So, maybe you have decided to implement an exercise regimen into your daily life. First of all, kudos to you – 30 minutes of exercise a day can do wonderful things for the human body. But now the question comes, what kind of exercise gear do you need? Well, I’m here to tell you that you only need one – an Apple Watch.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be the Apple Watch – there are other types of tracking watches that will do the same job for the most part. I’m just here to tell you that the Apple Watch will do just fine.
Oh, if you like my red Apple Watch band you can get it or other styles and colors from Amazon.
Apple Watch Is The Only Gear You Need
But before you do anything, you will want to use some common sense and see a doctor if there is any question about your health and being able to exercise safely. If you are in doubt, ask for that medical opinion.
Now, some of you may be thinking that you need a treadmill to burn off a few calories and get the heart rate going. Well, manufacturers may hate me for saying it, but that is simply not the truth. If you have a hallway or other straight walking area in your domicile or dwelling area, then the only other thing you need is something to measure your efforts. This is where the Apple Watch comes in.
To start, you will just want to go to the Workout app on your watch and select the correct workout type. For most people in this scenario, you will want to select the indoor walk. You can even set a goal, whether it is distance, calories, time, or simply none. The watch will give you a countdown, and then you are off.
Once you are off walking, the Apple Watch defaults to a very informative screen showing you Active Calories, Total Calories, your heart rate, distance traveled, and total elapsed time. The active calories are what counts toward your calorie tracking if you are using an app to monitor your diet, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute. The main thing you will want to watch while walking isn’t your burned calories or even the time. No, what you want to watch here is your heart rate (BPM).
If possible, getting your heart rate above 100 bpm during an exercise will yield the greatest return on calories burned and overall fitness impact. Note that during sampling the BPM may be grayed out, this is to be expected. Also, you may notice that the rate may bounce around a little. The heart rate sensors available in today’s smart watches are really good, but an occasional off reading is perfectly normal. You are looking for overall numbers here.
Now, you may wonder if simply walking fast in your hallway is the equivalent to a treadmill for those starting out or maintaining. I’m here to tell you that yes, it is. In fact, I usually average 3.5 to 4.5 MPH on the treadmill, and 4.5 or faster when walking freely.
I can also add in quick sprints and other movements into my walking time without having to readjust the treadmill. Plus, you can take your virtual treadmill anywhere you want, be it upstairs, downstairs, or even outside on a pleasant day. You can find many ways to work in an exercise while running errands. Just be sure to start a workout when you are ready and the Apple Watch will do the rest.
Since you now have a wonderful tool to measure your exercise, it might be convenient to use a diet tracking app to really make the most of your efforts. For this, I recommend MyFitnessPal, free and available on the App Store.
This app not only allows you to track your food, it will also automatically pull the workout calories from the pre-installed iPhone Health app. You will need to allow the app to read from your Health app under the sources tab, but doing it once will leave it set from that point on.
Note that you can choose for MyFitnessPal (MFP) to read both workouts and steps in the Health app (highlighted in Red above).
This is a matter of preferences, but I prefer to leave steps off and workouts on. This means that MFP will not deduct any calories expended and tracked by the Apple Watch unless I specifically start a workout, giving me more control and a small increased burn behind the scenes. But either way works fine.
Also note, if you aren’t tracking your diet as well as your exercise, then you really don’t need to install any other app. Between the activity tracking on the watch (Stand, Exercise, and Move rings) and the included Health app, you can easily monitor, store, and track your overall exercise regimen. The charts are very handy for this and many other forms of health data.
As you can see, for anyone starting out exercising or just trying to stay healthy, the only real piece of equipment you need is some way to measure your efforts and track them.
For this, the Apple Watch really excels, and I’ve found it to be the best tool I’ve used to date of the many I’ve tried. Now, it’s handy for other things as well (including some pretty cool custom apps I have written for myself), but as an exercise tool it both tracks and motivates. That is as much as I can ask out of any tool. Hopefully, you will find it just as effective.
When he is not writing on his wife’s blog or has his head buried in software code, Greg Chaffins can be found celebrating nerdy things on his own website, NerdBeach.