7 ways to improve your heart health with Apple Watch

Whether you already have an Apple Watch, thinking about one one, or your a Fanboy that’s had one from the beginning, you should be able to find some useful tools to monitor and improve your heart health with these following features.

Monitor and improve Heart Health with your Apple Watch

High/Low heart rate notification settings

apple watch heart rate notification settings
  • If you want a notification when your heart rate goes below or increases above a certain threshold and remains there for 10 minutes while inactive, this feature is available for those 13 years old and up.
  • If it’s not turned on already, open the Heart Rate app if you want to change it:
  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Swipe down and choose Heart (under the My Watch tab)
  3. Tap High Heart Rate > pick a threshold
  4. Tap Low Heart Rate > pick a threshold

Irregular heart rhythm notifications on Apple Watch

Here’s what this feature can do:

“If you get a notification, the irregular rhythm notification feature on your Apple Watch identified an irregular rhythm suggestive of AFib and confirmed it with multiple readings.
If you have not been diagnosed with AFib by a physician, you should talk to your doctor.

To make sure this watch feature is set up:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Choose Browse in the bottom right corner
  3. Now tap Heart
  4. Swipe down and look for Set Up under Irregular Rhythm Notifications
  5. If you don’t see that in the Health app, open the Watch app on iPhone
  6. Swipe down and tap Heart (under the My Watch tab)
  7. Tap the toggle next to Irregular Rhythm

ECG and AFib History

apple watch ECG and AFib History
  • The ability to take ECGs with Apple Watch started with Apple Watch 4.
  • ECGs are for Apple Watch users 22 years old and older.
  • If you haven’t used it before or didn’t set it up when you first got your watch:
  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Choose Browse in the bottom right corner
  3. Now tap Heart > ECG > Set Up
  4. You can also set up the more recent AFib History feature – this regularly checks for signs of AFib in the background
  5. Head back to the Health app on your iPhone
  6. Browse > Heart > look for Set Up near the bottom under AFib History

Apple highlights that after an ECG “Regardless of the result, if you aren’t feeling well or are experiencing any symptoms, you should talk to your doctor.”

Cardio Fitness on your Apple Watch

Here’s how Apple describes Cardio Fitness:

“Cardio fitness is a measurement of your VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can consume during exercise. Your cardio fitness level is a strong indicator of your overall physical health and a predictor of your long-term health.”

Check out how to get going with this or view your data in our full guide:

Cardio Recovery on your Apple Watch

Like HRV and VO2 max, Cardio Recovery or heart rate recovery is a lesser-known health metric that’s measured by Apple Watch every time you track a workout. Cardio Recovery measures how fast you heart rate decreases immediately after exercise. As with heart rate variability, heart rate recovery (HRR) offers a look at your heart health by how fast it responds to the autonomic nervous system.

Learn how to set it up:

Heart rate variability (HRV)

Heart rate variability (HRV) is automatically captured by Apple Watch but it’s not viewable in the wearable’s native Heart Rate app. You’ll need to head to the iPhone’s Health app > Browse > Heart.

What is HRV? It’s the measurement of how the interval of time between heartbeats changes, measured in milliseconds – notably this is a metric that changes a lot, so looking at broad trends, not daily numbers is most helpful.

HRV is considered by many in the medical field as a powerful indicator of not only current overall health and resilience of the heart and body but also a strong predictor of future mortality.

HRV is also often used as a signal to understand when the body is ready for exercise or rest. All of this is thanks to HRV showing how responsive the heart is to our autonomic nervous system.

On Apple Watch

  1. Head to the Heart Rate app on your Apple Watch to see daily data (app with heart icon)
  2. You’ll see your current heart rate, swipe or scroll down with the Digital Crown
  3. Now you can see your resting rate, walking average, workout heart rate, and heart rate recovery data (if you’ve done a workout recently)
Heart rate variability on your apple watch

Heart rate history on iPhone

Checking your heart rate history captured by Apple Watch on iPhone gives you the best and easier to view data, here’s where to find it:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the Browse tab in the bottom right corner, then Heart
  3. On the main page, you’ll see the various heart rate categories. Tap one to see your history
  4. At the top, you can change the data window between hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly (H, D, W, M, Y)
  5. Toward the bottom, you’ll see heart rate highlights and more information about each type of heart rate data