So I’ve moved up from just tracking my workouts to tracking daily activity levels…
…and as gimmicky as it sounds, I gotta say that it really does help with the motivation to stay active. The Apple Watch activity tracker lets you track three things:
- Red marker: “Move” calories – you can set your own target to burn “x” calories through “movement” each day.
- Green marker: “Exercise” minutes – you can set your own target to be active for “x” minutes a day. This is calculated by the number of exercise minutes you input either manually, through the exercise tracker, or another activity tracker app. It also includes the number of minutes throughout the day when your Apple Watch detects an increase in activity that qualifies for “exercise”. For instance, if you’re walking briskly in a shopping mall, it can also count as exercise minutes.
- Blue marker: “Stand” hours – the goal for this is to stand for at least 1 minute in every hour for at least 12 hours in a day.
Throughout the day, your watch will remind you when you reach a certain percentage of you target throughout the day. It also reminds you when it’s time to start thinking about moving again. When you hit your target for the day, the marker will form a full revolution. In the calendar below, it shows that I have hit all three goals from 11 to 30 November.
It may not seem like much, but there is a certain satisfaction to be derived to see three complete rings for each day. If you need something extra to strive for, you can work towards collecting all the achievement badges (in order from left to right, top to bottom):
- First rowing workout
- First walking workout
- Rowing workout record
- 7-workout week – complete 7 workouts of at least 15 minutes in a single week
- New Record for calories burnt
- New Record for most exercise in a single day
- Move Goal 200% – double your daily Move goal
- Move goal 300% – triple your daily Move goal
- Move goal 400% – quadruple your daily Move goal
- New Move Goal – reach a new daily move goal
- Perfect week (all activities)
- Perfect week (Move) – hit your Move goal every day of a single week
- Perfect week (Exercise) – hit your Exercise goal everyday of a single week
- Perfect week (Stand) – hit your Stand goal everyday of a single week
- Perfect month – hit your goals everyday of a single month
- Longest Move Streak – records the longest period of hitting your move goal on consecutive days
- 100 Move Goals – hit your daily Move goal 100 times
- 365 Move Goals – hit your daily Move goal 365 times
- 500 Move Goals – hit your daily Move goal 500 times
- 1000 Move Goals – hit your daily Move goal 1000 times
After tracking my daily activity for the last three months, I have increased my daily activity levels by as much as 300 to 500 calories a day. Since the recommendation is to accumulate 150 minutes of physical activity a week, I set my daily Exercise target to 30 minutes a day. My Move target is 500 calories a day. Why 500? Because that is how much I usually average with a rowing workout. I thought initially that it would be a stretch target for the days when I don’t workout but I’ve discovered that it isn’t hard to hit that goal when you add a little movement to your sedentary activities. An easy one to change is to march on the spot while watching TV instead of sloth-ing on the couch. If you want to up the ante, do some high knees, star jumps, jog on the spot – any vigorous aerobics moves will work. I’ve discovered that I can average 300 calories in a 45 minute episode and accumulate the remaining 200 calories throughout the rest of the day.
So as gimmicky as it may seem to track your daily activity, it is totally working for me. I am absolutely addicted to the Apple Watch. I haven’t been this motivated to keep active in a long while and I really recommend giving this a go if you’re struggling.