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How to use Apple Health properly
Whether or not you wanted it, if you own an iPhone and recently updated your operating system you will have found Apple Health waiting on your home screen. If you’re anything like us, you probably took a cursory look through it, saw a bunch of confusing empty charts and quickly relegated it to a folder alongside the other delete-proof apps like Tips, Stocks and the currently useless Apple Watch.
But hang on, before you drop it in that folder and relabel it ‘Apple junk,’ it’s worth at least learning a little more about it. Health may not have quite lived up to the company’s high expectations, but with a little tinkering you might find it can do you some good – that’s sort of the whole point, after all. So, to help you get to grips with it, we’ve compiled everything you need to know.
How to use Apple Health
1. Get some apps
The first thing to know is that Apple Health doesn’t work all that well by itself, but when paired with various other health tracking apps it really comes into its own. The app works with most of the bigger fitness and sleep monitoring services to give you a single centralized fitness hub, so the likes of Nike Running, Map My Run, FitnessPal, Weight Watchers Mobile and Beddit can all be synced and accessed through a single screen. In order to do this you’ll first have to launch each app you want to include and find the option to connect or ‘share’ with Health in its settings.
2. Manage your Health
Once you’ve installed and synced your apps, open up Apple Health and head over to the ‘Sources’ tab at the bottom of your screen. From here you can ensure that they’re all sharing just the information you want, so all your precious data – from your heart rate to the number of steps you take are closely monitored.
3. Organise your dashboard
Now Apple Health is nearly ready to go, but in order to make the most of it you need to decide what kind of data you’re most interested in, and then put all of that stuff on your dashboard so it’s there when you need it. With the right apps connected, Health can give you vital information on everything from the number of stairs you climb each day to the amount of protein or iron in your diet. All these things can be tracked by navigating to the ‘Health Data’ tab at the bottom of your screen, where you can find all of the measurements your interested in. The list of options can be quite overwhelming – and often irrelevant depending on what apps you have synced – so it’s worth having a good look through, and be sure to make use of the search function to find what you want.
4. Read the data
As you begin exercising, your fitness apps will automatically begin sending information about your workouts to Apple Health. To delve deeper into that data just tap the chart you’re interested in and take a closer look, and you can also tap ‘Show all data’ to find a full list of results corresponding to each measurement. This is also where you can share your various workouts and activities, and also add ‘data points’ –so if you’ve been out walking or running without your phone you can make sure it’s all accounted for.
5. Set up your Medical ID
Lastly, one feature of Apple Health that we really love is Medical ID, which gives you the chance to create your own digital ‘in case of emergency’ card. In this section you can detail any health requirements or allergies that you may have and also assign one of your contacts as the person to be dialed should you have an accident. Your Medical ID can be accessed at any time – even from the lock screen – so a doctor or nurse can help you as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Even if you’re not interested in learning how to use Apple Health – in which case, well done for making it this far –it’s worth setting up your Medical ID anyway. Who knows, it might just save your life.