I purposefully did not get a Fitbit, although I was tempted a few times over the last year, since I was waiting for the Apple Watch. I wanted to get the watch for a number of reasons: since I am a Mac user it would work with my phone and I figured this watch was most likely going to be the future with fitness apps.
I have yet to explore many of the cool features, but here’s my honest review on the Fitness app.
Prior to the watch, I figured that although I exercise most days of the week, I was not nearing the recommended 10,000 steps per day for health. I was preparing myself for this reality long before the watch arrived.
After using it for a few weeks it was no surprise I was near but not achieving the recommended steps per day.
What is good and not so good about the Apple Watch Fitness App?
It makes me very aware of how much I move, as it has 3 parts of the app: exercise minutes, move minutes and stand hours. It recommends you do at least 30 exercise minutes, 300 move minutes and 12 hours of standing per day. The move minutes can be adjusted up and down.
What is interesting is that on the days I go to the gym and get more exercise the move and exercise times are higher but my steps are lower, since it does not count steps on cardio equipment at the gym. On the days I actually get less intense exercise and just take a walk my steps are registered as significantly higher. I believe the Fitbit is similar in this way.
The heart rate monitor is quite accurate – I compared it to my Polar monitor I’ve worn for 15 years and it was within a point or two so I stopped wearing the polar after a few days of owning the watch. It is much easier not to have an extra watch and monitor to put on and off so this saves on time and extra equipment.
It makes me move more. I used to get home from work, return calls and emails, have dinner and then relax a bit before bed. Now, even though I’ve exercised in the am, I go for a short walk after dinner, which uses another 50 or so “move” calories, which may not sound like much but over time it significantly adds up, besides adding up to achieve or get close to the 10,000 steps.
The funny thing about the watch is it give you “updates” throughout the day, reminding you to stand, move more, etc.
It even has a sense of humor.
One Sunday I was pretty tired and had not taken my usual walk and about 4 pm it said “we’re moving into the evening hours and you are nowhere near your goals so time to move.” As you can see from this picture I just took it is 4 pm and it’s telling me to up my game today. It has a built-in guilt factor, which can be encouraging or annoying.
The Not so Good
Sometimes the exercise part of the app does not “register?” my exercise if my heart rate is not high enough (seems to be over 130 for walks) even though I’ve “told” the watch I am on a walk and it senses I am moving since the steps are registering. This part has been frustrating since a few days I’ve taken long walks it does not count them and I did not get credit or “achievement awards” for that day.
A few times when I went to yoga it registered I had been exercising for quite some time (even though my heart rate was lower) so that was a bit confusing.
It is a little bossy since it wants you to stand once an hour. In addition, I’ve become a little more competitive with myself and wanting to achieve all 3 goals each day, which is good for my health, but maybe not for lifestyle balance overall.
And the Verdict?
Would I buy it again? Absolutely, 100% yes. I’m more aware of everything I do and how I move throughout the day, I no longer need a special heart rate monitor, and I’m less attached to my phone overall. If a text comes in I can give a quick glance at my wrist and choose to ignore or not. And for my work there is a stopwatch on the face, which I use at least once a week during my trainings.
All in all it adds to my life, and makes most things easier. I look forward to educating myself on all parts of the watch and finding the other ways it can enhance my life. Although not for everyone, if you have an iPhone and want to streamline other devices and have a watch that talks to all your other devices this is the one to buy.