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You can always count on Dad, so why not thank him by spending some quality time together this year? Check out these ideas for an active and memorable Father’s Day.

  1. Take a Walk

The great outdoors makes for great quality time. Enjoy each other’s company on a stroll through the park or a friendly foot race around the block. Take the vívoactive 3 Music GPS smartwatch along to measure your heart rate and calories burned, so you know how many Father’s Day brews you’ve earned. Get into the competitive spirit with your favorite pump-up tunes right on your wrist.

  1. Hit the Trails

Take your walk to the next level with some elevation gains. Overcome obstacles together on a hike through your favorite trails, but make sure you pack the essentials. Grab some water and Dad’s favorite snacks and finish off with the perfect Garmin for your travels. For a rugged companion that can take on more extreme environments, get Dad an Instinct GPS watch. If you want to pack some peace of mind for your trip, snag an inReach Mini compact satellite communicator.* You’ll be able to message those at home via the 100% global Iridium satellite network (satellite subscription required), and, in an emergency, you can trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center.

  1. Play a Round or Two

If your dad prefers a quiet day on the green, load up the clubs and head to his favorite course. If you’re still without a gift, consider getting the sleek Approach S60 GPS golf watch with wrist heart rate technology and activity tracking. It has golf features such as AutoShot, which measures shot distances and auto records detected shots for post-round analysis, and Green View display, showing the true shape and layout of the green. Plus, it looks good off the course, so Dad can keep it on every day.

You can’t go wrong with any of these activities or these gifts. We hope your dad loves every minute of his day.

*Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

The post Three Ways to Make Father’s Day More Adventurous appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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Approximately 30-40% of women of reproductive age and 20-32% of premenopausal women are affected by premenstrual syndrome (PMS). That’s a lot of us.

Before your period, estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly, which can lead to everything from headaches and bloating to acne and mood swings. Getting the proper nutrients can help deal with these changing hormones and subsequent PMS symptoms.

Vitamin B6
If you deal with a lot of emotional changes — such as anxiety, crying, depression, fatigue and mood swings — before your period, this might be the solution for you. Studies have shown that vitamin B6 plays a big role in regulating mood. Especially when combined with calcium.

If you don’t want to take a supplement, the National Institutes of Health suggests chickpeas, fortified cereals, tuna, chicken and other foods as good sources of vitamin B6.

Calcium
If you’re sold on vitamin B6, combine it with calcium, and it will be even more effective. The combination of calcium and vitamin B6 can significantly reduce PMS symptoms. In one study, calcium was found to reduce symptoms like depression, mood swings, headache, irritability and breast tenderness by approximately 50%.

While dairy is often listed as the number one source of calcium, soymilk, orange juice, tofu, salmon and leafy green vegetables are also great sources.

Vitamin D
Most of us know of vitamin D as the “sun vitamin,” because our bodies are designed to produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight. What you might not know is that vitamin D can significantly reduce PMS symptoms like backaches and depression. 

If you want to boost your vitamin D intake without spending time in the sun, you can get it by consuming mushrooms, fatty fish — such as salmon, tuna and mackerel — and fortified dairy products.

The best thing about all of these nutritional recommendations is that they’re inexpensive, natural ways to treat your symptoms, making them perfect for all ages, including those on birth control or other medications. So make sure you’re getting all the right nutrients to fuel your body and help you kick PMS’s butt!

You can now track your menstrual cycle in Garmin Connect. Regardless of your cycle type — including regular, irregular and menopause transition — you can log how you feel physically and emotionally every day and get reports that show you fluctuations in your body over time.

The post What Should You Eat to Ease PMS? appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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From exploring the Titanic to searching for evidence of Vikings in North America, the archaeology teams at SEARCH travel the globe to uncover some of humankind’s most important storylines.

Since 1993, SEARCH and SEARCH2O — the underwater archaeology branch of the company — have completed more than 3,500 projects across 44 U.S. states and 37 countries, spanning five continents and three oceans. They’ve aided major infrastructure projects, provided emergency recovery response on land and water, supported all branches of the military, and worked on television programs for National Geographic, HISTORY network and Science Channel.

“What stands out to me is that some of our more challenging, higher profile projects really communicate why archaeology matters,” said Mike Arbuthnot, vice president at SEARCH.

Some of these meaningful projects include an underwater search for Clotilda — the last ship to bring enslaved people to the United States — and recovering missing military personnel from World War II planes in Palau, northern India and New Guinea.

