I’ve been using a Fitbit Versa 4 since the start of the year. I appreciate the way it tracks my sleep and my heart rate. For a long time, I’ve known about the importance of mindfulness meditation for better sleep, lower heart rate during sleep, relaxation, lower blood pressure, and reducing anxiety. However, I never took the time to do meditation exercise. Before, it seemed like too much hassle!
On the Fitbit app, there’s a “10-minute body scan and drift off to sleep” session available. If I play the meditation session through the app on my phone, while wearing my Fitbit (which is synced to my phone), and then answer “yes” to the question on my phone, “Do you want to log this meditation session?” it shows me how my heart rate changed. I did it a couple times and was amazed by how quickly it lowered my heart rate. Love it!
Due to doctor’s recommendation, I’ve been aiming for 30 minutes of cardio exercise (greater than 125 bpm heart rate), five times per week. Due to my work schedule, frequently I can’t fit the exercise in until the evenings. Unfortunately, that means that my heart rate may still be elevated when I lie down to sleep … which isn’t ideal. Thankfully, with the fitbit app, I learned that I can use a meditation session to bring the heart rate down before sleeping. That’s very helpful!
Unfortunately, because I turn my phone off while I’m sleeping, I can’t use the audio recording from the Fitbit meditation app to “drift off to sleep.” Even if I were willing to leave my phone on while sleeping, obviously I can’t answer “yes” to record the meditation session if I’m successfully drifting off to sleep at the end. Without being able to “log the session,” to record how one’s heart rate changed, there’s no benefit of using the Fitbit app versus a random meditation audio from somewhere else.
Isn’t it funny how quickly something that seems simple … “practice meditation before going to sleep .., there’s even an app for it” can become so complicated?
But … never fear … wily problem solver that I am, I figured out a workaround. 💓 I used an old-school voice memo recorder to record the 10-minute “drift off to sleep” meditation session. I keep the battery-operated voice recorder near my bed. When I’m ready to sleep, I hit “play,” and that’s it. Works perfectly!
Yes, I choose big-picture vegan food as my usual thing to show support for animals, not for health reasons (because a well-planned nutritious vegan diet is not inherently more or less healthful than a well-planned nutritious diet that includes animal products). However, it’s SADLY VERY COMMON in vegan / vegetarian spaces for people to shame people who consume animal products for whatever health conditions or ailments they may have … osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and so on.
Wouldn’t it be hilariously wicked to counter-shame the self-righteous “we’re shaming people to help animals” vegans / vegetarians with things like this?
- Not doing enough weight-bearing exercise (sorry, biking and swimming don’t help) … Enjoy your osteoporosis! It’s iiuli
- Not doing enough cardio exercise (heart beat above 125 bpm, varies by person … swimming and biking totally DO help) … enjoy your diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease!
- LilllooiooToo much stress with work, family and other obligations … enjoy your high blood pressure, diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease!
- Insomniac, night shift worker or just not sleeping well? Enjoy your shorter expected life span, reduced cognitive abilities, dementia and cardiovascular disease!
- Generic predisposition to diabetes, high blood pressure and so on .., have fun with that!
Ha! You get the picture. I’m not advocating anyone counter-shaming like this, only bringing it up to highlight how unsavory it is to shame people for their health conditions, on account of the person not being vegan or vegetarian. How would the vegans and vegetarians feel if they were shamed for their health conditions when people “assumed” they didn’t do enough of the “right kind” of exercise or didn’t sleep enough or didn’t manage their stress levels well enough?
By the way, if any of the above associations are not correct, please let me know in the comments. I wrote that in a hurry, simply based on memory. I will correct anything I got wrong and would love to add links to reputable sources when I have more time.
Some vegans and vegetarians will complain, “We never said diet is the only thing that affects a person’s health! We know that exercise, stress, and sleep are important, too!” Yeah, but when you blame people for having health problems, “even though we told them they should go vegan, but they just won’t listen,” that’s the way you make it sound.
Life isn’t easy. That’s why I’m all for giving people a break. There’s no shame in not being able or ready to do whatever it is that someone else thinks you “should” do. What’s more, maybe the other person is wrong about the “should” being a good thing for you. It’s your life, and you’re the one who best knows how to live it. 💓
That’s why, for me, the “ish” is a very important part of “Veganish.”