Apple pushes new activity challenge and resources for Heart Month | Cult of Mac

Apple pushes new activity challenge and resources for Heart Month

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Apple celebrates Heart Month across an array of products and services.
Apple celebrates Heart Month across an array of products and services.
Photo: Apple

In recognition of Heart Month, aka February, Apple is rolling out a series of new activity challenge and heart-health resources to support users’ efforts to stay healthy.

Also toward that end, the company hopes you’ll learn a thing or two from preliminary trends shown in the Apple Heart and Movement Study.

Custom compilations for Heart Month

Marking Heart Month, the Cupertino tech giant offers custom compilations across Apple Fitness+, the App Store, the Apple TV app, Apple Podcasts and Apple Books.

“We’re strong believers at Apple that if you can empower people with information about their health, you can change the trajectory of their well-being,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, in a press release. “Keeping your heart healthy requires a holistic approach — something we’ve focused on since the first generation of Apple Watch with the inclusion of activity and workout apps, in addition to heart rate.”

Heart Month Activity Challenge

Starting February 14, Fitness+ will feature a special section of 30-minute energizing workouts that will motivate users to get their weekly minutes of exercise.
Starting February 14, Fitness+ features a special section of 30-minute workouts tomotivate users to get their weekly minutes of exercise.
Photo: Apple

To help Apple Watch users stay motivated, Apple offers a new Heart Month Activity Challenge. It’s meant to help folks complete 30 minutes in their Exercise ring on February 14 to earn a special award.

And to help users earn the award, Fitness+ will feature a special section of 30-minute energizing workouts that day.

Apps for cardiovascular health

In the App Store, users can find a collection of apps that help them take care of their cardiovascular health. The apps provide valuable insights into heart rate and activity levels, the company said. Apps like HeartWatch, Gentler Streak and Zones for Training can empower users to optimize their fitness and overall wellness with personalized workouts and health metrics tracking.

Apple Watch users can earn a special award for Heart Month on February 14.
Apple Watch users can earn a special award for Heart Month on February 14.
Photo: Apple

Books, TV and podcast offerings plus Apple Watch savings

Apple Books offers a collection of titles that focus on heart health. They include tomes on heart science, emotional well-being and healthy eating.

For viewers, the Apple TV app features a collection of movies and shows on heart disease, heart science and healthy living.

And on Apple Podcasts, listeners can find a curated group of popular podcasts on the Browse tab. They feature medical experts who help listeners take steps to improve fitness, mindfulness and well-being.

For customers looking to upgrade their Apple Watch in February, Apple is offering extra savings in select countries on Apple Watch trade-ins.

On the App Store, users can find a collection of apps that help them take care of their cardiovascular health by providing valuable insights into metrics like their heart rate and activity levels.
On the App Store, users can find a collection of apps that help them take care of their cardiovascular health.
Photo: Apple

New Apple Heart and Movement Study updates

A new preliminary analysis of activity data from the Apple Heart and Movement Study came out recently. Researchers found that study participants relied most on walking, cycling and running to build up activity minutes. Researchers also saw that participants age 65 and older were more likely than younger folks to stay on track, meeting their goal of at least 150 minutes of activity per week.

Researchers gleaned data from more than 18 million workouts logged using Apple Watch during the pandemic.

Across genders and ages, participants with above-average cardio fitness levels averaged more than 200 minutes of activity per week. Those with high cardio fitness levels averaged more than 300 minutes of activity per week.

In collaboration with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Apple Heart and Movement Study explores the link between physical activity and heart health.
In collaboration with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Apple Heart and Movement Study explores the link between physical activity and heart health.
Photo: Apple

“Much of what we know about activity and cardiovascular fitness is based on small studies with limited metrics and few data on trends over time. The Apple Heart and Movement Study is collecting ongoing detailed information on activity and health from a large number of participants using Apple Watch, which offers researchers an ongoing estimation of Cardio Fitness,” said the study’s principal investigator, cardiologist Calum MacRae, MD, PhD.

“Through this study, we’re able to analyze the interaction between activity and Cardio Fitness and follow trends in ways that were not previously possible,” added MacRae, a Harvard Medical School professor. “We anticipate that exploring physiology at this scale with such a rich research data set will shed light on wellness and maintaining health.”

Tools for staying heart healthy

Beginning February 14, Fitness+ users can enjoy a new inspiring Time to Walk episode featuring Georges St-Pierre, a former mixed martial arts champion widely considered one of the greatest in the sport.
Beginning February 14, Fitness+ users can enjoy a new Time to Walk episode featuring Georges St-Pierre, a former mixed martial arts champion.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch users can better understand their heart health and get alerts about potential irregularities. The wearable’s tools include the ECG app, irregular rhythm notifications, high and low heart rate notifications, and Cardio Fitness levels.

For those just getting started with exercise, Fitness+ offers Workouts for Beginners across workout types like Strength, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates, Dance and Core.

Trainers also demonstrate modifications in each workout. Workouts or meditations can be as short as 5 or 10 minutes. So it’s easy to get started.

Walking is one of the healthiest activities in the world. Its benefits include stress relief and improved cardiovascular health. On February 14, the latest episode of Time to Walk comes out. It’s an audio experience on Apple Watch designed to encourage people to walk more often. The new episode feature Georges St-Pierre, a former mixed martial arts champion.

Fitness+ will also introduce a new episode of Time to Run. It’s an audio running experience designed to build consistency. It’s inspired by the neighborhoods and running routes of San Francisco.

People can learn download the Research app to learn more about the Apple Heart and Movement Study. In addition, Apple collaborates with other research institutions on heart health studies involving Apple Watch. They include the Heartline Study and University Health Network’s Heart Failure Study.

Pricing and availability

In the U.S., Fitness+ is available as a subscription service for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.