Hack Aging & Stay Healthy with Apple

When one gets to a particular age, one might start to pine for the proverbial fountain of youth. At 71, I seem to have arrived at that juncture. I have been pursuing longevity by studying the latest scientific research and by using technology to track my health parameters, so I can be aware and improve them. There is a revolution in healthcare with respect to longevity. A plethora of scientific research is being conducted, shifting the paradigm to treating aging as a disease, not as an inevitability. That research is leading to many excellent technologies to test and track our health metrics so we can directly see where to put our resources toward achieving longevity.

Our modern cars have an array of sensors to keep track of every aspect of performance, health, and safety. Yet we have only had occasional doctor visits to give us insights into our health metrics, the rest of the time flying blind. With the amazing technology we now have available we can track them on our own.

I have found the ability to track my health metrics to be a great motivator to try to improve them. For example, the Apple Health app notified me that my VO2 max was tracking below average. I stepped up my morning walks, using the Gentler Streak Workout Tracker app (free), tracking my average heart rate and keeping it in the needed zone to improve my VO2 max number. Within a couple weeks, I was able to move it to above average. If you have no awareness of your metrics, you won’t know what actions to take. Some of these metrics can have life or death consequences, but all of them are important. They will motivate you to exercise more, eat better, take needed supplements, and see your doctor to address your health needs. By keeping my focus on these metrics, I have improved my exercise and diet and look and feel much better.

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.

Apple Watch: My Health Tracking Companion

The Apple Watch works in concert with the iPhone to offer a multitude of features that make it the perfect health tracking tool. It has powerful apps that support various aspects of health, including heart health, mobility, activity, and medication tracking. The watch can monitor important health information such as heart rate, sleep patterns, and even emotional states. It also offers advanced metrics for workouts, including heart rate zones, power, and elevation.

I now know during my doctor’s visits to ask the right questions to ask and which tests to request. This has given me more confidence in my health and pointed out a few areas I could use for improvement.

The Apple Watch is known for its accurate heart rate monitoring and can alert users to high or low heart rates, as well as irregular heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation. It also monitors blood oxygen levels, an important indicator of overall wellness. The Fall Detection feature can be crucial for elderly users or those with certain medical conditions.

In addition to these features, the Apple Watch encourages users to engage with their health. Data suggests that Apple Watch users are more likely to track their health data, and in my experience the device’s intimate nature makes it easier to form healthy habits.

However, it’s important to note that while the Apple Watch is a powerful tool for health tracking, it should not replace professional medical advice or regular check-ups with healthcare providers.

Following are a few of the apps I use regularly:

Apple Health and Fitness Apps - (Free)

These are the built-in apps that come with your iPhone and Apple Watch. The Apple Health app is a centralized and secure platform that collects and organizes your health and fitness data from your Apple devices and compatible third-party apps. It tracks a variety of health metrics, including activity, sleep, and health records, and provides insights to help you understand your health trends. The Fitness app presents you with the famous graphical rings for move, exercise and stand aspects of your daily activity. The at-a-glance view is a great motivator to do what it takes close them each day.

Gentler Streak - (Free)

Gentler Streak takes a holistic approach to health, focusing on gradual lifestyle changes that lead to lasting results. It guides users through customizable streaks, fostering habits that contribute to overall well-being. From nutrition to mindfulness, Gentler Streak empowers users to make incremental changes, ensuring a smooth journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

YouTube Premium - ($13.99)

I prefer YouTube Premium as it is ad-free. The algorithm is quite adept at providing personalized recommendations based on viewing history and interests. Once you view a few videos from longevity experts like David Sinclair, the algorithm serves you up excellent content from experts all over the world. I use this extensively for my longevity research.

Apple Podcasts - (Free)

Apple’s podcast app works very well to access a universe of information. There are many on the topic of longevity. Most podcasts now have a companion YouTube channel where you can enjoy both the audio and video components of these presentations. I listen to the podcast version when traveling when viewing the video component is not possible.

AutoSleep - ($5.99)

AutoSleep is the co-pilot we all need for a rejuvenating journey through the night. This app doesn’t just track your sleep; it analyzes patterns, provides sleep quality scores, and offers personalized tips for improvement. By transforming your nightly rest into a measurable metric, AutoSleep becomes a valuable tool for fine tuning your sleep. You can track your sleep with the Apple Health app, but this takes it to another level. It displays the data in detailed graphical reports on your iPhone with links to detailed information to understand your sleep. I usually review this each morning upon waking.

Perplexity AI - (Free)

This is an excellent AI App that is easy to use and provides the sources of its responses.

The Perplexity iPhone app is a conversational search engine powered by AI, providing instant answers and information on any topic with up-to-date sources. The app is user-friendly, with a simple interface, and is available for free on the App Store, offering a seamless experience for users seeking accurate and intelligent answers on any topic. It has a widget as well, which I find handy.

As we embrace the era of health-conscious living, these apps serve as our co-pilots. Just as car sensors provide real-time data to optimize performance, these apps empower us to understand and enhance our body’s mechanics. Coupled with the valuable insights from health podcasts, this roundup equips you with the tools and knowledge you need to take control of your well-being and ensure a smoother, more extended life.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Michael Schill's picture

Author Details

Michael Schill

Michael Schill is a serial entrepreneur and Apple diehard. After delivering high-speed internet to rural Iowa for 30 years as CEO of Natel Inc, Mike is enjoying retirement by spending time with his wife and three daughters, consulting with tech startups, photographing nature, flying drones with his grandkids, and hiking the trails with his Goldendoodle Bodhi.