Are you like me and you got an Apple Watch because you had to have the newest Apple product? Whatever your reason for getting an Apple Watch, one of the great apps on the watch is the activity app. This app allows you to pick an activity or exercise, and the watch will track the metrics of your workout. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you are aware of this feature, however, the next question is, are you getting the most out of this app?
There is no wrong way to use the activity app, but I want to guide you on how to get the most out of the app, to help you in your journey towards your fitness goals. The first and most addictive feature I want to highlight is the activity rings. The activity rings allow you to set a Move goal, Activity goal and Stand goal. Keep in mind that setting goals that are appropriate for you can be a challenge.
Your activity minutes are accumulated for every minute of activity that is equal to or greater than a brisk walk. The recommendations from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) is a minimum accumulation of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week. For this reason, I would set your goal at a minimum of 25 minutes daily. If your goal is to close your activity rings everyday, then this helps you push past the weekly minimum. The 150 minute recommendation is just a minimum, so preferably set your goal higher than that for better outcomes.
Stand minutes are gained for 1 minute of standing during each hour of the day. With the big transition to working from home in recent years, a common complaint we hear at Defy is poor posture at work stations. We recommend at the bare minimum to set your stand goal for every hour that you are working. The watch will send you a notification if you have not stood up during that hour. This prompt will encourage you to stand up and move into a new posture throughout your day. This movement minimizes maintaining any posture (good or bad) for too long throughout the day.
Picking a Move goal is more challenging to provide proper guidance on. There are many factors that go into how each person burns calories. The number of calories burned depends on your age, weight, sex and many other factors. We recommend if you are new to exercising, or are just trying to stay healthy, you are better off focusing on achieving the Activity and Move goals discussed above.
While this blog discusses the Apple watch, these goals are useful for people with any fitness tracking app, or anyone that wants to stay active and healthy. These recommendations are basic guidelines, but you can get more in depth with fancier fitness tracking watches. If you are looking for more information for your workouts and setting goals, check out our blogs on Acute versus Chronic Ratio and how to use RPE to improve your strength training!
- What do the activity rings mean on an Apple Watch? Green represents your activity minutes. Red represents your calories burnt. Blue represents stand minutes achieved.
- Are fitness trackers useful? It depends. Whether you are an elite athlete or someone that has never worked out before, if you set smart goals a fitness tracker is useful.
- What are the cons of a fitness tracker? If you rely on accuracy for your fitness such as an exact heart rate, distance travelled or calories burned then there can be variance on fitness trackers. Find your reasons for a fitness tracker and research all your options to choose the right one for you.
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