Happy New Year and thank you for joining me on this TechQuest, where I hope to do everything I can to help you learn and get the most out of your computers and mobile devices. Before I tell you about my Apple Watch experience, I want to do a quick recap and also look ahead at the coming year so that you will know what to expect from me! 🙂
I officially bought my website name, did some design work and started blogging at the end of July 2016. Something you should know about me is that I am a High-D (Type-A) introvert, which makes working with technology a great fit. I love all aspects of being an entrepreneur and starting businesses. The only struggle I have is that I have a bad case of A.D.D. and have to really fight to stay focused. I’ve attempted to start blogs many times over the past fifteen years and I’ve managed to keep this one going longer than any other site I’ve done before. (Hold your applause) 😛
With that said, I want you to understand that you have thoughts and questions on a regular basis when it comes to your iPhone or Android, iPad or tablet, computer or whatever else you own. For the sake of transparency, I do not have the financial means to buy a bunch of products for testing purposes, nor have I reached a level where I receive free product demos for review purposes (when I reach a certain level of readership, that may happen as my credibility is better established, which you can always help with by sharing my content!). Because of this, I rely on a select few trusted sources that use products I don’t own and I do very in-depth research to give you the most informed, PERSONAL opinion on what is available.
Looking ahead, I am preparing the way for online videos available for purchase that will teach you specific things about your devices. Also, I am looking forward to having guests contribute their thoughts and experiences with technology-related products and video demonstrations so that you can see devices in action! That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but to start with, I want to give you a look into the fitness journey I’ve begun this year, appropriately titled “FitTechQuest” and how my use of the new Series 2 Apple Watch is helping me to achieve my health goals.
To begin, I am using a few apps and, as a disclaimer, I’m diving right in so these may not be the most efficient combinations of third-party apps, but I’m most familiar with them and that’s where I’m at.
The first app I’m using is Lose It! for iOS and watchOS. This app allows you to manually scan (via barcode) or search and enter your food intake to track calories and nutrients. Yes, I admit that it’s tedious. Given that I work from home, it’s much easier in my situation to take the time to do this consistently. However, I’ve noticed that it generally takes less than 3-5 minutes to manually input a typical meal with five or six food and drink items.
Credit: Verified For Skolin
Lose It! allows you to create weight loss goals and plans with over 7 million food items to choose from for tracking your food. This app also allows you to connect to Apple’s Health app to integrate everything into a clean user interface between both apps. The Lose It! app includes optional in-app purchases to upgrade to Premium features like the ones shown below:
Credit: Lose It!
Next, I am using the iPhone (iOS) app, called “Activity,” used exclusively with the Apple Watch. The interface is BEAUTIFUL and syncs instantly between the Watch and iPhone.
On a daily basis, I see this (and the comparable Apple Watch version) of my Activity Rings which track my progress throughout the day. The outer red ring is your “Move” or Calories Burned goal and is the only one of the three rings you can set a custom goal for. I currently have mine set at 250 calories. The inner blue ring is your Stand time, which can be a little misleading. As Apple states on its website, “The Stand ring shows hours in which you’ve stood and moved for at least a minute. Complete your daily Stand goal by standing up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day. Even if you stand all day, you still need to move around. If you’ve specified that you use a wheelchair, the Stand ring switches to the Roll ring. Roll shows hours in which you’ve pushed around for at least 1 minute.” This is the easiest to achieve in my opinion. If you sit at a desk, it’s great to see the occasional notification, saying “Hey, it’s time to stand up and move around for a few minutes.”
FitMenCook is also another app that I haven’t yet explored, but the recipes sound AMAZING and it’s awesome that it is an app geared towards men looking to eat better! Kevin, the founder, is on Instagram @fitmencook and is doing a great job. Really hope to connect with guys like him throughout my journey!
The middle green ring is your Exercise goal, which is fixed at 30 minutes. As far as I’ve seen it track my personal activity, this will account for steps taken, but you can also use the Apple Watch Workout app and select workouts and customize them to your desired needs.
As seen below, in the first row of screenshots from my Apple Watch, I can choose a Quick Start workout based on previous workouts, or choose from a list of predetermined selections. In the bottom row of screenshots, my favorite so far is the “Open: No Goal.” I’ve found that as the iPhone/Watch tracks my steps and counts that toward my Exercise goal, at the end of the day when I’m ready to do my actual workout, I’ve already completed some of my 30 minutes and can simply select Open Goal and work the remaining time out or more. You could choose to do a complete 30+ minute workout on top of what you’ve already tracked in steps/movement if you want an authentic record. For me, I’m out of shape and these baby steps are a huge step in the right direction as it is, so as I progress, I will move towards complete 30+ minute workouts.
*Just a side note, I have not begun using the “Couch to 5K” app, but my wife (who has run one marathon and a few half-marathons) and I will begin using this soon! Also, I have not looked much into iHydrate except to see that people liked it and it had multiple drink consumption options. I used it for a day or two to actually track my water/beverage intake, but am finding that I like it better for the Apple Watch counterpart app, as I get frequent reminder notifications to drink water. I started last night entering my water intake as a food item in the Lose It! app as one entry, just increasing the amount of ounces as I go. I will update you if I find something better.
As seen above, you can track your workout history and Activity ring history by day and month (there are badges you can earn if you hit either your Move goal or all three goals, everyday for 7 days and beyond. There’s even a badge that you can get for hitting all your goals everyday for A YEAR!) Talk about motivation! There are further breakdowns of how many steps/miles you’ve walked each day and a screen devoted to your badge collection! The sharing button at the bottom right of the Apple Watch app on your iPhone shows anyone you’ve chosen to share Activity with and their progress. You can share yours with them and opt out of seeing theirs, or vice versa.
In my next post later this week, I will share with you my measurements (YIKES!) and weight, as well as the goals I’m striving to achieve this year and I will be posting updates throughout 2017 to let you see how I’m doing! If you have an Apple Watch and want to share Activity with each other, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you my email to add me! 🙂
Until next time, stay warm and get fit!
Featured Image Credit: Apple Support