If your New Year’s resolution is to get fit or you just want to burn off weight from a calorific Christmas, the Apple Watch Series 4 is the perfect partner to help you get off the couch and start your fitness journey in 2019.
Here’s five top tips for making the Apple Watch your workout partner, whatever your level of fitness:
1. "Ring" in the changes
Exercise doesn’t need to be daunting. Whatever level of fitness you’re already at, the Apple Watch Series 4 supports you and the way you work out.
If you’re easing your way back into exercise or trying to improve your general fitness day to day, Rings is a great way to get on track.
There are three rings you need to try and close each day: Move, Exercise and Stand. Trying to close these rings can become quite addictive, which encourages you to stay active throughout the day. And it doesn’t have to be too serious or sporty – the Move ring tracks the calories you burn doing everyday things, like walking up the stairs or cleaning the house.
Sitting too much can lead to health problems, so the Stand ring is closed by getting up and moving around for at least one minute every hour during the day. Take a break from your computer and walk around the office or go for a stroll to the local shops instead of taking the car. It all helps.
The Exercise ring requires a bit more effort to close – 30 minutes a day at or above brisk walking pace. However, you don’t have to complete those 30 minutes all in one go – short bursts of exercise throughout the day will do the trick.
What’s more, your Apple Watch Series 4 analyses your past activity and gives you achievable goals each month to keep things interesting. And you even get handy coaching tips to help you along the way. There’s even specific rings and workouts for wheelchair users too. It’s a great way to stay focused on your fitness throughout 2019
2. Get competitive with friends
Adding a competitive edge to your fitness might encourage you to intensify your activity and exercise. On the Apple Watch Series 4, you can go head to head with up to 40 friends.
Competitions take place over seven days – the person with the most points at the end of the week is the winner. To win points you need to close each of your three Activity rings each day – for every percentage that you close your ring, you’ll get one point. There are 600 points up for grabs each day – a total of 4,200 points for the week.
But it’s not just about winning. You can also share and track each other’s progress, offering encouragement and motivation. It’s often easier and more enjoyable to exercise with support and some healthy competition – the Apple Watch Series 4 can make it a team effort.
3. Take control of your diet with Lifesum
Exercise is just one side of the coin when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The flip side is diet. On the Apple Watch Series 4, you can download the Lifesum app for free from the App Store, which helps you track your meals and calories, as well as suggesting healthy recipes, meal plans and supporting your weight loss goals.
You can stay on top of your progress with at-a-glance views of how many calories you consumed and burned, as well as reminders to drink more water and not skip meals.
Follow the guidance and keep your calories in check and you should start to notice changes to your health in a short space of time.
4. Set yourself daily goals with Streaks
Streaks is an app you can buy from the App Store. It works perfectly with the Apple Watch Series 4, letting you choose up to 12 tasks to complete each day, including everything from reading or not smoking, to walking a set number of steps or going to the gym. Completing streaks each day helps you form good habits so it’s a useful way to get consistent with your fitness activity.
With the iOS Health app, Streaks can automatically track some of your activities, such as how many steps you’ve taken and your heart rate. On top of that, you can manually set which days you want to complete certain tasks, such as going to the gym three times a week or avoiding junk food from Monday to Friday.
It’s easy to see which tasks you’ve achieved and which ones still need to be completed on your Apple Watch Series 4. And it’s a great way to stick to your New Year’s resolutions and maintain a healthy lifestyle in 2019.
5. Set your own pace alerts
So your fitness is improving – now it’s time to take it up a notch. With Pace Alerts on the Apple Watch Series 4, you can see how many minutes it takes you to run a mile and whether you’re ahead or behind the pace. With Pace Alerts you can try and run faster and beat your average time or set your own pace for a consistent run.
Once you’ve selected your target pace you can choose between Rolling or Average pace. Rolling measures the pace of the mile you’ve just completed, while Average looks at your average pace across your entire run. And there’s also a Cadence option, which measures your steps per minute.
With Pace Alerts you can choose to complete a mile within any time from 5-12 minutes, so it’s a great option if you’re training for fun runs, half or even full marathons. Your Apple Watch Series 4 will alert you if you need to pick up your speed or slow down a bit, so you can pick up the pace or make sure you don’t tire further down the line.
If you can keep to your set pace, you’ll find it easier to manage your runs and over time you’ll be able to increase the pace – improving your stamina and running ability throughout 2019.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is available in a range of sizes and colours, with 4G connectivity on the EE network.