Paying attention to our sleep and getting enough exercise is essential to long-term health. There are some amazing devices out there that can help us in these areas. Below are my three favorites.
1. Oura Ring
Before I get to gym equipment, I want to give a shout-out to my Oura Ring which I received as a Father’s Day gift this year. It’s a ring that you wear on a finger that is an activity and sleep tracker. I’ve had various FitBits and currently have a Timex Ironman fitness tracker, both of which I like, but the Oura Ring is something special. It is touted as the most accurate sleep tracker on the market. Because it is worn on a finger it more accurately tracks heart rate than trackers worn on the wrist. It also measures “heart rate variability” and body temperature in addition to heart rate. Using this data, as well as movement, it provides a great amount of detail about your sleep. It also is able to track how well you’ve recovered and provide a “readiness’ score. I use its measure of readiness to help guide what workouts I do or whether I take a nap. Below are some screen shots of how sleep and readiness is reported each morning:
Here’s a day that I got great sleep, recovered well, and had a nice activity level for the prior few days:
Now, here’s a day where my sleep and recovery were’t so good:
In addition to showing your sleep and readiness, the Oura Ring makes suggestions for getting better sleep or more recovery. For example, on nights where my heartrate drops late, it might note that it seemed as if I consumed a late meal. Other times it will note that my bedtime has been inconsistent and to strive to go to bed during a window of time it recommends. Using this device has also highlighted the negative effects of alcohol on my sleep — if I have more than one drink at night I know my sleep will suffer. Good to know.
Interestingly, this summer when the NBA was in its bubble in Orlando, every player was issued an Oura Ring to help track their health to help spot whether they might have COVID. Rise in monitored temperature and resting heart rate could be signs of battling the virus.
2. Peloton Bike
I am dealing with a chronic ankle injury which means that I can’t run anymore. I was pouty about this, so my amazing wife bought me a Peloton Bike. This is not something I would have bought for myself and I wasn’t sure that I’d like it. Having owned it for a few weeks, I now understand what all the fuss is about with these bikes because I LOVE IT! They quality of the bike itself is great – every bit as nice as the spinning bikes in a gym. It has a super-large HD touchscreen that delivers the classes. The instructors are fantastic and the workouts are fun and challenging.
3. Water Rower
I love my WaterRower. There are two main types of rowing machines: air resistance and water resistance. I’ve used both at gyms over the years and I slightly prefer the water resistance rowers because I like how pulling against water feels and they are much quieter producing a satisfying “whoosh.” Rowing machines provide an amazing workout because they engage 85% of the muscles in your body. A 30 minute rowing workout provides a combination of cardio and resistance training while torching calories. I usually follow workouts from Go Row on YouTube.