Okay, so the Apple Watch did not literally save my life, exactly. But figuratively, symbolically, emotionally, I think it did. Here’s why… The last few months have been a bit of a blur. I’ve been living in a wellness wasteland. I blame: moving house, a husband traveling constantly, young children, owning a business, a minor social media addiction, a penchant for peanut butter and a blatant disregard for my health in general.
It wasn’t until I reached my rock bottom moment (let’s just say it involved a full packet of dark chocolate Tim Tams) that I began looking for some kind of panacea. Something that would help me get on the right track again. Enter – the Apple Watch Series Two. Here are a few of the ways it helped me find my healthy status quo again.
1. I’m jogging again. Eureka, I’m jogging!!
It all began when I had two technological breakthroughs in the space of a week. Firstly, I got my hands on the Apple Watch to road test and secondly I got a pair of wireless Bose Headphones. My problem with running was that I didn’t like lugging my Iphone 7 Plus with me me on my runs. So naturally, I decided running was too hard. But then I found out I could upload my running playlist to my Apple Watch (it holds 250 songs), sync it with my headphones (which are the best thing EVER for flying, commuting and blocking out excess noise in the office!) and hit the pavement.
2. It reminds me to meditate. And breathe.
I know how good I feel when I meditate, so in an effort to get back into it again I set not one, but two alarms on my phone which would come up on my watch – one at 6.30am and another at 9.30 (in case I’d missed – or ignored – my first reminder). Unfortunately I failed on all counts to actually stop and follow my own instructions, but that’s not the watches fault. As a compromise I’ve been using the Breathe App which reminds me three times a day to breathe for a minute – it taps you when you’re supposed to inhale and exhale and it’s a great way to insert a little mindfulness into your day.
3. The wellness goals are a great reminder to move.
Being the competitive little twerp that I am, I kind of love the three rings of wellness that gives you updates on your movement goals for the day. The outer ring is how often you how many active calories you’ve burned so far (which you can set as a goal), the middle ring is how much exercise you’ve completed so far and the centre ring is how often you stand and move around in the day. It reminds you when you’ve been sedentary for too long – which is great for me when I get stuck on a writing binge and forget to go to the toilet, let alone move. (Mental note – look into standing desks).
4. The timer is on my wrist.
When I work out at home, my trainer Ricardo Riskalla gives me little 3 minute sets of strengthening exercises (Jane Fonda style movements which spot-tone certain areas) and I used to watch the video of him demonstrating the move and then have to cycle back to the timer to time it. It’s a little thing but now I can do both simultaneously, while listening to music. Just one more reason exercising is easier than it was.
5. I’ve stopped looking at my phone so much.
Did you know that on average we look at our smartphone 80 times a day? It’s an itch that needs to be scratched. Since the watch taps me on the wrist when I get a message, it’s negated the need for me to check for new messages. When I do want to check for messages, it’s just a subtle cock of the wrist and slide motion - a much more polite gesture to make during meetings. I can even put my phone in my bag when I’m in restaurants, rather than the Face-Down-Phone-Pose that all my friends are still assuming. And if my Iphone accidentally rings in the cinema or at an event, I can put my hand over my watch and it will silence my phone. Clever!
6. It tells me to go to bed.
As the Apple Watch gets to understand more about my daily rituals it’s started reminding me to go to bed at 10pm with a little tap on the wrist. Not great when I’ve just started a new episode of Riviera, but helpful nonetheless.
7. I love the way it looks.
Okay so this is not technically a life-saving capability, but when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, it certainly helps to have a happy little accessorizing moment. I’ve got an assortment of different bands that serve various purposes and moods. I do the white or navy rubber sports band with my activewear (even when I’m not technically getting active – ha ha), the grey leather band with my nudes, blush and pink outfits, a tan leather band for a more neutral moment and a mesh metal black for my all black days. I’ve never had such a versatile watch and I really like the feeling of wearing a watch again.
It can seem counter intuitive to attribute a lifestyle overhaul to a digital device but that’s the surprising joy of technology. As our devices get smarter, they second-guess our behavior and are even starting to school us in ways we can – ironically perhaps - disconnect and be more present at the same time.