Apple Watch: Your Perfect Workout Partner ⌚️🏋️♀️🏃♀️🏊♂️
By Jordan Bourquin, Apple Specialist, Winnipeg
Why an Apple Watch helps you work out.
Don’t just have your Apple Watch on while doing a workout, to get the best results and information about your workouts you have to use the Workout app. Your Apple Watch will passively track your activity rate throughout your day. This will work in a workout setting but you may find it to be slightly inaccurate in regards to how many calories you burn.
There have been times where I will finish a two-hour workout and none of my rings are closed despite doing a full-body workout with thirty minutes of cardio. However, it was recommended to me to use the Workout app and then use the “Other” workout option. This way you can switch workouts and still keep track of everything from lifting weights to cardio.
You have options for rowing, swimming, walkings indoors or outdoors, cycling, high-intensity interval training and so on. The Workout app will also display how long you have been doing your exercise or workout for, the number of calories burned and your heart rate.
It is reported that the heart rate monitor isn’t as accurate or just won’t work for people with tattoos. Apple has indicated that "Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance" and this can be due to "the ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings". This issue is not confined to Apple, it appears to be a common issue for other wearable devices.
From the workout app, you can easily pause and end the workout as well activate the water lock, in case you want to go for a swim, by swiping right. If you swipe left you can access your music menu, a must-have for any workout. On the music menu you can skip songs; paired with AirPods your workout playlist can help motivate you and make your workout go by a lot faster.
Any finished workout will appear in your activity app on your phone so you can go back and see how active you were that day. Use the Workout App with the timer app to better time resting and running.
The Apple Watch provides a fair amount of sharing and competitions if you want to work out with someone. You can choose to share your activity records with other people like family, friends or personal trainers. During the day while I am at a Workout or out and about, if I close a ring I will share that information with my brother, as he is my workout partner, and when he closes ring or finishes a workout I will get a notification.
If you are competitive you can choose to enter a seven-day competition with one of your friends or family to see who can be more active, based on your respective daily goals. They are based on percentages of what you complete so if you have lower goals than the person you are competing against you still have a chance.
I haven’t attempted to compete against my brother yet because he is a Phys-Ed teacher and I’m a just a theatre major so I have no chance but you might have a chance to compete and beat someone you know, so go out there and win some bragging rights. You can also compete against your self in a self-person one-upmanship as you will set records based off your daily goals. You can also get awards and achievements to help keep you motivated if you have no one to workout with.
If you are looking for something to help motivate you to get in better shape I strongly recommend an Apple watch especially if you already have Apple products. If I haven’t convinced you yet I have one more point. If you are one of those people who like to undo a workout the Apple Watch has a Dominos app that gives you a live tracker for your pizza. 😝🍕
******Important Update as of Monday, 22nd July******
Apple released a software update (watchOS 5.3) which now enables two new features for Apple Watch Series 4 in the Canadian market.
1) Electrocardiogram: This new feature will allow users to take a 30-second readout of their heartbeat. Launching the ECG App allows users to take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification. After 30-seconds the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive. All of these details are recorded securely within the Health app on the iPhone and a PDF of the results can be shared with your physician.
2) Irregular Rhythm Notification: Using the optical heart sensor built into the device, this feature will occasionally check your heart rhythm in the background for signs of irregular heart rhythm. If it detects signs of AFib it will issue an alert if an irregular rhythm is detected on 5 rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes.
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