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How to enable and use the health features on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has a lot of amazing features to use, including voice to text. Tap or click here for the 10 best features on your new Apple Watch. But did you know you can use your Apple Watch to take better care of yourself?

In addition to communicating with your family and listening to music on your Apple Watch, it also includes a wealth of features to help you stay healthy in your mind, body and soul. Some of its newest features even pay attention to particular body parts, like your heart.

If you are curious about how you can unlock and use these built-in features, you aren’t alone. Read on to enable and use the health features on your Apple Watch.

Setting up the Health app

Your Apple Watch works in tandem with your iPhone, so it goes without saying that you’ll need to set up some of the features on your phone first.

RELATED: 12 hidden iPhone features you’ll wish you knew sooner

The Health app allows you to enter details about your body, like height, weight and blood type. There are several other options you can choose to include or skip. Here’s how to access it on your iPhone:

  • Open the Health app.
  • Select your profile picture in the top right hand corner.
  • Click on Health Details.
  • Enter your information.

Once you’ve entered your information on the Health app, you can head to your Apple Watch to get started. Let’s check out some of the great features of the Apple Watch and how to use them.

Checking your heart rate

While your Apple Watch won’t give you a perfect reading of your heart rate, it can give you a close estimate. This is handy when working out to see if your heart rate is rising as it should be.

It’s an easy feature to use. Here’s how: Open the Heart Rate app on your Apple Watch and it will show your current heart rate, resting rate and walking average rate. As long as your watch is on, it takes regular readings of your heart rate and saves the data.

If you want to view previous heart rates, press the arrow on the app’s upper left.

Grabbing an Electrocardiogram (ECG)

A newer feature to the Apple Watch is taking an ECG, or Electrocardiogram, with a few steps. This is a handy feature if you have an abnormal rhythm and want to keep track of it or if you want to scan for any abnormalities.

It’s important to note that this feature is not a replacement for seeing your physician. Always consult a physician if you feel uncomfortable or notice a change in your heart’s rhythm. This feature is available in Series 4 and above.

You’ll first need to install and set up the ECG app. Here’s how:

  • Open the Health app on your iPhone. 
  • Follow the onscreen steps. If you don’t see a prompt to set up, tap the Browse tab, then tap Heart > Electrocardiograms (ECG) > Set Up ECG App
  • After you complete set up, open the ECG app to take an ECG.

If you still don’t see the app on your Apple Watch, open the Watch App on your iPhone and tap Heart. In the ECG section, tap Install to install the ECG app.

How to take an ECG:

  • Make sure that your Apple Watch is snug and on the wrist that you selected in the Apple Watch app. To check, open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then go to General > Watch Orientation.
  • Open the ECG app on your Apple Watch.
  • Rest your arms on a table or in your lap. 
  • With the hand opposite your watch, hold your finger on the Digital Crown. You don’t need to press the Digital Crown during the session. 
  • Wait. The recording takes 30 seconds. At the end of the recording, you will receive a classification, then you can tap Add Symptoms and choose your symptoms.
  • Tap Save to note any symptoms, then tap Done.

Fall detection

If your age is on the higher side, the Fall Detection feature may save your life. Once turned on, if the watch detects a fall, it can contact emergency services to get you help.

You can set this up in the Watch app on your phone:

  • Open the Watch app.
  • Swipe down.
  • Select Emergency SOS.
  • Tap the switch to enable Fall Detection.

Now that Fall Detection is enabled, it will sound an alarm if you fall. If you don’t respond, Apple will contact emergency services.

Sleep tracking

You can download an app onto your iPhone to track your sleep cycles. Apple Watch joined in on the trend and added the feature. But it’s more than just a sleep tracker. It can help get you ready to slumber by giving you a wind-down period, which you can set up on the Health app.

You can preset your goals for when to wake up and how much sleep you get overall, as well as track the actual hours you spend with your eyes closed. Open your Health app to explore all of its fun features, and you’ll be getting a better night’s rest in no time.

Exercise monitoring

While your Apple Watch naturally tracks your steps and calories, the newest feature, exercise monitoring, allows you to track the number of actual workouts directly on your phone.

You can track dancing, core training, and several other options. Simply tap the fitness tracker on your Apple Watch to get started.

Medical ID features

Also in the Health app on your iPhone is the ability to create your own Medical ID to be stored in your watch. Once in the app, you can tap on the Medical ID option to fill in your past medical history.

You can even list allergies and medications you are currently taking in the event an emergency happens.

Blood oxygen sensor

The newest feature added to the Apple Watch Series 6 is the additional blood oxygen sensor integrated into the watch.

The watch comes with a built-in oximeter to let you know if you have a healthy amount of oxygen circulating in your blood. This is a handy tool if you find yourself having breathing difficulties.

When tracking your blood oxygen level, you should see a number between 95-100. If you get repeat readings lower than that, you should contact your doctor for a consultation.

If you are an Apple Watch fan and always waiting for the newest features unveiled, you won’t have to wait very long. The new Series 7 watch is planned to be released between September and October of this year.

Looking for more Apple products? Here are some other choices to explore.

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