ELLE Canada takes the Apple Watch on a road trip to Chicago
Can tracking your activities make you fitter than ever? We try it out.
Asking a health editor to test drive an Apple Watch is like giving a Chanel purse to a fashion editor or what the invention of Snapchat means to Kylie Jenner. In other words, it’s what dreams are made of.
That I got to try out mine in Chicago was the double cheese and pepperoni on top of a deep-dish pizza. I flew to the windy city to meet with Apple’s director of fitness for health technologies, Jay Blahnik, who explained one of his favourite parts of the watch, the Activity app.
The Activity app consists of three rings and the goal is to complete each ring every day. (Targets are based on height, weight and activity level.)
The Move ring: The largest ring, it records how many active calories you burn in the day – even if it’s a shuffle towards the couch for a KUWTK marathon.
The Exercise ring: If you got any type of exercise – whether it’s a brisk walk or a spin class – this ring will track it.
The Stand ring: A minute on your feet every hour 12 times a day is all it takes to complete this ring. Be warned: it pings in a friendly Big-Brother-esque way if you don’t comply. This may seem inconsequential, but studies have shown that sitting down too much has health risks even if you exercise on the reg. (Between you and me, ELLE Canada editor-in-chief Noreen Flanagan finds the Stand ring the most difficult to complete each day.)
“You get really obsessed about closing those rings that you almost forget that there’s a number behind them. You just think, ‘I want to close my three rings today, I want to close my three rings, ‘“ says Blahnik.
He’s right. As I duck into the boutiques on the Magnificent Mile, I can’t stop looking at wrist to see my rings move from quarter-full, to half, closed and then over my target. (I did a lot of shopping.)
But back in Toronto where I pretty much live at my desk, I’m worried about meeting my daily fitness goals. Blahnik suggests I focus on making small milestones – whether it’s a Friday night dance party or getting off the subway one stop early. “Giving yourself credit for all the things that you do during the day that matters, you don’t have to get really sweaty to make progress towards good health.”
Now there’s some advice that has a nice ring to it.
Watch health and beauty editor Carli as she takes the Apple Watch to the streets of Chicago: