By: Kristen Darkow
Ahhh, the Apple Watch. When it came out several years ago, I didn’t see any reason for it. We all have a cell phone – why would we need a tinier version of our cell phone on our wrists? But, over the last year or so, I’ve become more curious and interested for a variety of reasons. And now, I finally got an Apple Watch! I’m here today to tell you all about it, what I use it for, and what I think about it.
So, the main reason I became interested in the Apple Watch: I hate smartphones. Or, I should say I hate the temptation that comes with having a phone in my hands (like mindlessly scrolling through social media or playing a stupid game when I should be focused on the moment I’m in and the people I’m with). I do, however, love the peace of mind that having a cell phone provides. If someone needs me, they can reach me, and vice versa. The Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone, so you can get all the same notifications on your watch that you get on your phone. Most notifications I get are NOT important and do not require my attention right then, but getting them on your wrist allows you to know when an important one does come through and if it’s worth picking up your phone and addressing immediately. So, for this reason, I really believe the Apple Watch has allowed me to live life a little more and look at my phone a little less. 🙂 Right now, I do not have my Apple Watch on a cellular plan, though, so I must be within a certain distance of my phone. You do have the option to add your Apple Watch to a cellular plan and that way your watch works independently of your phone. I do think this feature would be really nice for things like going on a walk without your phone and still having that peace of mind that you can reach someone if you need to.
I’ve also been loving the Apple Watch for its exercise/movement monitoring. I’m usually pretty good about getting some form of movement in each day, whether it’s walking Storm, making time for a workout, or both. But the Apple Watch sets goals based on your usual movement and really motivates you to achieve those goals. For example, it reminds me each hour to stand up for one minute if I hadn’t already stood up during that hour. It’s so easy to plant myself at my desk all day long, but this is such a good reminder to just take a lap around the building or walk to the drinking fountain. The watch also rewards me if I hit my calorie burn goal and 30 minutes of active exercise, so if I’m on track for 22 minutes of exercise, I push myself a little more to just hit that goal. Storm enjoys it too, because I think he’s gotten longer/more frequent walks out of the deal. 🙂
Another great feature of the Apple Watch is heart rate monitoring. I really had no idea, prior to owning this watch, what my average resting heart rate was or what my heart rate got up to during a workout. I think it’s a really great thing to be aware of, and a good indicator of your overall health and fitness. Over the couple weeks of owning this thing, I’ve noticed my resting heart rate decline from 75-85 to 60-75…maybe because I’ve been more active and health-conscious? It also helps me during a workout to know when I need to cool down a bit – when I’m really moving around during a workout, my heart rate will get up to 150-160! It’s healthy, but I know not to push myself too much more.
The watch also reminds me to take some deep breaths a few times a day. I need this reminder, because when I get anxious about something (work, traffic, etc.), I tend to either over-breathe (almost hyperventilate) or hold my breath. The watch has the breathing app right on it, and it times your inhalations and exhalations for a minute to get your breathing on track and to measure your heart rate. I definitely use this a few times throughout the day to just regroup and keep that anxiety at bay.
Lastly, a feature that I really didn’t know about but have ended up loving is the Maps app on the watch! When I’m going to a new destination, I almost always plug the address in on my phone. But it’s not always super safe to be looking down at my phone for when my turn is coming up. The watch actually pulls the directions up right on your wrist, so with your hand on the steering wheel, you’ve got a perfect view of your next turn! It also vibrates on your wrist differently for a right turn, left turn, roundabout, etc. So when I’m coming up on a street and unsure if it’s my turn, I know whether it is or not based on whether my wrist vibrated.
A few other miscellaneous features on the Apple Watch: a timer (hello, cooking and baking!), a calculator, music, podcasts, Apple Wallet (paying for your coffee with your watch? We live in the future), weather, calendar, and so much more.
Whew! Those are the main things I have been using my Apple Watch for, but if you’re an Apple Watch owner, let me know what I’m missing out on! I already love this thing, but would love to hear what else I should be doing on it!
Also, I know these things are expensive. I have the Apple Watch 3 (there has since been a 4 and a 5) and I think it does everything I could ever possibly need, so no need to spend the extra couple hundred bucks on the newest version. I also know that FitBit, Samsung, and Garmin create similar smart watches that are probably capable of all the same things but with a cheaper price tag. Let me know if you have a non-Apple smart watch and what you think of it!
Okay, that’s all I’ve got for you. Just here to say I love my Apple Watch and if you’ve been on the fence about getting one, go for it! 🙂