Live A Better Day Challenge: Earning Awards

Yesterday, I was able to go for an hour long run.  I really enjoyed it.  It was so nice to get out and run.  I ran on a river trail and it was so nice to get away from the commotion and run along the river.  Because I was able to go for an hour, I earned some “Apple Awards”.  One award I earned yesterday was “Move Goal 200%”

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I kind of like the gamification aspect of the activity app but wish that it had a more competitive feel to it.  It would be fun to compete against friends and family and earn more rewards.  I am sure that apple has privacy concerns as far as comparing health data one person to another but with Jawbone, I was able to compete against my brother.  I imagine with further updates to the watch and more widespread use, these updates will come.  I understand that fitness is a very personal thing and that we are each only competing with ourselves but I also enjoy the drive that comes from knowing that my friend and family are also working at this.  That motivation helps me on days when I don’t want to get out and run.  I have set my own personal goals and am working diligently to achieve them.  I think the use of awards is a nice reminder to push myself to achieve my goals.  The Achievement section of the activity app on the iPhone keeps track of how many times I have received an award as well as the last date that I earned it.  I wish there was more history, but I appreciate the fact that it is tracking at least that much for me and it is a click away to see.

Live A Better Day Challenge: Day 1

I have been an off again on again guy when it comes to running.  I haven’t really gotten into training for races.  I can do ok sticking to a schedule but then life gets in the way.  I had a fitbit force and a jawbone up and really liked being able to track my steps with those devices but they had limitations to what they could really do.  Since I heard the about the watch, I have had high hopes that it would be the last push to get me to finally commit to a fitness lifestyle.  Apple’s campaign with the health and fitness functionality with the watch has been:  “Live A Better Day.”  My plan, starting today, is to do exactly that.  I am challenging myself to commit to use the watch for 90 days and “live a better day.”  I will make sure and fill in all 3 circles each day before I go to bed.  I will allow the watch to push me and as it ups the fitness goal, I will meet it.  I am only committing for 90 days of this but I know if can stick.  Simple habits take 21 days to form.  I think 90 days will really get me in the groove and will be a longer stretch than ever before.  I have cleaned up my diet a few months back and have been sticking to it pretty well.  I am ready to take the next step into living a healthy and active lifestyle.  I will document the whole process and see if Apple lives up to its claim of helping me “live a better day.”  Time to put on my gym shoes…

Apple Watch and Nike + Running App

I just finished a run with the Nike + Running App on the Apple Watch.  I have been spoiled and have used the Nike + Running app on my phone for years.  I really like the GPS and the maps that they create.  I like being able to look back over my run and see where I was on the run when I was fast or slow.  When I use the Nike + Running App on my Apple Watch, The first screen has a start button.IMG_3647

  I can scroll down using the digital crown to change my playlist or turn music off completely. I like that it defaults to the last playlist and run I picked on my iPhone.  It pulled my music and running settings (indoor or outdoor) and  I could just start the run without any setup.  I listen to the same playlist generally and usually only update to a new playlist on certain races so this is great for me.  It recorded my distance and used the GPS from my phone just like I am used to.  The one thing surprising about it is my Apple Health App didn’t record any heart rates during my run.  I am kind of disappointed that it didn’t record this.  I will keep playing with both the Workout App and the Nike + Run app to see what will work best.  It is kind of nice that the workout app records your data in the “Activity” App on the iPhone.  You can go back in the Activity App and view your Workout App activity and it gives total time, distance, pace and heart rate.  I wish that Nike pulled the heart rate too.  Maybe they will do an update to the app to write that information.  I checked my Apple Health App, and currently, I can only give Nike + Running the ability to read my heart rate information.  The Nike + Running app seems to be a little slow on the Apple Watch.  It doesn’t always display the correct song, nor does it always show my recent activity.  These aren’t big drawbacks to me as I don’t really care about these features for my watch.  I really liked the ability to skip a song on my playlist right in the app so all in all, I am happy with the App.

Apple Watch Workout App at the Gym

I have been really excited to use the Workout App that comes on the Apple Watch when I am at the gym. I have been going to Planet Fitness and have really liked the environment and feel there. I love the 30 minute circuit that they have setup. In the circuit, there are 10 different weight machines and 10 stations to use a step. As I move from station to station, I alternate between a weight machine and a step. They have a red light and green light that let you know when to start and stop and move from station to station. I used my Apple watch today while I was doing the circuit. I still kept my iPhone with me so that I could use the “numbers” app to record the weight I used on each machine. (I find it helpful to track weight so the next time I do the circuit I know where I am and can move up when I start to feel comfortable and can push myself to bump up to the next weight level). The apple watch worked pretty well. In the workout app, I chose the “Other” category (the only preset category they have that relates to the weight equipment is the rowing machine). When you choose “other” the apple watch uses the heart rate monitor to determine calories burned. It was interesting to watch my heart rate as I finished on each of the machines. I am happy with the watch and that it is able to record other workouts.

Running with Apple Watch

Today I went running with the apple watch.  I used the activity app and thought it was a good experience.  I went this morning for 35 minutes.  I found that the activity app reads my heartbeat every 5 seconds when using the app and every 10 minutes normally.  After the run, my battery life was 93 percent on my watch (I have the screen brightness set on medium).  I was impressed with the app.  I have always used the Nike+GPS app.  I will give that one a try on Monday and compare the two.