Fitness journey with Apple Watch
I’ve owned my Apple Watch for just over a year and I love it. As my Watch has been updated with new, free features added by Apple with each new software release, it’s become an incredibly useful tool to help me keep myself accountable (and on track with my health and fitness). I wanted to start sharing my progress and experiences with this little wonder-gadget, so that others can benefit and understand the power and usefulness of it too.
Sadly no-one will lose weight by simply strapping on a new watch (we wish, eh?!) It’s going to take some real changes in diet and lifestyle too. What the Apple Watch can do, however, is help support my efforts and help keep me honest and motivated, whether that’s through its apps or features which are built-in to the Watch.
WatchOS has some great pre-installed features. The Activity Rings for example, keep track of how much you move, how often you stand and how much exercise you’ve done in the day. Each area is represented by a coloured ring. When you complete your goal, the ring closes and each day, week, month or year, you are set targets. When you complete them you receive virtual achievement medals. These medals start to mount up and it can be incredibly motivating to get a little nudge from your Watch to suggest a short walk which will help you keep you medal-streak going on a slightly less active day. Even better if you have a friend, colleague or family member with an Apple Watch who you share your activity with completes a workout, or fills their three rings, you get a notification. No-one wants to fall behind in the office “step-race!”.
In addition to this minute-by-minute, hourly and daily tracking and motivation, it’s going to take a combination of both diet and exercise to lose weight. The ability to track food and fluid intake is incredibly important and that’s where MyFitnessPal (MFP) for your iOS device comes in.
MFP helps track and monitor your food and fluid intake, documenting calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein. It allows you to set daily calorie goals, automatically subtracting the calories burned from exercises monitored on your Apple Watch. For example, I’ve set my current calorie goal at 1850, meaning if I eat 2,300 calories in a day, I should be burning off 450 with exercise to ensure I hit my goal. The app will also warn me if I scan in a particular item of food that’s high in saturated fat, salt or sugar.
With support from HealthKit, MFP conveniently shares your meal logs with Apple’s Health app, which is helpful in creating a wider view of your overall lifestyle and only becomes more useful with more data.
Before you start trying to hit the gym too hard, too soon (if you’ve not made that mistake yet, you will. Don’t let that initial enthusiasm get the best of you, start steady, finish strong!), you’ll need to work out what you can realistically achieve in a day, week and eventually a month. Activity sets your exercise goal to 30 minutes out of the box. My advice? Stick with that to begin with because you can always adjust it later.
I start and end my workout with a 15 minute indoor cycle. The workout burns about 250 active calories and immediately pushes me towards my target. I usually burn another 250-300 without exercise throughout the day. I now set my Move goal to 850 to help give me that extra push. As I progress through the next few weeks and months, I intend to push that out and challenge myself much more and ensure I’m making progress.
This is just my starting point, as it’s bound to change as I get fitter and lose weight. The likelihood is, it’s going to be different for you too. It’s incredible easy to get started with just a few apps, an Apple Watch, and of course the big one, motivation (and over the next few months I’m aiming to show you just that).
Each month I’m going to detail my progress in terms of weight loss and gains made in the gym. I’ll share any new features on the Apple Watch or any new apps I find along the way too. I’ll also be sharing my progress pics, hopefully involving some colleagues at the office and having some fun along the way!
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