LIFESTYLEGear & TechHow to Monitor Your Recovery, Strain, and Sleep with the WHOOP Strap

How to Monitor Your Recovery, Strain, and Sleep with the WHOOP Strap

A Brief Overview of the WHOOP Strap 3.0

Recovery, strain, and sleep are all important factors to consider during every shift in the fire department. You might return from a fire and think you’re all set to take on whatever the rest of the shift has in store for you, but how can you be sure? How much did I exert myself? I feel fine but have I fully recovered from the incident? Should I engage in that intense 60-minute workout now or wait? How much sleep am I getting each night? You may also wonder what the most effective way to track these metrics is. Well, consider the WHOOP strap 3.0. 

The strap is designed to track recovery, strain, and sleep for you and provide you with real-time data you can use to make informed decisions about overall well-being in a user-friendly and understandable way. Initially designed for athletes, the WHOOP strap has crossed over into the emergency service and military sectors. The strap is designed to monitor your daily movements and stressors that could impact your work performance and overall health. The strap has an app function that can be downloaded on your smartphone allowing you to see the type of sleep you’re getting each night and offer suggestions on improving your sleep. The strap also shows you how much you’ve exerted yourself throughout the day by measuring your Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which measures the variation in time between each heartbeat. Measuring HRV is an important tool in understanding proper hydration, over-exertion, poor diet, and poor sleep. The strap will also measure your resting heart rate or (RHR), which can be important in determining your overall health. How much strain you’ve endured is also tracked on the mobile app. The app provides each user with a quantitative scale from 0-21 that illustrates their strain level each day. 

While the strap being is an extremely useful tool for firefighters on duty and fire department leadership, it can also be used in your everyday life. Those who engage in regular workouts every week or even those who are just starting to take part in regular physical activity outside of the job can benefit from the technology WHOOP offers. The strap allows you to set both personal and professional goals that would enable you to increase your performance at home and on the job.  And, of course, members don’t just sleep when they’re at the firehouse, so understanding your sleep pattern at home can allow you to be properly rested before you ever set foot on the main floor. 

The strap is free, and membership for accessing the app to analyze all of the data collected ranges from $18 to $30 per month depending on your choice of either a 6, 12, or 18-month membership. The strap comes in a variety of colors and is water-resistant. It runs on a battery that provides the user with a five-day life cycle and can be charged while wearing the device. Unlike the Apple watch, you will not be able to tell time, send text messages to friends and family, or make a phone call on it like James Bond. However, it will provide you with very detailed real-time data regarding your important health factors that will help you maintain and increase your overall health and well-being. Like the Nomex hood, self-rescue rope, and door chalk you keep in your bunker gear, the strap can become another important tool to keep on your person designed to keep you safe.

 Singh, N., Moneghetti, K. J., Christle, J. W., Hadley, D., Plews, D., & Froelicher, V. (2018). Heart Rate Variability: An Old Metric with New Meaning in the Era of Using mHealth Technologies for Health and Exercise Training Guidance. Part One: Physiology and Methods. Arrhythmia & electrophysiology review7(3), 193–198.

DI Labs. (2021, May 28). Heart Rate Variability | The Ultimate Guide to HRV. WHOOP.

H.F.H.S.S. (2019, September 16). What Your Resting Heart Rate Says About You. Henry Ford LiveWell.

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