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April Updates

I’m happy to at least have these monthly challeges as they’re prompts for me to write, but I sure wish I was updating a bit more regularly.

The March Challenge ended up being a bust. Amazon is wildly convenient for my lifestyle and although I spent the first half of the month going to bookstores, local hardware stores, and doing minor errands on my lunch break, when we were getting ready for our Spring Break trip to Yosemite I broke down and ordered snow-chains and various other items I couldn’t easily get nearby.

One day I stopped off at our local, beloved bookstore only to find out the second book in a series my son had just got into was no longer in print and could not be acquired by the bookstore. Amazon, of course, had many options. Other online bookstores did not.

This month I want to try a simple one that I’m hoping becomes a regular pattern for me. My Apple watch records something called HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and as I’ve been watching it go up and down over the past couple of months, it definitely seems to be closely related to how well I’m doing with stress, sleep, and food. The more I watch it, the more I pay attention to the factors that drive it down (higher is better) and the better I do.

The method for recording your HRV is to use the Apple Breathe App which spends a minute guiding you through a deep breathing exercise. When you’re done it sends the HRV recorded value to your phone’s Health.app to see.

So for this challenge I’m going to take no less than three measurements a day in the hopes I can drive it up higher, eat better, get better sleep, and cut down on stress. Wish me luck!

More on HRV: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heart-rate-variability-new-way-track-well-2017112212789

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