Rugged Plus Performance

With the influence of pop culture, it’s easy to picture all archaeologists in cargo pants and bucket hats, digging for bones and artifacts. But in reality, technology has evolved to allow archaeologists to do things once never thought possible.

SEARCH has about 200 employees working on projects around the world. In their work, it’s often necessary to not only get dirty, but also to travel to remote and often challenging locations. For these reasons, SEARCH requires a rugged tool for tracking, navigation and remote communication. They turned to inReach® technology for a solution. 

For example, while filming the Science Channel television series “America’s Lost Vikings,” the team used inReach devices to navigate via helicopter to the island of Nomans Land off the coast of Cape Cod, drop waypoints in important locations they hoped to return to in a remote area of Greenland and to help document the location of Hvalsey — the site of the last recorded Norse event before their disappearance in the 15th century.

Mike said that they also use inReach to help keep their field teams safe: “We’re thinking all the time about preventing the worst-case scenario.”

In addition to venturing deep into far removed places, archaeologists are often carrying a significant amount of equipment that needs to withstand variable weather conditions and wear and tear.

“Where we go, we don’t have the luxury of having a big box retail store nearby to trade out something that was delicate and broke,” SEARCH President James Pochurek said. “We use inReach devices because they’re exceedingly rugged and precise. Rugged plus performance – that’s the standard for ourselves and for our gear.”

Future of SEARCH

On land and sea, SEARCH has many new projects in the works across the U.S. and the globe. Using new technology, they aim to bring even more exciting discoveries to fruition and push the boundaries of archaeology.

For example, in an episode of “America’s Lost Vikings,” SEARCH used drone-based photogrammetry to determine if the ruins at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland matched known Viking building foundations in Europe. Their detailed imaging demonstrated that Vikings likely inhabited the site many decades longer than previously thought. The digital model of the site will also contribute to current scholarship and inspire the next generation of archaeologists to continue exploring the ruins.

“Using technology, there is a bright future in the past. Archaeology has only begun to scratch the surface,” James said. “Over land and underwater, we will deploy teams using the best gear to explore the world’s most remote reaches, and bring them safely home.”    

Follow SEARCH on Facebook and Instagram to learn more the company’s research and adventures.

To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required.
NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

The post Archaeology Company Uncovers Stories in Remote Places appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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Fitness is the body’s overall ability to function effectively. And there are certain sports that are particularly good at boosting this ability. Getting fit is not just about endurance training — it’s also about increasing your strength in all senses of the word or in other words your power, speed, and flexibility. A solid fitness base is a vital foundation for muscle building and steady improvements in performance. The following seven sports are particularly good choices for laying down the necessary groundwork. It’s a good idea to include at least two of them in your training regime.

1. Running

Even if you only stick to a moderate pace, running is good news for your entire cardiovascular system. It can also have beneficial effects for people suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or stress. If you want to stay healthy and get the maximum bang for your running buck, you should be mindful of your posture — lean forwards slightly from the waist, and look straight ahead. Looking down put unnecessary stress on your spinal discs and the muscles in your neck and back.

2. Walking

By which we mean walking at a brisk pace, using your arms at the same time. Walking is a gentler alternative to running, especially for those who are starting from zero. And you can even combine the two in your training sessions by alternating them at five-minute intervals. Fast walking cranks up the metabolism and burns fat, and is softer on the knee joints than fast jogging. Walking and running are good sports if you see yourself as a future marathon finisher.

3. Biking

Regardless of whether you head out into the great wide open or stay indoors on an exercise bike, cycling is great for your abs, glutes, and leg muscles. Biking is the ideal choice for people carrying a little extra weight who would like to dip their toes into the world of sport, but also a good way for anyone to build fitness gradually. Beginners should always start small and let it grow from there. Don’t forget to stretch your leg and glute muscles after each session in the saddle.

4. Swimming

The impact of gravity on the body is less in the water, which is good news when it comes to flexing your fitness muscles. Circulation is improved because the pressure of the water increases the flow of blood from the surface blood vessels to the chest area. Fitness wannabes who go to the trouble of learning the various strokes so that they can switch between them will be rewarded with a good all-round workout option. Backstroke in particular can be something of a miracle cure for back pain sufferers, since the semi-weightlessness you experience in the pool allows the back muscles to be worked in a manner different to other sports. Swimming also jump-starts your metabolism and can help eliminate the cellulite which plagues many women.

