Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How The Apple Watch Is Enhancing My Fitness


My Watch

I love my Apple Watch! I bought the 42mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch with the white sport band on launch day (April 24th).
Apple Watch Mickey Face
My Apple Watch with the Mickey Mouse watch face!
I've now got over a month of daily use out of it. It's changed my fitness in quite a few ways that I wasn't expecting!

How It Works for Fitness

The way the Apple Watch works in terms of fitness is as follows:
  • It tracks your steps
  • It takes your heart rate every 10 minutes
  • It constantly tracks your heart rate when you use the workout app
  • It knows when you're standing, and taps you if you haven't stood by 50 minutes into the hour
  • It tracks exercise in minutes
  • It tracks "move calories" which are the calories burned from being active
  • It gives you achievement medals for hitting various goals and milestones (making it FUN!)
  • It sends the data to your iPhone's Activity and Health apps so you can see a whole lot more detailed information!
  • And more I'm likely forgetting!
iPhone Activity App Move Exercise Stand
The iPhone Activity App
Since using my Apple Watch I'm much more aware of my inactivity during the day at my desk job! Quite often I'll get tapped by my watch telling me I should stand up because I've been sitting too long. When that happens I usually get up and walk around my pod and stretch or go upstairs to the cafeteria to fill up my water.
Apple Watch Activity app
The Activity app on the Apple Watch
Another observation…I LOVE the gamification of the achievements you get for hitting all three metrics for the day (move goal, 30 minutes of exercise and standing at least 12 hours of the day for at least a minute).
Apple Watch Activity App Achievements
Achievements I have so far!
It makes it so fun and addicting to see those three rings fill up throughout the day! And if I look like I'm falling short—I'm finding myself actually doing more activity (like a walk) to get that ring filled; I never used to walk. It's doing some good!

Using The Workout App

Using the Workout app is simple: before you start to workout you just open the workout app, choose the type of workout (I choose Other Workout since my PiYo, P90X and Body Beast workouts are not a typical cardio workout) and set either a calorie burn goal or a time goal. It does a 3 second countdown and then I start my workout.

At any point in the workout you can look at your wrist to see how you're progressing, or what your heart rate is at.
Apple Watch Workout App heart rate
The screen on the Apple Watch during a workout.
Also, at the halfway mark of your goal it will ping you to let you know; it will also ping you once you've hit your goal. (If you're doing a distance workout, it'll also let you know when you hit distance milestones like every kilometre or mile).

At the end of my workout, I'll just Force Touch (hard press) the screen and choose the "End Workout" option. It then provides a summary of my workout on the screen and I can Save or Discard the workout. All in all, it provides some great feedback!

Final Thoughts

I really enjoy my Apple Watch. It's giving me very valuable information about my workouts and overall daily activity that I love.

If you're on the fence about getting an Apple Watch because you're not sure how useful it'll be and you're into (or wanting to get into) fitness, do it. You won't be disappointed!

The activity tracking is definitely one of my top 3 things I love about the device and I don't ever want to be without this new feedback again.

Check out Apple's site that has some more details on the Health & Fitness features of the Apple Watch here: http://www.apple.com/watch/health-and-fitness/.

JS :)

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