APple’s health app tracks your heart rate, daily step count and sleep. But this is just the beginning. You can use it to track other parts of your life, improving your mood, skin, bowel movements, and more.
The lesser-known tracking features of the Health app are really easy to find. To access it, just open the app, tap “Edit” under Favorites, then tap “All”. Instead of just seeing the more heavily advertised features, you have a long list of options to choose as favorites and add “Summary” to your main screen. Here are 13 all-star features to get you started.
13 ways Apple’s health app is tracking your life
1. Brush your teeth
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes per session. With the health app you can keep track and manually enter how long you have been cleaning each day. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush, the information will be entered for you.
2. Period tracking
There are many period tracking apps out there, but the health app can also track your cycle. By logging your cycles, the app predicts when you will get your next period, fertile window, and more. Everything is also shown on a timeline so that all the data can be viewed in one place.
3. Hand washing
Hand washing has never been more important. Experts recommend lathering with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to remove any germs lurking on your skin. You can track how often and for how long you wash your hands every day right in the app.
4. Within walking distance
Our phones are always in hand. This is not always an advantage, but it is an advantage to be connected around the clock: the Health app records your walking and running distance and gives you a daily average as well as information on how well you are compared to the previous weeks . (There is also a way to calculate wheelchair distance.)
5. Standing minutes
“Research shows that if we sit for 30 minutes at a time, our metabolism slows down and our risk of metabolic disease actually increases,” says sports psychologist Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS. “Sitting or sedentary periods is also an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”
The health app tracks your standing minutes – also known as the minutes in each hour that you stand and move – so you can see how sedentary or active you are. Even better, if you have an Apple Watch, everything is tracked and logged for you.
There are many reasons people experience acne, from what you eat to how much it is measured. If you’re not sure why pimples are occurring, you can log data in the Health app. For each outbreak, enter the severity, begin and end. Then, over time, you may be able to determine the cause and correct it. You can also track dry skin with the app.
7. Mood swings
If you feel like your mood is really up and down, you can keep track of it in the Health app. Anytime you notice a change in mood you can keep a record of the start and end time. If there is a pattern, it will help you identify the reason for your mood swings: it may be due to hormones, depression, and other issues that are definitely worth discussing with your doctor.
8. Bowel movements
If you have frequent constipation or diarrhea, you can track both issues right in the Health app. From there, it’s easier to determine the cause, including your diet, activity level, dehydration, or a health problem. You can also track the bloat.
9. Sexual activity
What is the benefit of tracking your sexual activities? This can affect both your physical and emotional health. As such, it can be helpful to keep records if you ever need to compare them to your other data. You can also track vaginal dryness.
There are so many ways you can improve your diet with the help of the Health app. You can track all of your daily vitamins (and how much you take of each), how much caffeine you drink, things like protein, carbohydrates and sugar, and a lot more. This is a great way to ensure that you are giving your body what it needs to make you feel best.
11. Water absorption
If you don’t feel like you’re drinking enough water every day, using the app is an easy way to keep track of things. Every time you drink a different bottle or glass, keep track of the time and how much. That way, you’ll know how fine you are (and if you need to increase your intake).
12. Mindful minutes
Practicing mindfulness – or focusing your awareness on the present moment – can help you feel less stressed and anxious, improve your mood … the benefits are endless. It can make your relationships even better. To ensure that you practice mindfulness throughout the day, you should log at least a period of time in the health app. It can even take 20 minutes before you can enjoy your morning coffee without a phone. Over time, keep increasing these mindful minutes. This way you live more in the moment and spend less time on the autopilot.
13. Changes in appetite
There are many reasons for your appetite change, from stress to malnutrition. If you notice changes in appetite, report them in your app: You can specify the day, the time and whether your appetite has increased or decreased.
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