My Precious – The Oura Ring Has Arrived

Ok. For starters, I’m not a ring or jewelry guy. Wearing the Oura Ring for the past week took some getting used to and I’m still not totally used to it. You are supposed to keep it on 24/7 to track your activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep, temperature, etc. So I have been wearing it around every hour of every day. It is also water resistant to 100m, so you can wear it in the shower or swimming. For all the technology packed beneath its shiny titanium skin, it’s really light and actually comfortable. I’m just not used to wearing a ring or the way a ring looks on my finger, so it is kind of weird for me.  Basically, there are 3 reasons that I was drawn to the Oura Ring booth at the 2018 Paleo f(x) Conference expo. 1) I previously used a Fitbit tracker to measure my activity. The data and accuracy the Fitbit provides are excellent. My biggest concern was the constant bluetooth connection back to my phone. I had our chiropractor muscle test me with the Fitbit on my wrist and then without it. I was definitely weaker when I was wearing it. I believe the result was due to the Bluetooth signal coming out of it. I also muscle tested with my iPhone and it was even worse. Most likely the extra cell, bluetooth and wifi signals were the issue. So, I sold the Fitbit on Craigslist and now put my phone in airplane mode at night. The Oura ring works a little differently. It is not constantly connected. The ring stores data somewhere deep inside and then shares it out to an app on my phone when I connect it. The ring also uses Bluetooth, but the signal is active less than 1% of the day. I haven’t muscle tested with the Oura Ring yet, but I definitely will on my next visit to Dr Ruzila. We will see! 2) The Oura Ring automatically records HRV (heart rate variability). I was already monitoring my HRV to tell me optimal days to train vs rest days. I noticed distinct HRV patterns based on my sleep and whether or not I had a couple of drinks the night before. My method of measuring HRV was using the Elite HRV app on my phone and a chest strap monitor every morning. Effective, but certainly not convenient. Elite HRV recently wrapped up their kickstarter with the Corsense monitor, which is much easier to use but still a manual process. The Oura ring is collecting HRV data automatically, so it is one less thing to do in the morning. 3) For some reason, I like to measure my sleep. Sleep always seems be a topic of conversation around here. Maybe I like to measure it because I want to know what’s going on inside the ‘ol brain case while I’m checked out. If you want to geek out on sleep data just like me, the Oura ring app really breaks it down. You’ve got your total sleep, you’ve got your sleep efficiency, you’ve got tranquility (how often you wake up), REM sleep, deep sleep, latency (how long it takes to fall asleep), timing (what time you fall asleep based on circadian rhythm). It also keeps tabs on your body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and, of course, HRV. Pretty sweet stuff!  All this sleep data is presented on some really nice graphs for you to admire. But, in the morning, it all gets distilled down to your Readiness score. The Readiness score basically tells you to either crank it up or take it easy based on how your body recovered from previous activity. The only downside is that Rene now has some true data to say, “Seeeeeee, I told you to stay away from the Malbec last night.”  Anyway, here is an example on how I’m using the data through the day… Yesterday, my Readiness was 85 so I did a vigorous yoga class and walked 6 miles. Today, my Readiness is 75 and more of a “take it easy” day.. So,  besides work,  I’m writing a blog and will do some lighter exercise. During the day, when the ring syncs up, you will get prompts to get up and move around if you have been sitting too long. Some days, the data causes me to be more active and do some extra stairs or walking instead of driving. It’s like a weird competition with myself, but I like it. I suppose that I’ll get accustomed to looking at the Oura ring on my finger. I regularly wear a wristwatch, so maybe I just need a big gold chain to round it all out 🙂

Oura Ring on my hand above Macbook keyboard
Not a Hand Model

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