As someone who has long struggled with her weight, I’ve turned to tons of products over the years to help me reach my goals.
Aside from the more-than-I-care-to-admit money I spent on the now-dusty exercise contraptions like the AirClimber that I’d see on late-night infomercials, my main tool of choice was first the MyFitnessPal app.
For more than a year, I logged my exercise and food choices in the app, until my boyfriend and I were gifted the then-latest fitness craze, a Fitbit Flex.
Soon, we were competing to outdo each other’s daily step goals (and those of our friends with the device), and over the next two years, I logged nearly 6.7 million steps and more than 3,000 miles.
It was incredible to watch our progress, and get badges for every big milestone, like that time we hit 25,000 steps in one day while hiking around the Aran Island of Inishmore while on vacation in Ireland.
But like any technology after two-plus years of daily wear-and-tear, our Fitbits soon stopped easily syncing with its app, and we had to frequently replace its bands. It was time to move on, and it looked like a smartwatch would be the logical replacement.
I still clung to my Fitbit out of habit/loyalty/fear of change, but my boyfriend jumped ship to the Apple Watch and never looked back, singing its praises every step of the way. And after seeing what it could do, I eventually followed suit, even though I never liked wearing a a watch.
It’s been three months, and I am all, “Fitbit who?” because I am madly, truly and deeply in love with the positive changes the Apple Watch has made in my life. Here are my Top 5 favorite things about the device — and not all of them are fitness-related, though there are lots of apps you can chose to add to suit your particular fitness goals.
So much room for activities!
The watch automatically comes with the Activity app that works with your phone and tracks your daily move, exercise and stand goals. You get, if you choose, hourly reminders to stand and progres updates to keep you on track throughout the day.
Just some competition among friends
That friendly (or sometimes not-so-friendly) competition that I loved with the Fitbit is also found on the Activity app, so seeing what my friends are doing remains a great motivator.
Mind your health
The Health app tracks weight, body mass index and your vitals, including heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and respiratory rate if you so desire. It also gives suggested apps to track nutrition and sleep as well as those to help with mindfulness.
The watch also reminds you to breath each hour for one full minute, pulsing as you inhale and exhale. It’s a great reminder to just take a minute and find your center (especially if you’re a journalist covering, oh, let’s just say political news these days).
It’s a slightly secret extension of your iPhone.
Many of the phone’s functions, like texts, calls, emails and whatever you have notifications on for, are all accessible on the watch, so if you’re in a meeting, you won’t have to rudely look at your phone or piss your boss off if you’re waiting to hear from someone special or get updates on the score of your favorite team’s game. You’re just checking the time after all! Wink wink.