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These Are The Vitals Our Co-Founder Tracks Every Single Day For Well-Being

mbg Founder & Co-CEO
By Jason Wachob
mbg Founder & Co-CEO
Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth.
Image by WHOOP / Contributor

Since the start of mindbodygreen, well-being has seen its fair share of eras. Trends have come and gone. But when wearables like WHOOP stepped onto the scene, giving us access to our own unique biometric data, the landscape forever changed. There's wellness before wearables and wellness after. I've been wearing my WHOOP daily for three years now. It's the product I can't imagine a world without, and the one I find myself recommending the most to friends and colleagues. 

The vitals I track every single day

Image by Jason Wachob / Jason Wachob

Pulling the curtain back on my morning routine: I wake up, brush my teeth, and then immediately check my WHOOP Recovery Score while making coffee. The sooner I can access insights as to what's going on with my body, the sooner I can adjust my day accordingly. With information on my sleep, recovery, training, and overall health, I can make better choices in real time. But which vitals am I tracking specifically? 

First things first—sleep. I closely track my overall Sleep Performance percentage, but also keep a close eye on what kind of sleep I'm getting (specifically, deep sleep and REM sleep). Deep sleep is interwoven with cognitive health, while REM sleep is important for emotional regulation and memory consolidation—and my WHOOP measures both with lab-level accuracy.

The other important vital I check every morning is my WHOOP Recovery Score. This number indicates how my physiology responds to training, stress levels, lack of sleep, and even illness. (More than once, my WHOOP helped me figure out I was sick even before symptoms appeared.) Behind this recovery insight are other important data points I like to be aware of at the start of my day—like heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate (RHR), respiratory rate, and body temperature.

HRV measures the time between our heartbeats and gives insight into our autonomic nervous system. Generally speaking, a balanced nervous system will result in higher HRV whereas stress is often associated with a lower HRV. Resting heart rate, on the other hand, reflects the status of our heart rate at rest—and a lower RHR is often connected to longevity1. If either of these numbers are out of the ordinary, I can make more informed health choices.

Next-level training and recovery

Checking my vitals is fundamental to my morning routine, but I also refer to my WHOOP app throughout the day. As any working parent can relate: I don't have a lot of time to work out. If I only have a 30-minute window, I'll use my WHOOP to track my heart rate—I don't want it to get too high too quickly. But it also helps me determine how much rest I need between sets, as I try to spend a lot of my resistance training in zone 2. Or if I'm interval walking (which I love to do) and pushing the pace outside in the heat, I use my WHOOP to try and stay in zone 3 or zone 4.

Similarly, when I cold plunge, I turn to my WHOOP to see how quickly I can get my heart rate to come back down. My heart rate always spikes as soon as I enter the cold water, but after 30-45 seconds, it starts declining rapidly until it settles around the 50-BPM range. Having this data at the ready provides a whole other dimension to any physical experience.

Then there's my Strain Score, which indicates my body's total exertion throughout the day. This score measures my cardiovascular and muscular load and breaks down my activities into ranges, or "zones." Work, exercise, and even chasing my kids around are all things that can impact my strain—and keeping tabs on this score makes it easier to balance exertion with recovery.

Questions for WHOOP Coach

Image by WHOOP / Contributor

Not so long ago, checking our "vitals" was reserved for the medical professionals of the world. Today, that data is on our wrist and pocket-sized. The next obvious question is—how can we make the most out of that data? Beyond recovery, strain, stress, and sleep scores, WHOOP is answering that question with their newest feature: WHOOP Coach.

And it's making waves. WHOOP Coach is a generative AI-powered feature that takes into consideration your goals, the latest performance science and research, and your unique biometric data to generate connections and patterns. The right health and fitness guidance has the power to completely transform your life—yet so much of it is based on information that has nothing to do with you or your body.

Here's what that means for me and you: Through the WHOOP app, we can now ask WHOOP Coach our health and fitness questions, and get highly personalized answers.

Some of the first things I asked my WHOOP Coach: Do I sleep better in the winter or summer? How much time am I spending in zones 2 and 3? And how does my HRV stack up to others my age? But I've found the options are endless. WHOOP Coach can be used to decode wellness language, create custom training plans, and even troubleshoot our device. WHOOP Coach adds a whole new dimension to unlocking my performance every day.

What will WHOOP Coach tell you?

Whether you're just stepping into the world of well-being or have been logging HRV for years—having access to our unique biometric data provides insights we wouldn't have otherwise known. And WHOOP Coach is simply the next era—from advancing our wellness vocabulary (like SpO2) to recognizing health patterns we may not have seen on our own. Now you know how I'm using my WHOOP every day… But what will your WHOOP Coach tell you?

Jason Wachob author page.
Jason Wachob
mbg Founder & Co-CEO

Jason Wachob is the Founder and Co-CEO of mindbodygreen and the author of Wellth. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Vogue, and has a B.A. in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years.