5. Rowing

Rowing might not be a feasible fitness option for everyone, but it’s definitely a good way to increase your general stamina. Even though rowing and other paddle sports are carried out from a seated position, they are great fitness builders and also good for the back. Newbies may well see their pulse rate shooting up, since they’re likely to have to work quite hard. If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable to structure your sessions in such a way that you can take a break every 10 minutes.

6. Elliptical trainer

If you’re already a regular gym goer, you’ll be familiar with the elliptical machine and maybe even use it as part of your regular program. Elliptical machines have cemented their place in the family of cardio equipment, which also includes treadmills and rowing machines. Working out on an elliptical trainer is easy on the joints, and the option of adjusting the level of effort makes it a good choice for beginners.

7. Dancing

Yes, dancing counts too! And you don’t have to wait until the next time you’re out partying in a club — you can dance to your favorite music at home, with or without a partner. Warm up with a couple of slower-paced songs, then start to pick up the pace. Dancing exercises lots of different muscles and puts a smile on your face. But it will only deliver results if you get good and sweaty.

The number-one rule for endurance training — if you’re going to do it, do it right

If you want to get fit, you need to remember one thing: don’t overexert yourself. When you get to the end of a workout, you should always feel like you have a bit more gas in the tank. Regardless of the sport, make sure you spend enough time stretching the muscles you’ve been working after each session. After a while you’ll see noticeable fitness gains since there’s nothing magic about getting in shape — you just need to choose a sensible training regime.

The information provided through our blog or e-mails is not intended to be and is not a substitute for, professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment that can be provided by your own health care professional.  Garmin is not attempting to diagnose, treat or cure any physical ailment, or any mental or emotional issue, disease or condition. Our blogs are intended to help you reach your own health and wellness goals.

The post Get Fitter, Faster: Build Your Endurance With These 7 Sports appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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Garmin announced Advanced Sleep Monitoring last June, an enhanced capability to more accurately identify sleep stages.  Developed against truth data generated by a clinical device, the feature is the result of a sleep study by Garmin Health conducted under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne Stevens, Director of the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) Sleep Medicine Clinic with certifications by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. 

Dr. Stevens presented the details of the study on May 7th at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.  The poster presentation covered study design, results, and the conclusion that Garmin wearables that support Advanced Sleep present a valid method to estimate sleep stages.  For consumers, this results in valuable insights regarding their sleep hygiene and how their sleep patterns may be affecting their overall health.  For researchers, the results indicate Garmin wearables may be suitable for longitudinal studies where monitoring participant activity and sleep patterns are desired endpoints.

In contrast to similar studies, the Garmin Health and KUMC study was conducted outside a sleep clinic in real world conditions typical for most users.  Study participants used a clinical reference device at home in their own beds, providing data representative of their normal sleeping patterns.  Only participants using CPAP machines or with tattoos on their wrist were excluded, meaning data was collected from participants with a variety of known and unknown sleeping conditions, as would generally be the case for users of consumer wearables.  Outside of the study, algorithm performance from 3,200 nights of sleep in a production environment collected during beta testing was cross-checked with clinical reference data regarding average distribution of sleep stages by age group.  The results aligned with expectations, including a decrease of deep sleep and total sleep duration as a function of age.

Garmin Health provides enterprise solutions that leverage Garmin wearables and the high-quality sensor data they produce for use in the corporate wellness, population health and patient monitoring markets.  Contact us to request more information about how to build your own innovative experience or research study.

Commercially Available Wearable
Provides Valid Estimate of Sleep Stages

Scott Burgett1,Robert Blair1, Darrell Lightfoot2, Catherine Siengsukon3, Adam Reetz1, Suzanne Stevens2
1Garmin International, 2Neurology, University of Kansas Health Systems, 3University of Kansas Medical Center

Introduction

In the last several years there has been an explosion of smart wearable devices that are capable of measuring steps, activity, heart rate, and other biometric data about the wearer. An estimated 117 million smart wearables will be sold in 2019, with that number rising to 233 million in 2022 [1].  Actigraphy has been the gold standard for many years to estimate sleep stages using wearables. Actigraphy uses accelerometer information to estimate wake/sleep periods of the user [2]. Many modern wearables also measure heart rate and heart rate variability by using optical photoplethysmography (PPG). PPG uses light emitted into the skin to measure pulse rate by observing small changes in the intensity of the reflected light due to capillary blood volume changes as the pulse pressure wave transits the sensor field of view. The use of actigraphy, heart rate, and heart rate variability together provides the opportunity to estimate more than just wake/sleep, such as light (N1 and N2), deep, and REM stages of sleep.

