We all do our best to commit to life-improving habits at the start of each year.
However, January is arguably the most challenging time to do that. In the height of the cold winter months, it’s not uncommon for us to feel our least motivated. Just like the natural world drops into a stillness, sinking inwards, so do we.
Spring, on the other hand, is known for being the season of renewal.
The world around us begins to spring back into life with greater zest; the trees have more color, the critters more pep in their step. And it’s a time for us to enjoy that same sense of rejuvenation.
With warmer weather and longer days, we have more energy to create shifts in our daily routines that result in improved heart health. And, better yet, in conjunction with the spark springtime brings, you can use Cardiogram to amplify your sense of motivation.
Using Cardiogram to Optimize Physical Activity
Of course, one of the best things you can do to improve your cardiovascular fitness is to increase your movement. Exercise helps to increase blood flow and lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and cortisol levels. It also helps to strengthen your heart and improve your overall cardiovascular system. And thankfully, with the warmer weather, getting up and moving is much easier.
Especially with the help of these Cardiogram features:
Heart Rate Zones. It’s recommended by the American Heart Association that adults strive to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.1 This could look like going for a 30-minute walk or jog five days out of each week.
When a workout is created in your Cardiogram app, either manually or automatically, you’re given access to your detailed workout data. Here, you can view how long you’re staying in each heart rate zone. Use this feature to make sure you’re hitting your weekly target of 150 minutes in the moderate-intensity zone.
Take Workout Notes. Be sure to take notes in your Workouts to keep track of what works for you and your heart, and what doesn’t. Does a particular activity feel better or worse than others? Does it turn out eating pizza before exercise gives you heart burn? These are all helpful to take note of and keep track of.
Heart Healthy Habits. For daily accountability on getting the movement you need, you can enroll in one of our “Health and Fitness.” If the gym doesn’t call to you, spring is a great time to get outside and take stroll or a bike ride around a park or in your neighborhood.
You can also invite friends and family members who are also part of the Cardiogram Fam to enroll in the habit with you for added support.
Daily Leaderboard. Challenge a friend or family member to a daily step count contest for even greater accountability to stay moving, and a little friendly competition, with Daily Leaderboards.
Using Cardiogram to Increase Social Connection
Social support is incredibly impactful in determining your resilience to stress. The greater social support you have, the less susceptible you are to stress, and vice versa. In fact, research has indicated that those with stronger social connections are more likely to live longer and have overall better health outcomes.2
Spring is a perfect time to connect with friends and family. You can always you go on an outdoor adventure, like a hike or a picnic, or take advantage of more daylight for an evening out.
And, of course, you can always rely on these Cardiogram features:
Daily Leaderboard. Challenge a friend or family member who’s also looking to add more physical activity to their day to a daily step count contest with our Daily Leaderboard. This way, you can offer one another even greater accountability to stay moving, and a little friendly competition.
Heart Healthy Habits. In addition to enrolling in any of our heart healthy habits, you can also invite friends and family members who are also part of the Cardiogram Fam to enroll in the habit with you for added support.
Join Our Facebook Group. The Cardiogram Community Facebook group is a great resource for making new social connections. This spring, make it a point to meet plenty of others in the Cardiogram Fam who are on a similar health journey, lean on one another for support, and cheer on each other’s wins.
Remote Monitoring. Simply knowing someone is monitoring your heart health journey alongside you can make the journey that much less lonely.
Using Cardiogram to Get Better Sleep
With the spring time change, and the consequential brighter evenings, our sleep patterns can become disrupted. And, of course, this can easily lead to sleep deprivation, which is detrimental for your heart health.
Use these Cardiogram features to help offset the sleep disturbances this season:
Sleep Habits. Enroll in any of our sleep habits this spring to give your heart the rest it needs. Choose from “No blue light before sleep,” “No coffee after 2pm,” or “7 hours of sleep.” And we’ll be sure to keep you accountable.
Journal. Each morning, take notes in your app of how you slept each night. Be sure to include any potential triggers for poor sleep, or anything that might have aided a good night’s sleep. Could it be that your new sleep habit is working? Write it down.
Sleep Tags. Cardiogram often tags your sleep automatically, but this can also be created manually. Once the time change has occurred, or if you experience any other sleep disruptions, be sure to check your sleep insights to find patterns. Notice any trends? Adjust your sleep hygiene accordingly.
Share with Your Doctor. If you’re not getting the sleep you need, share your sleep data with your doctor. Together, you can start to connect the dots of what’s causing your restlessness and create an appropriate treatment plan.
Ognomy Partnership. If your Cardiogram Report Card shows that your risk for sleep apnea is moderate to high, or if you’re concerned you may have sleep apnea for any reason, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our partner, Ognomy. Ognomy is a 100% virtual platform whose sleep medicine specialists offer sleep apnea testing, diagnosis and treatment. Learn more here.
We hope you take advantage of these features to make the most out of this season! As always, we're cheering you on from behind the screens. Happy spring, Cardiogram Fam!