3 heart-health tips from Fitbit’s lead cardiologist

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2. Learn more about ECG and heart rhythm

In addition to heart rate, tracking the heart’s rhythm — the pattern of the heart beats — is something Dr. Jacqueline sees her patients becoming interested in. “Within the last 10 years, patients and clinicians have come to trust consumer heart health features like FDA-cleared electrocardiography (ECG) apps to inform cardiac care,” she says. Last year, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology released updated guidelines on the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common arrhythmia that affects nearly 50 million people globally. “Among patients with atrial fibrillation in whom cardiac monitoring is advised, the guidelines say it’s reasonable to recommend use of a consumer-accessible ECG device to detect recurrences,” says Dr. Jacqueline.

Fitbit Sense, Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Charge 5 and Charge 6 and Google Pixel Watch (both the first-generation and Pixel Watch 2) all feature the ECG app. This is a test that measures your heart’s electrical activity to look for normal rhythm and signs irregular rhythm that may be signs of AFib, and Dr. Jacqueline says using this app can be a great way to advocate for your health. In addition to the on demand ECG heart assessment, you’ll get a notification on your wrist and in the Fitbit app when your heart rate is above or below your set resting threshold. “When my patients show me ECGs from consumer health devices, it’s a great moment to celebrate health literacy,” says Dr. Jacqueline. “It’s information that patients have historically not had easy access to, and it can be really empowering.” To turn on and enable notifications from the ECG app, open the Fitbit app on your phone and navigate to the “health assessments” tab.

3. Monitor your sleep quality and get healthy sleep

Yes, exercise and movement are important for cardiac health, but so is sleep. “Don’t forget the importance of sleep for heart health,” says Dr. Jacqueline. “Research shows that poor sleep may increase risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.” You can make use of Fitbit’s sleep features — like tracking your sleep stages, setting sleep goals and checking out your Sleep Score — to make sure you’re not just getting enough sleep, but high quality sleep. Another tool is Premium’s Daily Readiness Score, which takes into account your sleep as well as your heart rate variability and recent activity to tell you what kind of workout you’re best prepared for, so you know if you’re up for something that really gets your heart pumping or if you’re in need of a rest day — because both are equally important. “Your heart thanks you for the work your body performs and the rest you give it, day and night,” Dr. Jacqueline says.

Original Source: https://blog.google/products/fitbit/fitbit-cardiologist-heart-health-tips/

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