Although many wearables purport to accurately distinguish between light and deep sleep [3], little information is available on the validity of using wearables in this manner. A previous study by Fitbit described a non-production method to estimate sleep stages in a healthy adult population using PPG and actigraphy in a wearable device [4]. This study describes the method and results of using optical PPG and actigraphy in a wearable device (a vivosmart 3 manufactured by Garmin International) to estimate sleep stages in a population of adults.

Method

This study involved recruiting subjects to wear a Garmin vívosmart 3 and a reference device so that the accuracy of the Garmin device in estimating sleep stages could be assessed. The most accurate method to determine sleep stages involves the use of in-laboratory polysomnography (PSG), which includes the use of EEG, EOG, and EMG sensors. However, the use of an in-laboratory PSG is cumbersome for the subjects, and many times does not yield the same quality and quantity of sleep as a subject sleeping in familiar surroundings in their own bed. EEG systems that are take home devices such as the Sleep Profiler have been developed and yield comparable sleep architecture estimates to PSG [5]. In this study, the Sleep Profiler was used as the reference device, reducing burden on study participants and allowing for data collection in an environment identical to production use of the Garmin wearable.  The accuracy of the Sleep Profiler was deemed to be comparable to a laboratory PSG.

Individuals in the study were trained on use of the Sleep Profiler device and directed to wear the Garmin device on the nondominant wrist. The Sleep Profiler device recorded three channel EEG for sleep staging (as well as other measurements such as heart rate). The Garmin device logged data simultaneously with the Sleep Profiler. Accelerometer x, y, and z channels were recorded, along with the wide bandwidth PPG signal. Only the green channel was used in this study. Data was time aligned to within a second by setting the internal clocks of both devices to the same time, and then comparing the heart rate output of the Garmin device to the heart rate output of the Sleep Profiler, as these two measurements were very similar, highly correlated, and yielded time alignments of better than one second.

The Sleep Profiler output data, including the automated sleep staging output, was then reviewed by a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist using AASM guidelines [6] to provide the reference sleep stages. Scoring was done at the 30-second epoch level. In this case, N1 and N2 sleep stages were combined into a light sleep category. Wake, light, deep (N3) and REM stages were then scored.

The scored data was then used to train a neural network to perform the sleep stage classification. The neural network architecture was chosen such that it could be realized in a production system that included the wearable device, with somewhat limited computing resources, and the Garmin cloud, which has extensive computing resources. In the end, a two-stage approach was used, where data was pre-processed on the wearable to segment and compress the wide bandwidth sensor data into a manageable payload for syncing off the device via Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and the Garmin Connect Mobile app to the Garmin cloud for further processing.

The neural network used in the cloud was an adaptation and simplification of the architecture of Zhao [7]. Over 60 features were computed on the device. Seven more features were computed on the cloud over the entire night’s data.

The network was trained using a k-fold cross validation re-sampling procedure with a k value of five [8]. In this method, the data was randomly sampled into five equally sized groups. The network was trained on four of the groups (80%), and scored on remaining group (20%). The training set was randomly subdivided into a training set and a validation set used to determine when to stop training the network. The stopping criteria used was a variation of the criteria given in [9]. This method was repeated five times such that each subject was used four times in the training set, and one time in the test set.   

Results

55 individuals were recruited to participate in the study. The only exclusion criterion was if there was a tattoo on the dorsum of wrist that would interfere with the optical heart rate reading. Of these 55 individuals, 14 indicated that they have a sleep disorder or take medications that may impact sleep architecture. These individuals were noted, however their data was still included in the study to represent the general population and a percentage of real-world users with sleep disorders, whether known or unknown. Of the 55 participants, 31% (17) were female and 69% (38) were male. Age distribution was 35.5 +/- 8.7 years, BMI distribution was 26.3 +/-6.4.

The overall accuracy of the algorithm against this real-world data was 69.7%, with the sensitivity in detecting sleep 95.8% and the specificity in detecting awake 73.4% (Table 1). The Cohen’s kappa (k) value is 0.54 +/- 0.12. These results should be assessed in light of the fact that the inter-scorer agreement between two trained human scorers using PSG is approximately 83% [10] with a Cohen’s kappa of approximately 0.78 [4].

