My Apple Watch knows how many calories I burned yesterday, whether my heart is beating at a normal rhythm and how many hours of sleep I got last night. It can’t, however, make sense of the numbers it gathers by telling me whether I should hit the gym or take a rest day.
Smartwatches and fitness bands have been capable of tracking activity, heart rate and sleep data for years. But only recently has there been a bigger focus on using that information to make broader observations about our well-being.
Fitbit launched its readiness score for Premium subscribers last month, a metric that indicates whether you should prioritize recovery or exercise. More specialized devices like the Oura ring and Whoop band have been offering similar scores for years and are considered pioneers in this area.
I recently wore an Oura ring over the course of a week and briefly tried Fitbit’s readiness score when it launched in November. The Apple Watch is still my go-to fitness tracker, but I’ve enjoyed wearing an Oura ring alongside it — mostly because of the readiness score. Apple Watch wearers can get a similar rating through the third-party sleep tracking app AutoSleep, but Apple doesn’t have its own answer to this yet.
Why the readiness score is so useful
I’ve become obsessed with closing my Apple Watch’s Activity Rings, especially since I started working from home during the pandemic. If I don’t close at least two rings (but ideally all three), my day feels incomplete. That encouragement has been especially helpful now that I’m not regularly starting my day with a brisk 10-minute walk to the subway.
But this fixation on my rings also means I often push myself to exercise when I probably shouldn’t. That includes times when I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, as well as days when I’m still very sore from the prior day’s workout.