those peak stress spikes and quickly saw improvements. I took a “moment” during a time where I tend to have more stress. I was prepared and able to naturally cope!

I encourage you to check out some reviews and research the Oura ring for yourself! This is an amazing tool with advanced features to give YOU information about YOU! If you decide to give it a try, let me know your own personal experience and how you used the data to learn more about yourself! And lastly it would make an amazing gift for holidays!