A new year represents a fresh start, a chance to set new goals and aim to better ourselves in new ways. However, despite our lofty intentions, it is estimated that roughly 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail.
A primary reason is that we often lack the right accountability structure to enable us to make meaningful changes–in particular when these changes involve improving our health and overall well-being.
The quote above is something we hear quite often from WHOOP members. By quantifying the strain your body takes on each day, tracking your sleep in detail each night, and measuring your recovery each morning, WHOOP enables you to truly “know yourself.”
Features like the Sleep Coach and Strain Coach provide you with actionable insights and recommendations, and by logging specific behaviors in the WHOOP Journal you can see the impact of various lifestyle choices on your physiological data.
The graphic below displays a few stats we uncovered from a 4-month study of behavior changes among athletes first introduced to WHOOP. Their fitness and cardiovascular health metrics (notably resting heart rate and heart rate variability) improved, they got more sleep, and they drank less alcohol:
No matter what your resolution is this year, WHOOP can help.
Here are several of the most common New Year’s resolutions we make, as well as the role WHOOP can play in your success achieving them.
One of the first things people often realize when they start wearing WHOOP is that they don’t actually sleep as much as they thought. Being in bed for 8 hours is not the same thing as sleeping for 8 hours. WHOOP tells you exactly how much time you spend in each of the 4 stages of sleep: Light, deep/slow wave, REM, and awake.
Based on your unique physiology, previous amount of sleep, and recent strain on your body, the WHOOP Sleep Coach calculates precisely how much sleep you need every night, plus the ideal time to go to bed in order to make it happen. And by taking steps to ensure you’re getting enough REM and deep sleep (the restorative stages of sleep), you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and recovered.
WHOOP also tracks your sleep consistency, which is the similarity of your bed and wake times on a day-to-day basis. Sleep consistency helps maintain your circadian rhythm, and will improve the quality and efficiency of your sleep as well.
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If you begin following a healthier diet, chances are you are going to see the positive effects of it in your WHOOP data. Our Monthly Performance Assessments reveal changes in your metrics that correlate with specific responses in the Journal feature. When logging diets like Keto, Paleo, or plant-based, many members have noticed better recoveries, increased HRV and lower resting heart rates.
An often overlooked component of healthy eating is simply to drink more water. In an analysis of WHOOP Journal responses, the behavior linked with the greatest increase in daily recovery was proper hydration.
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WHOOP acts like a 24/7 coach right on your wrist. Depending on what your recovery is each morning, it suggests an ideal amount of strain for you to take on that day, and tracks your cardiovascular exertion from exercise and other activities.
While you’re working out, the Strain Coach offers an optimal goal to reach, which may be adjusted to your liking. You can then watch your strain build in real time and see exactly when you hit your desired amount. It also calculates how many calories you’re burning and which heart rate zone you’re in at any given moment so you can further gauge the intensity of your exercise.
Additionally, WHOOP is the perfect workout companion if you’re stuck inside at home this winter.
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Stress elevates your heart rate, which in turn increases the strain your body takes on each day. When WHOOP members report experiencing stress, they often notice decreased HRV, lower recoveries, and poorer sleep performances.
Meditation and diaphragmatic breathing are two common methods we see to reduce stress and improve recovery. Additionally, practicing mindfulness for as little as 1 minute per day can help get you on the right track to leading a less stressful life.
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A very simple thing to chronicle with WHOOP is the negative impact alcohol has on your body. Alcohol consumption increases your RHR, lowers your HRV and degrades the quality of your sleep–all of which contribute to significantly worse next-day recoveries (and beyond). In fact, when WHOOP members log drinking alcohol in the Journal, on average their recovery dips by 8%.
Conversely, the positive effects of avoiding alcohol are also readily noticeable in your WHOOP data. Not only will your recoveries improve, but you’ll likely spend more time in REM and deep sleep and make greater fitness gains from your workouts.
Learn More: Podcast No. 43: Alcohol’s Effect on Sleep, Recovery and Performance
It’s never too late to take up a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to give yoga or CrossFit a try. Or, perhaps you’re interested in learning a new sport like tennis or golf? By comparing the strain of various activities, WHOOP can help you understand how trying a new type of workout impacts your body.
And, what better skill to gain in the new year than a deeper knowledge of you? WHOOP lets you know yourself unlike ever before.
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