How to Get Healthy With Your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch offers a variety of features and apps that can help you maintain and enhance your health and wellbeing, from heart rate monitoring to cycle tracking.

Apple has often promoted the health-related abilities of the Apple Watch. Its September press event featured video testimonials from people who say the smartwatch saved or improved their lives, and each new version of the Apple Watch introduces apps and options designed with health in mind.

Series 4 and 5, for example, come with an ECG app that can take an electrocardiogram of your heart rhythm. They’re also equipped with a fall-detection app that can contact emergency services if you’re unresponsive after a fall. And all versions of Apple Watch include a heart rate monitor and Health app that can display your health profile and Medical ID.

With watchOS 6, Apple has added a Noise app to monitor the surrounding noise level and a Cycle Tracking app to help monitor menstrual cycles. Let’s see how you can get healthy with an Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Requirements

While the heart rate monitor and the Health app are accessible on the Series 1 and higher, not all the Apple Watch health features are available on every OS version or device.

The Noise app is supported on Series 4 and 5, while the Cycle Tracking app works with Series 3 and higher. The ECG app and the fall detection tool work only on the Series 4 or higher.

Since watchOS 6 is expected to reach Series 1 and 2 by the end of 2019, some of these newer features should be available on older devices before too long.

Monitor Your Heart Rate

With the built-in Heart Rate app, you can monitor your heart rate at any time. Open the app, and it will measure and display your current heart rate. As long as your watch’s display is active, measurements are then taken and displayed periodically to record your rate. Tap the arrow in the upper left, and the app displays your current rate, your resting rate, your average rate, and specific rates based on your activities.

You’ll also discover third-party apps that monitor your heart rate with more features than you’ll find in the built-in app.

Take an ECG

With an Apple Watch Series 4 or 5, you can take an electrocardiogram (ECG), which checks your heart rhythm and alerts you if it finds any irregularities, such as atrial fibrillation. Of course, if you are experiencing any chest pains or other symptoms, you should immediately call emergency services. But if you do have a known condition, you can use the app to track your heart rhythm.

Open the Health app on your iPhone and tap Health Data > Heart > Electrocardiogram then go through the setup process. To take an ECG with your Apple Watch, open the ECG app and make sure the watch is on the same wrist on which you set up the feature.

Hold your finger on the Digital Crown. The app will count down as it takes the ECG. After 30 seconds, the results display your sinus rhythm and heart rate. If all is well, tap Done. If not, you can add any symptoms you’re experiencing, or contact your doctor or emergency services if you’re concerned about something serious.

View Your Health Information

Through the Health app on your iPhone, you can record health information about yourself and view it on your watch. To set this up, open the Health app on iPhone and tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner.

Tap the link for Health Profile to record your gender, blood type, and other data. Go back and tap the link for Medical ID to enter information about your medical history, conditions, and medications.

To view this information on your watch, Go to Settings > Health. Here, you can tap the entries for Health Profile and Medical ID to see the information you recorded.

Protect Your Hearing With the Noise App

Consistent loud noises can damage your ears and even lead to hearing loss. The purpose of the new Noise app is to monitor surrounding noise and warn you if sounds are above a safe level.

First set up the decibel threshold via your iPhone or watch and turn on the Environmental Sound Measurements option to begin monitoring noise levels.

From there you can set a decibel level at which you want to be warned if the sound around you gets too loud. Your watch will then notify you if the sound reaches or exceeds the level you set. You can also manually open the Noise app on your watch to check the current decibel level around you.

Set Up Cycle Tracking

Monitor menstrual cycles with the Cycle Tracking app. To set this up on your iPhone, open the Health app and tap Browse > Cycle Tracking > Get Started. You will then need to enter the date of your last period, indicate how many days your period usually lasts, and choose the typical length of each cycle.

You can then control features for Period Prediction, Period Notifications, Fertile Window Prediction, Log Fertility, and Log Sexual Activity, all of which can be helpful if you’re trying to get (or avoid being) pregnant.

Track Your Menstrual Cycles

To record and monitor your period, open the Cycle Tracking app on your watch. You can then log your cycle and assign each stage a different color while also noting all the accompanying symptoms. You can even view the predicted length of each cycle.

Detect a Fall

The Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 come with a useful safety feature called Fall Detection. If you take a hard fall that renders you unconscious or unable to move, your watch can automatically call emergency services.

To set this up on your iPhone, open the Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, swipe down, and tap the entry for Emergency SOS. Look for the option for Fall Detection and turn on the switch. If you fall, the watch will alert you. If you fail to respond, the watch will tap your wrist, sound an alarm, and then notify emergency services.

All Rights Reserved for Lance Whitney

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