Like many golfers, I signed up for a WHOOP this summer after learning that the PGA Tour was distributing the bands to players, caddies, officials and golf journalists. The decision came after PGA Tour player Nick Watney decided to seek out a Covid-19 test after noticing abnormal readings from his WHOOP, which is a band worn on the wrist or upper arm to monitor various medical data. Watney was asymptomatic at the time and had just recently tested negative—suggesting that WHOOP had provided an early warning that Watney might be infected.
The efficacy of the WHOOP as a means of preventing the transmission of Covid-19 is far from settled, but I’ve held on to the WHOOP for reasons unrelated to the pandemic. Primarily, I wear the WHOOP because I feel it helps my overall health—and, as a result, I believe it will help my golf game by extending the years I can remain healthy and competitive.
My Body, My Laboratory
In 2011, I wrote a feature article for TIME Magazine on scientists who experiment on themselves. I hypothesized at the time that many ordinary people would soon fall into this category through the adoption of “smart-connected” wearables and self-tracking. But at the time, the technology was clunky and immature, so I wasn’t an early adopter myself. But I’ve always felt that wearables can play a crucial role in living up to the wise Delphic maxim: Know Thyself.
I find it empowering to be able to monitor my biometrics, and WHOOP offers a variety of measurements for me to track. Using an optical HR monitor, the WHOOP band can measure a user’s heartrate, sleep, respiration rate and something called heart-rate variability (HRV), a measurement that can indicate how well a user has recovered from recent stress.
The band is paired with a smartphone app that is designed to tell athletes whether they need to take it easy (to improve recovery) or go harder (to increase strain). Strain can be either the result of a workout or because of some exogenous factor—stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, an illness and so on. Each day when you wake up, WHOOP gives you a recovery score that lets you know how hard you should push yourself that day. The band measures the strain of each workout and the cumulative strain of your day’s activity—and a “strain coach” tells you when you are approaching the optimal strain given your overnight recovery. If you exceed that
Title: WHOOP Review: A Stronger Connection to Your Health
Sourced From: practical-golf.com/whoop-review-golf/
Published Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 19:46:00 +0000
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