Since the new year started, I’ve been digging into the Apple Health app to try to do a better job of managing my health. What’s cool is that it gathers data from multiple apps to give you a comprehensive picture of your health in one place, so that you’re not always flipping back and forth — or getting sucked into Instagram along the way.
So if you’re also on a health journey this year, check out these cool Apple health tips and tricks to make it a little more streamlined.
1. Link your apps
If you use any other health-related apps, there’s a high chance you can connect them to Apple Health. I realized I could connect Oak (above), my meditation app, to Health so that my meditation minutes are automatically logged there as well as in Oak. Apple Health connects with so many others, like Nike Run Club, Calm, and tons of others.
2. Edit your favorites
Unlike a lot of fitness apps, the Health app lets you pick what info you want to display first and foremost. I like to have my steps, sleep, and mindfulness minutes, available at a glance when I open the app.
3. Set up a sleep schedule
We talk a lot about how to get better sleep here, and it turns out the Health app has lots of help for this too. The sleep section of Apple Health lets you set a sleep goal — like getting 8 hours a night — and then create a schedule to make sure you stay on track. I’m pretty disciplined about sleep already, so I didn’t think I’d need this feature but I ended up loving it. Getting a notification that it’s almost bedtime made it a lot easier to hit pause on whatever else I was doing (*cough* Bridgerton *cough*).
4. Enable a “wind down” time every night.
Once you get your sleep schedule set up, you can add a wind down time. Apple will turn on the “do not disturb” setting automatically at a certain time — mine is 45 minutes before bed — so you can prepare for sleep without all the notifications.
5. Set up shortcuts
If you use an app to fall asleep like I do, you can still get to it easily. You can program a shortcut right into the health app’s sleep schedule, so that it’s easy to access even in wind down mode. I use the Libro.fm app to listen to an audiobook before bed, and I know a lot of you like the Calm sleep stories.
6. Connect your health records
I was surprised how easy this was! I just connected Apple Health to my Vanderbilt University Medical Center app, and bam. All my health data from literally years of appointments and two pregnancies. Including my medications, vaccinations, and vital signs from past check-ups. Pretty handy.
7. Complete your health checklist.
This feature gives you a list of important tasks to do to monitor your health: like setting up your emergency contact so it can be accessed even if your phone is locked. It also reminds you to turn on headphone notifications to protect your hearing, enter your blood type, along with other important health info you’ll want to have on file.