Table 1. Sensitivity, Specificity, Accuracy, and
Cohen’s Kappa of Wearable Sleep Stage Classifier

Sensitivity      95.8%
Specificity 73.4%
Overall accuracy (correctly classifying sleep stage) 69.7%
Cohen’s kappa 0.54 +/- 0.12

The full confusion matrix for the sleep stage classifier is given in Table 2. The matrix shows that that the classifier predicts deep, light, and REM sleep stages at roughly the same 69% accuracy rate. Wake is slightly more accurate at 73%. The most common mis-classifications are classifying true deep sleep as light sleep and classifying true REM sleep as light sleep.

Table 2. Confusion Matrix for All Participants
True Stage vs. Predicted Stage

True DeepTrue LightTrue REMTrue Awake
Predicted Deep 68.9% 12.0% 1.4% 1.9%
Predicted Light 29.1% 68.6% 26.4% 14.9%
Predicted REM 0.9% 13.7% 69.8% 9.7%
Predicted Awake 1.1% 5.7% 2.3% 73.4%

A comparison between the reference device and the wearable device of the overall sleep architecture for all 55 participants is given in Table 3.

Table 3. Sleep Architecture for All Participants

  % Deep% Light% REM% Awake
Garmin
Wearable
15.5% 46.0% 21.6% 16.9%
Sleep
Profiler
12.7% 50.7% 18.3% 18.3%

It is important to note that the algorithm described in this paper was deployed into production on many Garmin wearable devices, including the vívosmart 3. During beta testing of the production implementation of the wearable sleep stage classifier, an additional 3,200 nights of data were analyzed and reviewed to ensure the results aligned with those of the 55-person study. There was no accompanying reference device data with these 3200 nights – only the production implementation using actigraphy and optical heart rate was used. On this larger cohort, the distribution of sleep stages as a function of age was used to assess algorithm performance. REM sleep distribution remained relatively constant as a function of age, deep sleep decreased markedly as a function of age, and total sleep time generally decreased with age – as expected [11].


Figure 1. Sleep Duration – Average by Age Group in Production System

Finally, some representative results from the cohort of 55 subjects are shown below. In the following figures, wake is represented as stage 3, REM as stage 2, light (N1 and N2) as stage 1, and deep as stage 0. Figure 2 shows the median result (27th of the 55 data sets when rank ordered by accuracy), with an accuracy of 71.5%.


Figure 2. Median Result, Accuracy 71.5%, Cohen’s Kappa 0.61

Figure 3 shows the best result of the cohort (first of 55), with an accuracy of 80.1%


Figure 3. Best Result, Accuracy 80.1%, Cohen’s Kappa 0.70

Figure 4 shows the worst result of the cohort (55 of 55), with an accuracy of 49.9%. Note that this user self-reported having a sleep disorder.


Figure 4.
Worst Result, Accuracy 49.9%, Cohen’s Kappa 0.18 (Self-Reported Sleep Disorder)
Discussion

The work provides evidence that a wearable device using only actigraphy and optical heart rate sensors can estimate sleep stages of users to nearly 70% accuracy with a good Cohen’s kappa of 0.54 +/- .12. This compares closely to the results in [4], despite the increased challenges of production systems and real-world data collection. It also compares favorably, but does not reach the same level of accuracy, as EEG based sleep stage measurement devices, which reach an inter-scorer accuracy level of 82%.

The major benefit to using a wrist wearable device to estimate sleep stages is the very low level of user friction involved – a user can simply wear the device on the wrist during sleep without cumbersome, special equipment. Use of a wearable for estimating sleep stages accurately allows for monitoring of sleep for virtually an unlimited number of nights, assuming the device is kept charged during the day, providing a user with useful data about sleep hygiene and sleep architecture.

