Unless you’ve been living on another planet recently, you probably know that Apple has unleashed yet another must-have gadget on an unsuspecting population. The latest device from the company that has the Apple faithful all atwitter is of course the Apple Watch, a gadget that puts notifications, text and email messages, and calendar reminders right on your wrist. It can even help you navigate across town when you find yourself in need of a midnight run to your favorite pizza joint.
But as useful as all of that functionality is, the Watch’s greatest strength could be its ability to help us get healthier, midnight pizza runs notwithstanding. Here are four ways it can do exactly that.
The Ultimate Activity Tracker
If you follow tech and fitness trends you probably already know that activity trackers such as the Fitbit or Microsoft Band have been all the rage recently. You might even own one of these gadgets yourself. They are very good at counting your steps each day and offering some form of congratulatory message when you actually achieve your goal.
The Apple Watch is capable of doing everything that those devices can, and a whole lot more. Not only does it keep track of every step that you take, it can also let you know how many calories you’ve burned along the way. On top of that Apple’s Fitness apps do an excellent job of graphically showing you how close you are to achieving your goals, and offering encouragement toward reaching your next milestone.
The device even helps you to set incremental goals that are both realistic and attainable, making it far easier to stay on target with what you want to achieve.
If you’ve been keeping up on current health trends you’re probably already aware of the recent studies that indicate sitting for extended periods of time can be detrimental to our health. In fact, those reports say that remaining stationary for too long can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a number of other afflictions.
Surprisingly enough, Apple doesn’t want us sitting in front of a computer for hours on end, which is why they’ve programmed the Watch to remind us to get up and move from time to time. The device is capable of sensing when you’ve stood up from your desk and will even give you credit for that activity in the Fitness app. But if you end up sitting for too long the Watch will provide a gentle reminder that you should get up and move. Those reminders come about every hour so, and while that may sound a bit trivial and annoying, it truly could have a dramatic impact on your overall health.
A Personal Trainer on Your Wrist
Beyond just counting your steps or prodding you to stand up on occasion, the Apple Watch can also serve as a personal trainer of sorts. Whether you’re running outdoors, riding the stationary bike at the gym, or using an elliptical machine at home, Apple’s gadget can track your performance and help you to set attainable goals for how to improve your overall level of fitness over time.
The Watch’s array of high tech sensors will even analyze your speed, distance covered, and number of calories burned so that it can chart your ongoing progress too. That data is then stored in the iPhone’s Health app, where it can be shared with your physician, or used to establish bragging rights amongst friends. Either option is incredibly satisfying.
Positive feedback is one of the best motivators for staying active and fit, and that certainly wasn’t lost on the developers at Apple. Each week the Watch will present you with a summary of your activity from the past seven days, showing where improvements were made, and where there is still work that needs to be done. That data can help provide a “big picture” view of your level of activity, and provide an idea of where you can work harder.
Better yet, the Watch will also use that data to set new goals for you to attain. Those goals are meant to be realistic and attainable, but still challenging. In this way, the device can quickly and easily show how you’ve progressed, while still pushing you to work a bit harder too.
Of course, at the end of the day the Apple Watch is just another tool that has the potential to help us all lead healthier lives. It may make it easier to chart our progress and stay motivated, but it is inner discipline that builds higher levels of fitness. When we find that discipline within ourselves, we’re truly on the road to a healthier lifestyle.