This article was produced in partnership with WHOOP.
If you’re shopping for the fitness lover in your life, the WHOOP strap really can’t be beat. Fitness is often a numbers game: How fast did you run? How far did you ride? How many pounds did you lift? What gets lost in pursuit of those numbers, though, is how well you recover. After all, that’s where the magic happens—when the body’s immune system repairs the micro tears in the muscles caused by exercise, which helps build them back stronger than before.
As recovery has become one of the fitness industry’s biggest buzzwords, technology has risen to meet the occasion. Wearables (the top fitness trend of 2020, according to an annual report by the American College of Sports Medicine) no longer track just steps and calories burned, but recovery time, energy reserves, and stress levels to provide a more holistic look at health and fitness.
And while many have started including recovery metrics, WHOOP has always been about optimizing recovery to make gains, perfect for someone who loves tracking their fitness but may need a reminder to chill when it counts. The fact that athletes like Michael Phelps and LeBron James wear the band, and it’s the official wearable of the NFL Players Association, well, that just makes it even more lust-worthy.
WHOOP measures three key metrics: strain, sleep, and recovery.
Strain translates to the cardiovascular load—tracked via 24/7 heart rate monitoring displayed on a scale of 0 to 20—achieved during a workout or over the course of the day. Exercise can be a good stressor, but piling on additional stress (whether it’s from overtraining, work, parenting, or just the state of the world) can tip someone into detrimental territory. Wherever that number falls at a given moment, the app’s Strain Coach provides personalized insight into how much additional strain is optimal for the body to take on, with goals that can be monitored in real-time during a workout.
On the flip side of strain is recovery. WHOOP quantifies recovery by tracking how the body adapts to strain via heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep performance. Every day, the device provides a daily recovery score (on a scale of 0 to 100 percent) to clue the wearer in to how ready their body is to perform.
And then there’s sleep. Quality shuteye may be the single most important factor in exercise recovery, according to new research from the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Not only does the WHOOP strap track standard metrics like sleep stages, disturbances, time spent in bed, and how long falling asleep takes, it uses that personalized data to determine how much sleep someone needs each night to make up for missed shuteye or extra stress. The whole idea is to prevent the accrual of sleep debt,
It’s said that giving is better than receiving, but the maxim has a flaw: it assumes that the giver and the receiver are never one and the same. We all know that generosity feels good, and there’s sound scientific basis for it: research shows that the act of giving activates the neural networks associated with pleasure – the same ones triggered by food or drugs – in a phenomenon known as the “helper’s high”.But that doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself. After all, receiving gifts feels pretty good, too, and no one is more familiar with your taste, habits and predilections than, well, you. Besides, you’ve had a tough few months and, as any good psychologist will attest, work is not its own reward. Self-care doesn’t come naturally to us all, however. So, if you can’t quite find it in you to love yourself, we’d advise cutting out the following pages and giving them to a relative with the relevant items clearly marked. You’ve been a very good boy this year, after all.
Fitbit Sense Smartwatch
This new smartwatch from Fitbit doesn’t just clock the movements you make but how your body responds to them. Along with the usual tick list (including 20-plus exercise modes), the Sense evaluates your electrodermal activity and heart rhythm to assess your stress levels. Its six-day battery life is handy, too.
Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Personalised Sound
Scientists believe that the shape of your ears is as unique as your fingerprints, and the way they process sound is personal, too. NuraLoop’s gym-friendly, sweat-resistant in-ear buds address this by fine-tuning their output to provide a truly personalised sound. They also offer 16 hours
of battery life and highly effective noise cancellation
Nike Metcon 6 Training Shoe
If you’re serious about raising your bar in 2021 – while reducing the stress on your back – you need kicks that are fit for the task. Nike’s peerless training shoe is designed for workouts of any intensity, from heavy barbell work to pacy plyometrics and even (short) runs. They’re breathable and light, and the closest thing you’ll get to stealing kit straight out of an athlete’s locker.
Pixel 4A Android Mobile Phone
The Pixel 4a packs the best of Google’s smartphones into one box of tricks. The 12.2-megapixel rear camera takes top-notch HDR+ photos and videos, with free unlimited storage on Google Photos. Its battery learns which apps you use the most, reducing the power used by the others.
BOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
From back-garden WODs to sprints in the park, outdoor training has been the default for many of us this year. But don’t let winter’s somewhat less clement weather throw you off your game. This wireless portable speaker has 15 hours of battery life and a fully weatherproof casing. The myBOOM Studio even allows you to customise the fabric pattern, so you can match it
Ultimate Medical Academy Gathers Nation’s Largest Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Team for 2nd Straight Year
A record-breaking 2633 people walked as part of Team UMA in the event to support and raise funds to further cancer research
More than 2,600 employees, students, alumni and partners from across the country joined Team UMA to create the largest Making Strides team of any organization nationwide.
TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) continued its record-breaking team numbers as they virtually gathered for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 2020 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. More than 2,600 employees, students, alumni and partners from across the country joined Team UMA to create the largest Making Strides team of any organization nationwide, all walking in their respective places on October 17, 2020, to help raise awareness and financial support for the healthcare cause.
Last year, with 1,154 walkers, UMA had the largest Making Strides team from a single organization in the nation. Rather than feeling limited by 2020’s unique circumstances that required the event to be virtual, UMA team members embraced their ability to engage the institution’s nationwide community and make an even bigger impact for this important cause. In fact, UMA shattered their 2020 goal to double last year’s impact and built a record-breaking team of 2,633 walkers, again earning the honor of largest team in the nation. Through these efforts, UMA helped to raise more than $50,000 for ACS and Making Strides.
In addition to this year’s team effort, UMA President Thomas Rametta also participated in the Real Men Wear Pink (RMWP) Campaign. Typically, RMWP participants are charged with raising at least $2,500, but Rametta committed to $25,000 and has so far raised more than $33,000 for the cause, making him the fifth-ranked RMWP candidate in the country.
“Within our UMA community alone, so many people have faced a cancer diagnosis themselves or had a loved one impacted by cancer, and we know that’s the case for so many others too,” said Beth Garland, UMA’s senior vice president of human resources and the chair of this year’s Making Strides event in Tampa. “At UMA, we participate in Making Strides to show our support for those team members and to, hopefully, inspire other organizations and individuals to use their collective strength for the good of this cause as well. The fight against cancer is not an easy one, but by coming together as an organization and a community, we can make a difference.”
In addition to funding cancer research, ACS helps patients and their families in tangible ways such as transporting patients to treatments and surgeries, helping patients and survivors with self-care as they endure the effects of treatment, and coming to a caregiver’s or patient’s aid when they have questions or concerns at any hour. These services have become even more important as healthcare resources and staff have felt additional burdens during the COVID-19
The Hill may be compensated and/or receive an affiliate commission if you buy through our links.
Brain training exercises are hardly new—you’ve likely been finding ways to bolster your cognitive skills your whole life without realizing it, whether through crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or card games. What is relatively new, however, is having the ability to play scientifically-backed brain training games directly on your cellphone.
Among some of the most popular digital brain training solutions is CogniFit, an app that provides engaging content users can access on their iPhones, tablets, Android devices, or computers. CogniFit is recognized as a global leader in the Cognitive Assessment and Training Market, boasting games, puzzles, assessments, and teasers that are backed by scientific patented technology. The goal of these short, personalized activities is to improve several cognitive functions, including perception, concentration, memory, and hand-eye coordination, as well as improve your brain plasticity.
More than that, the app will measure, train, and monitor your cognitive skills with each of these programs. And along the way, users will receive real-time feedback that will help them track their performance and compare these results to a cohort of their peers.
Currently, CogniFit has a solid 4.4-star rating on both the App Store and Google Play Store from thousands of users. As one current subscriber notes, CogniFit offers a variety of “Fun games to keep you spry in the mind! It really does challenge you to focus…”
If you are looking to upgrade your current brain exercises from the Sunday crossword puzzle to a personalized brain teaser designed for your age group and skillsets, maybe it is time you try out CogniFit, too. Currently, a one-year subscription is 58% off, making it just $49.99.
Prices subject to change.