References
  1. P Lamkin, Smart Wearables Market to Double by 2022: $27 Billion Industry Forecast,” Forbes, October 23, 2018. [Online]. Available:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2018/10/23/smart-wearables-market-to-double-by-2022-27-billion-industry-forecast/#419523e92656  [Accessed April 25, 2019]
  2. L de Souza, AA Benedito-Silva, ML Pires, D Poyares, S Tufik, HM Calil, “Further validation of actigraphy for sleep studies,” Sleep. 2003 Feb 1;26(1):81-5.
  3. J Mantua, N Gravel, R M. C. Spencer, “Reliability of Sleep Measures from Four Personal Health Monitoring Devices Compared to Research-Based Actigraphy and Polysomnography,” Sensors (Basel). 2016 May; 16(5): 646.
  4. Z Beattie, Y Oyang, A Statan, A Ghoreyshi, A Pantelopoulos, A Russell, C Heneghan, “Estimation of sleep stages in a healthy adult population from optical plethysmography and accelerometer signals,” Physiol. Meas. 38 (2017) 1968–1979.
  5. P Finan, J Richards, C Gamaldo, D Han, JM Leoutsakos, R Salas, M Irwin, M Smith, Validation of a Wireless, Self-Application, Ambulatory Electroencephalographic Sleep Monitoring Device in Healthy Volunteers, J. Clin. Sleep Med. 12 1443–50.
  6. Berry R B, Brooks R, Gamaldo C E, Harding S M, Lloyd R M, Marcus S L, Vaughn B V 2015 The AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events: Rules, Terminology and Technical Specifications, version 2.5 (Darien, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine).
  7. M Zhao, S Yue, D Katabi, T Jaakkola, M Bianchi, “Learning Sleep Stages from Radio Signals: A Conditional Adversarial Architecture,” International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML’17).
  8. J. Brownlee, “A Gentle Introduction to k-fold Cross Validation”, Statistical Methods, May 23, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://machinelearningmastery.com/k-fold-cross-validation/. [Accessed April 25, 2019].
  9. L. Prechelt, “Early Stopping – but when”, [Online]. Available: https://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/prechelt/Biblio/stop_tricks1997.pdf. [Accessed April 25, 2019].
  10. R Rosenberg, S Van Hout, “The American Academy of Sleep Medicine Inter-scorer Reliability Program: Sleep Stage Scoring,” J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Jan 15; 9(1): 81–87.
  11. M Ohayon, M Carskadon, C Guilleminault, M Vitiello, “Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Sleep Parameters From Childhood to Old Age in Healthy Individuals: Developing Normative Sleep Values Across the Human Lifespan,” Sleep, 2004, 27(7):1255-73.

The post Garmin Health Announces Sleep Study Results appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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I’m a fisherman and a photographer based out of North Carolina. I try to capture what is authentic and unique to eastern North Carolina: people making an honest living by working hard on the land and the water, farming tobacco and peanuts, fishing and crabbing.

My “Fish Hunt Photo” business has evolved into more of a focus on boats, and boat building. Here in coastal NC, we are home to some of the best boat builders in the world, who’s builds you will find all over the world. My goals and aspirations for the future will be to continue to challenge myself to get better. Get sharper images, get more creative, and most importantly HAVE FUN!

I choose Garmin because it is a company name that is synonymous with quality, assurance, and safety on the water. When you have the best, it allows you to be the best. Get aboard any top notch tournament team’s boat and head to the bridge; there is a reason you wont find anything but Garmin up there for them to rely on.

When I’m not on the water, I’m obsessed with lawn care.

This post was written by Garmin Ambassador, Tom Spencer. Keep up with Tom’s adventures by following him on Instagram (@fishhuntphoto) and Facebook (@fishhuntphoto).

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest Garmin Marine announcements, news and stories.

The post Garmin Marine Ambassador Spotlight: Thomas Spencer appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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After serving as an officer in the British Army, Jack Campbell sought an adventure. He chose to attempt to climb all 282 Munros in Scotland in one summer. This challenge would require a combined trek of roughly 2,200 kilometers. Jack recounted his experience with Garmin.

Garmin: How did you get the idea to climb the Munros? [A Munro is a mountain in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914 meters).] I understand that “Munro bagging” is popular among climbers, but were you attempting to set a speed or time record?

Jack: I wanted to undertake a challenge having just left the regular army, and most of my ideas were far too expensive and large scale. After thinking long and hard, I decided that I live in Scotland and love climbing, and the idea of climbing 282 mountains in one summer was a hard challenge but achievable. So the plan was set. I had no aspiration to beat any records as there are some serious athletes out there who I can’t ever dream of matching; the challenge for me was to get them all done before the winter set in. 

Did you have challenges early on? Was it difficult to make the first series of climbs, or was the latter half more challenging?

There were huge physical challenges early on as I had done zero training or preparation due to being away in the United States with the U.S. Marine Corps on exercise until the week before I started. The weather was also against me in a serious way for the first few weeks of the trip. As time went on the weather got better, and my body became accustomed to the daily beating on the hills. Towards the end, the psychological challenge became huge. I nearly gave up with only 50 mountains left to climb, and it took some strong words from a complete stranger to give me the kick that I needed to push on.

Did your military training prepare you in any way for the climbs?

The Army training gave me the psychological resilience to keep pushing on because I knew that my body and mind could take more. I guess I was fitter than your average person when I set off purely due to the training required of us in the military.

