Is the Apple Watch worth it for fitness?
This is something I'd been wondering ever since I saw the Apple Watch fitness trailer when it first came out in 2015 and everyone was (understandably) still calling it the iWatch.
I thought it looked dope and all, but knew it probably wouldn't be that dope—kinda like the trailer for Suicide Squad versus the actual movie—until the second or third generation came out (as these tech gadgets tend to go). I mean, the first generation Apple Watch couldn't even go on a run without its mommy iPhone nearby. But when I began taking barre classes, I saw them on the wrists of a lot of the other barre babes and began to wonder whether the Apple Watch may be worth it for fitness. My husband got me the Apple Watch Series 3 as a wedding gift, and after a few months of using it, I can now provide an honest assessment.
Here's my review of the Apple Watch fitness tracker
So the Apple Watch can do a lot of things. Some of these things are a strain for the eyes, but it's a pretty powerful tool nonetheless. I've turned off almost all notifications for my watch (because it gets hella annoying) and basically only use it for glancing at incoming text messages, taking the occasional call in the car (hands-free, ya'll) and fitness tracking.
The main features of the Apple Watch Fitness Tracker
The fitness features of the Apple Watch are considerably smart. It's not totally perfect yet, but the fitness tracker is super useful. It motivates me, encourages me, and makes me look forward to the future of wearable tech.
The Apple Watch tracks your daily active calorie burn.
On the Apple Watch Activity app, you enter how many active calories you'd like to burn each day, and the watch will track your daily progress. Based on your average daily calorie burn over the course of a week, your watch may suggest setting a higher goal the following week or perhaps to shoot for fewer calories if you were kinda lazy the week prior.
There are three rings on the Apple Watch Activity app that track your daily progress. The inner blue ring represents how much standing you've done that day, the middle green circle closes when you've hit 30 minutes of exercise, and the red ring represents where you're at with your daily active calorie goal. It is very satisfying when the red ring becomes a complete circle. The Apple Watch displays some tiny firework graphics and makes me feel all accomplished.
It's helpful to know the difference between your active calorie burn and your resting calorie burn. A BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator can tell you how many calories you'd burn if you laid still in bed all day (AKA your resting calorie burn) based on your height, weight, age, and gender. Most people do not lay in bed all day and will burn more than this via exercise and/or whatever else they do on a daily basis. My BMR is about 1,350, and if I burn an extra 350 calories per day, I should eat around 1,700 calories a day to remain at my current weight. This is kind of a bummer because due to his height and testosterone-fueled gender, my husband can eat around 2,400 calories a day and stay at his current weight. What's my current weight? Well, in the spirit of taboo talk for The Taboo Textbook, I'll tell you. I weigh 125 pounds.
What I appreciate about the Apple Watch fitness tracker is that on those days when you didn't get a workout in but you ran a lot of errands, and you're really tired and assume you must have burned a bunch of calories, it applies an actual measurement to that! Like, going to the grocery store may burn around 10 percent of your daily active calorie goal and cooking dinner might burn like 5 percent. These things add up!
You can select different types of exercise through the Apple Watch Workouts app.
It took me a week or so with the watch to realize it wasn't just going to pick up on a workout without me telling it I've begun a sweat sesh. It's pretty cool, though, because you can select from a long list of different activities like walking, rowing, running, biking, elliptical, and even barre—yay!
The Apple Watch tracks your heart rate.
During a workout, the Apple Watch will display your current heart rate so you know when to pick it up or maybe take a chill pill if you're going too hard. Apparently, the Apple Watch heart rate feature may have saved a girl's life this year! You can also access your heart rate at any time through the Heart Rate app.
You can spy on the progress of other people's calorie burn in the Activity app.
There's a sharing feature of the Apple Watch's activity tracker where you can sync up with other watch-wearers, check out each other's progress, cheer one another on, and give yourself a hard time by comparing yourself to others.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is waterproof.
I haven't tried it out yet, but you can take your Apple Watch for a swim and theoretically, it won't die. This is pretty sweet but also kind of annoying because it tells us they could have been making iPhones waterproof this whole time.
It encourages you to stand every hour.
The Apple Watch thinks you should stand for at least one minute for 12 hours of the day. I actually turned this feature off because during workdays, it just became kind of irritating.
I wear mine for about 10 to 12 hours a day, so I probably burn a little more than what ends up being tracked. Also, I don't wear my watch at all one or two days a week.
So is the Apple Watch worth it for fitness? My answer is yes. Yes, it is. I think they're getting a lot less dorky than they used to be. Mine is a nice rose gold color with a matching millennial pink velcro band. AND the Apple Watch charges on a magnet, which is pretty sleek. I'm into it!
Hopefully this Apple Watch fitness tracker review was helpful. Do you have any workout or fitness tips for the Apple Watch Activity Tracker? Do you use another smartwatch brand that you swear by? What are your Apple Watch fitness goals? Comment below, 'cause I seriously wanna know.