I have an Apple Watch. I’m not sure how many of my readers have one. It’s actually an interesting piece of equipment to own if you’re active and a bit competitive with yourself and others. Like a Fit Bit, you can share your activity with others and challenge users to see who can burn the most calories in a week. That feature is okay, but you can also see who’s exercising, what they’re doing for exercise, and cheer them on after they workout by sending them an emoji and/or message to say “Good Job” or “Really? That’s all you got.” I never send the snarky message.
The competitive nature of the watch comes into play by asking the user to do a set amount of activity each day. Apple has tasked the wearer with closing three rings on the watch face daily; these rings track activity, are called goals, and are named: Stand Goal; Move Goal; Exercise Goal.
The Stand Goal asks the user to stand at least once an hour, and you close your ring by ensuring you stand once per hour for at least 12 hours each day. Sounds simple, but if you’re at your desk immersed in a project, it’s easy to forget to stand. Or, if you’re binging Netflix … well, you get the picture. The watch will ping you or vibrate at 10 minutes to the hour to remind you to stand, and by stand it needs you to take at least 150 steps. When I went to my office each day, this was a trip to bathroom.
The Move Goal’s name is erroneous. This ring actually tracks the amount of calories you actively burn daily. Users can set the calories a person wants to burn daily; mine is set to 520. Again, when I worked outside my home, I closed this ring fairly easy each day. Now, I really have to make sure I pay attention to this ring to make sure I’m active enough each day to burn 520 calories.
The Exercise Goal is just that; it tracks any workouts I did. The standard goal is 30 minutes of exercise a day. I can close this one with a yoga or spin workout. When I could went for walks before Plantar Fasciitis, a couple laps up and down my road after dinner easily closed it.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is that Apple Watch tracks of how many times I close my rings each month and gives me tasks to keep me motivated to close said rings. It’s not enough to just pay attention to these rings on a daily, now I was required to to close them to finish a quest each month. If I conquered my required task, I would get a badge. Ask a millennial or Gen Z about badges, they will tell you the meaning of them pertaining to education and work. For Apple Watch users, these badges accumulate in a library in the App on your phone. It is fun if you like accumulating things. And, if you’re like me, and you like feeling a sense of accomplishment, the badges do make me happy.
Back to my point. On May 1st when I received my goal for the month to earn my May badge I was asked to exercise for 1,120 minutes. I blanched. I thought, “Really?!” Then I whipped out my calculator because I couldn’t do the math in my head to see how many minutes I would need to exercise each day. The math people have already calculated this, but for those of you like me who can’t do math in your head, it worked out to roughly 36 minutes a day.
Here’s the deal. I’m active; I like to walk (although Plantar Fasciitis has me sidelined for a while); I like to bike, spin, and do yoga. However, I also like my days off and being 52 years old, I need recovery days after said activities. I don’t normally go into a month expecting to close all three rings each day. When I did it last August, it was a chore. I like slug-like days, too. They’re good for the soul.
As May progressed, and I got my update on the 15th of the month that I still needed nearly 600 exercise minutes, I had given up on my quest to attain my May badge. However, a few long-distance bike rides and a round of golf last weekend, (Yes, Apple Watch counts golf towards active minutes. It should; it’s rather taxing mentally! I ought to get a reward for playing.) I find myself today in the enviable position of only needing 49 minutes to get my badge this month. I’m pretty happy! Little victories that make me feel normal in a less than normal world! I’m going for a bike ride today; that should earn my badge.