Can you share a little bit about your military experience?

I served with the Household Cavalry Regiment for five years as an officer: one year at Sandhurst Military Academy, three working with armoured reconnaissance tanks, and one on horseback in London on ceremonial duties.

You shared that you found the inReach® to be an essential part of your gear. How did you use the inReach device in your adventures?

I had both an inReach and a Garmin Montana® on the trip. I didn’t get the inReach until a few weeks in, as I realized that there was no way for me to get help if I was in trouble. Initially I phoned home every morning and night to update my parents but soon ran out of mobile phone signal so that plan wouldn’t work. Some days I wouldn’t see another walker all day, which meant that even a sprained ankle in a remote area would very quickly become a serious problem. I did some research and decided on the inReach. It was such a huge weight off my mind to know that people could track my movements online and that if I needed to, I could raise the alarm and get help wherever I was. I did consider a sat phone, but the cost was so high in comparison that I didn’t think about it for long.

Luckily, I didn’t need to use the inReach emergency services. I used the device to allow others to track my position and progress, and I received great feedback from people who would regularly log in from their London offices to see where I was.

Since you mostly traveled alone, what advice do you offer to others who climb solo?

I would advise every solo climber to have some sort of device that allows them to raise the alarm if needs be. The inReach is the fastest most reliable way of getting help. Most people leave their route and expected time of return with friends and family—a good option to have but can mean rescues are delayed by up to 24 hours by the time the alarm is raised. That’s a long time to be sitting in the cold rain with a broken leg. With an inReach device, you can raise the alarm immediately and then remain in contact with the emergency services throughout the rescue process. I will never leave home without one.

Any advice for others attempting to climb the Munros? 

Do it. It’s the most beautiful scenery and a difficult but manageable challenge. Try and plan ahead, if possible, and get fit. It will make your life far more pleasant at the beginning of the trip. I learned a lot the hard way climbing the Munros.

To access the Iridium satellite network for live tracking and messaging, including SOS capabilities, an active satellite subscription is required.
NOTICE: Some jurisdictions regulate or prohibit the use of satellite communications devices. It is the responsibility of the user to know and follow all applicable laws in the jurisdictions where the device is intended to be used.

The post Completing the Munros of Scotland appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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We’ve added several new features within the FltPlan.com Safety Management System (SMS) and FltLogic flight scheduling program. FltPlan.com has partnered with the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) to enable FltSafety.com SMS subscribers who are ACSF members, to voluntarily file Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) reports with the FAA. This integration further facilitates a proactive approach to self-reporting, while also identifying areas within a flight department where operational improvement is needed. Additionally, several new enhancements have been made to the FltLogic flight scheduling program that streamlines the user interface and allow users to see more information at-a-glance.

Flight departments can easily identify, track and mitigate risks using FltPlan.com’s Safety Management System and ACSF ASAP participants can now utilize it to submit ASAP reports to the FAA. The FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program focuses on the voluntary reporting of issues related to noncompliance and/or safety. The voluntary nature of this initiative encourages compliance with FAA regulations, while also fostering safe operating practices and promoting the development of proper internal evaluation programs that have a long-term impact on the safety of an operator and their organization.

Pilots can take advantage of the latest version of the Safety Management System via the FltSafety.com website. Participation in the ASAP program through FltSafety.com requires advanced registration with the Air Charter Safety Foundation.

Several new features have also been added to FltLogic, a comprehensive flight scheduling program that can be utilized within flight departments starting at the initial trip request phase through post flight analysis.  

These new features include:

  • A new single-page edit design allows users to more easily modify trip details.
  • Users can create a private event within FltLogic, which hides all trip information except the tail number of the aircraft.
  • Pilots and schedulers can more easily track canceled and completed trips within FltLogic, which now incorporates a canceled and completed trip box.
  • An authorized pilot view gives pilots certain permissions within FltLogic to view scheduled events for any aircraft the pilot is authorized to fly.
  • Calendar colors can now be customized to indicate specific events such as maintenance or training, so it’s easier to identify aircraft reservation information.

These new features within FltPlan.com and FltLogic are available immediately. For additional information, visit: www.FltPlan.com and www.FltLogic.com.

The post New Features for FltPlan.com Safety Management System and FltLogic Scheduling Program appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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The ImagineCare health platform is designed to offer patients personalized, proactive and responsive support for anything from basic health care to the management of hypertension, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. Now, thanks to a collaboration with Garmin Health, biometric data from Garmin wearables is an integrated part of this solution, providing additional insight about the patient’s well-being.

