“I want to help women get the most out of their health and their bodies. To optimize performance and find a lifestyle that brings them joy. I’ve learned so much about what impacts my body with Oura and my mission as a founder of a women’s health company is to share what I’ve learned with others.”
Helene is an athlete and the founder of WILD.AI, the app that helps women train, fuel, and recover based on their menstrual cycle or menopause symptoms.
“The female body is ever-changing and incredibly interesting. We have been reading it the wrong way: we treated our bodies like men’s. We need the right tools to really understand female physiology.”
Helene personally uses a combination of Oura, Garmin, and WILD.AI to optimize her health and performance.
“80% of the medical research is still done on male mice – and only 3% of sports budgets go to female sports. We are changing this. We’re doing extensive research on the female body and translating that into our app with the aim to be able to provide all products, services, and devices that women use – that are ‘Mentech’ today – with the knowledge and technology to understand their data through the female lens.”
Why Helene Chose Oura
In her industry, Helene comes across a lot of devices that measure all kinds of body signals. As she develops WILD.AI, her team is carefully vetting these tools to to find which deliver the highest quality data inputs to help women optimize their health—she recognizes that wearables aren’t always one-size-fits all:
“Personally, I use Oura to monitor my sleep and health with Garmin as my sports tracker. I started wearing an Oura 2 years ago when I realized that my Garmin sleep analytics weren’t as accurate and purpose driven as I needed. I trust Oura to help me really understand my sleep and to give me metrics like my resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and temperature that help me understand if my body is getting sick or is recovering from my workouts.”
As an athlete, however, she also wanted a tool that pairs seamlessly with Oura during her workouts.
“My Garmin is my sports device – when I need to be able to track my speed on a run or adjust my cadence to get into a certain heart rate zone, I can look at the watch screen while I’m working out.”
Together, all of that data helps her train according to her menstrual cycle.
“The WILD.AI app helps me keep track of everything related to my physical activity and menstrual cycle. I’m working on extracting the Oura data to add it to the app via the API but in the meantime, this puts all of my inputs in one place – my nutrition, my periods, my symptoms, my performance, my hydration. All of these tools act as my coaching support network. It helps me understand not only what the data is but the actions I can take to train better, decrease my negative symptoms, and increase my performance.”
Below is a screenshot of the WILD.AI app.
What Patterns Has She Discovered?
“I had hunches about my health before I started using wearables but my Oura numbers show me something that I can’t deny. It changes my behavior.”
Helene’s “Secret Recipe” For Her Lowest Resting Heart Rate
“My lowest resting heart rate is 46 but I can only reach that if, and only if, I have the perfect combination of behaviors for 2-3 nights in a row. It’s like my ‘secret recipe’ for success.”
- Morning Qi Gong and meditation practice
- Limiting exercise after 3 PM
- Hydrating with 2.5 liters a day
- Fasting for 16 hours, starting at 3 PM
- Practicing good sleep hygiene – no devices or strong lights 2 hours before bed
- Sticking to a 9:30 PM bedtime and 7+ hours of sleep
- Cutting out alcohol
- Maintaining her optimal weight, 56-58 kilos
Below is an example of Helene’s Oura data showing that she hit her resting heart rate goal on June 14th after several days of improving Readiness.
Her Training Intensity Can Increase Mid-Cycle
“I feel really strong from day 3 in my period up to just after my ovulation. I feel that desire to train and if I run I feel like I am floating….I know that the first half of the cycle is when my energy is going to be the strongest and I should push.”
She looks for clear patterns in her Oura data during her cycle, including increasing HRV, to see if her body is ready to push.
Deep Sleep Helps Muscle Repair
Helene pairs data from WILD.AI with her Oura data to find a healthy balance between training and optimizing her body’s recovery. Here’s an example of how she can tell when her body has recovered in Oura:
“I love waking up to a RHR of 46, with ~25% of deep sleep and ~25% REM. It’s like success before I even start the day! I offered my body a good recovery night. If I have really good deep sleep like this, my performance improves and my recovery is much better. So I feel less sore when I get a good night’s sleep and I can train harder the next day.”
Below is an example of a great recovery night for Helene in the Oura app.
“My WILD.AI app adapts my training based on where I am in my menstrual cycle as well as the data coming from my wearables and my manual inputs. It’s like having an ultra-personalised coach always with me. I feel confident I can push myself, as my subjective feelings are confirmed by the objective datasets”.
Below is an example of the WILD.AI interface.
Tips From Helene
“I still have friends who aren’t tracking anything and are asking me – how can I feel better? How can I optimize? How can I be healthy? What I tell them is that there’s so much potential hidden in your body that you can explore. If you have tools like Oura or WILD.AI, you can test and learn, and understand what is good and truly works for your body, your vitality is incredibly enhanced.”
She shares some of what has worked for her in the hopes that it might work for others.
- Write notes to yourself: “I look at my data, I feel it in my body and then I take notes on what I like and don’t like. I’m actively looking at my data to help me build a day to day life that I really love.”
- Dedicate your morning to you: “It’s so important to take time to prepare for your day – my routine is up to 2 hours. I wake up without an alarm usually around 5:30 AM, when my body wants to. I get outside to see the first light of the day and spend an hour doing martial arts, Qi Gong, before meditating and going for a swim in the cold river. When I break my fast for breakfast, I’m truly ready for the workday.”
- Optimize your bedtime: “I’ve worked hard on my sleep hygiene – ideally no devices past 7PM, dim lights or candles, reading a book, no dinner, and in bed by 8:30 or 9 PM.”
- Don’t be drastic: “It might seem like I’m pretty extreme in my day to day life, I can be pretty monastic; but I’m very open to break my routine occasionally – I do love those nights with friends! I just switched occasional (drink, out late) and daily (serving my body).”
- Change your workday after dark: “If I still have work to do in the evening, then I do it on paper and not on a laptop or a screen. As a founder of a company, it’s not realistic to think there won’t be late nights but I’ve found that putting my sleep as a priority is key. In the long run, I make the work to get done without costing me sleep.”