The ImagineCare Platform

Through a mobile app, connected devices and clinical pathways designed in collaboration with a world-class academic medical research center, ImagineCare helps chronic disease customers feel more connected to their care teams through real-time evaluation of biometrics such as blood pressure, weight, activity, sleep and blood glucose levels. Customers are provided with convenient clinical support that fits into their daily lives and suits their personal preferences, with contact options including text, video, phone or email.

The platform offers encouragement, advice and assistance while providing important information to care teams. The data reported is monitored for negative trends, and the platform allows care teams to reach out to users about any alerts or required changes in their care plan.

The ImagineCare Experience

Customers are invited to enroll in ImagineCare by their health care provider. The ImagineCare app makes enrollment and connecting the monitoring devices, such as weight scale, blood pressure cuff and Garmin wearable, easy and seamless. All devices work directly with the ImagineCare app without additional accounts or apps required. Care is tailored for each customer through a series of questions related to their lifestyle, health goals and diagnosis.

ImagineCare and Garmin Health

The collaboration between ImagineCare and Garmin Health creates a frictionless experience for users by allowing them to set up and automatically report health and activity data from Garmin wearables directly through the ImagineCare app. Through an integration of the Garmin Health Standard SDK, the ImagineCare app is able to configure the Garmin vívofit 4 and retrieve the activity data without the user setting up a Garmin account or needing an additional app. Additionally, the vívofit 4 is great for patient-monitoring applications, with a one-plus year battery life, water resistance, and automatic activity and sleep tracking features. The device is lightweight and comfortable to wear 24/7, providing both users and clinicians with continuous, objective activity data.

The post ImagineCare and Garmin Health Collaborate on Connected Health Care Solution appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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We have incorporated new enhancements and features to our GTN 650/750 series touchscreen navigators. With the latest software update and a compatible ADS-B In receiver, pilots can now view new FIS-B weather products on the GTN. Also, when the GTN 650/750 is paired with a G3X Touch flight display in experimental/amateur-built aircraft, pilots now have the option to edit VFR flight plan information from the G3X Touch. These features and more are available immediately from Garmin Authorized Dealers for hundreds of aircraft makes and models.

New FIS-B weather product support

When paired with a compatible ADS-B In product such as the GTX 345 or GDL 88, pilots can now access the latest FIS-B weather products on the moving map alongside flight plan information and dedicated weather pages within GTN 650/750. These new weather products include lightning, cloud tops, turbulence, icing (current and forecasted), graphical AIRMETs and center weather advisories (CWA). This adds to the growing number of Garmin products that already support these new weather products, including Garmin Pilot on Apple mobile devices, G3X Touch and the aera 660 aviation portable. 

Icing information on Garmin GTN 750

G3X Touch flight plan editing

Pilots who have a GTN 650/750 installed alongside a G3X Touch flight display in an experimental/amateur-built aircraft now have additional flight planning and editing options. VFR flight plans can now be completed on the G3X Touch display, and then automatically synced to the GTN for added convenience when using either the G3X Touch or GTN.  

Additional features

  • The GTN 650/750 now displays a selected altitude intercept arc on the moving map when it’s installed with a Garmin primary flight display (PFD) such as the G500 TXi/G600 TXi, G500/G600 or G3X Touch. When pilots input a preselected altitude on the PFD, the selected altitude arc will populate on the map page to indicate where the aircraft will arrive at that particular altitude.
  • For customers with SiriusXM Aviation Weather, pilots now have the option to alternate between base reflectivity and composite reflectivity NEXRAD weather radar imagery.
  • Pilots operating into airports throughout the world that are not served by SBAS, can now receive advisory vertical guidance (LNAV+V) while flying LNAV approaches with the GTN 650/750.
  • When SiriusXM aviation weather or FIS-B weather cannot be displayed on the GTN 650/750, the “no coverage” area of weather is transparent so pilots can still view airports, basemap information and more.  
  • Customers receive a VNAV aural alert for Top of Descent (TOD).
  • Traffic and weather from a GNX 375 can now be displayed within the GTN 650/750.

The latest GTN software upgrade is available immediately from Garmin Authorized Dealers for hundreds of aircraft makes and models. This upgrade is available at no charge. A dealer installation charge may apply. Garmin avionics are supported by our award-winning aviation support team, which provides 24/7 worldwide technical and warranty support.

The post Latest FIS-B Weather Products and More Added to GTN 650/750 Series appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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