How Apple Engineered Its Watch to Push You to Perform at Your … – Men’s Health


Posted: September 2, 2017 at 4:42 am

he Apple Watch emphasizes four daily wellness skills: move (active calories), exercise (brisk activity), stand (for at least a minute an hour for 12 hours), and deep breathing. The first three are represented by colored rings on the watchs face. These are all things I know I should do daily; yet its a struggle, even with seven years of editing at Mens Health under my ever-widening belt.

Take deep breathing: The watch has a guided program based on research from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Research director John Denninger, M.D., Ph.D., recommends several sessions a day lasting one to five minutes each. Deep breathing can lower blood pressure and is likely connected to beneficial changes in how genes, such as those involved in reducing inflammation, are turned on and off, he says.

The watch occasionally prompts you throughout the day to take a minute to do guided deep breathing exercises. Gentle taps at your wrist are a haptic cue. Haptic, if youre not up to speed on your cyber terminology, is when a machine communicates by re-creating the sense of touch with force, vibration, or motion. Its gentle, effective, and private.

WATCH MAN / Heart rate is recorded automatically so you can compare your numbers over a day, month, or year.

While you breathe and work and sweat, the machines just get smarter. New software knows when youre more active and when youre slacking off, and it can adjust the frequency and intensity of activity cues accordingly. The watch sets daily goals and gives you both gentle and urgent reminders. For example, toward the end of the day itll tell you how far you need to walk to close the move ring. Voice dictation, a scribble screen, and preset phrases make sharing your achievements easy. Apple is streamlining the game-ifying and socializing of healthy habits.

We wanted to really make it easier for people to encourage each other, as well as smack-talk when the moment calls for it, says Blahnik. Thats why we have phrases like Shazam and Youre on fire. I share my activity with about 20 people, and whenever I see what someone else has done, it spurs me to train a little harder. Its also a fun way to stay in touch. The watch allows you to connect with up to 25 people to automatically share information or send individual messages.

This year Apple held its own global monthlong corporate health challenge, with tens of thousands of participants in teams of four, using the Lose It! Challenges app. Closing the watches tricolored rings was part of the game. It seeded health streaks that many at the company are still maintaining. You noticed it on campus and in our retail stores, says Blahnik. Everyone was more active and engaged in their health. There was a lot of back and forth to encourage and motivate your team members to close their rings.

Partnering with the watch, Ive learned to strengthen my fitness and health network with multiple threads of accountability and lots of smack and support talk. Im connected with my girlfriend and we share activity. I can tell when shes taken a minute to inhale and exhale deeply, because her mood is lighter. With larger groups, I share fitness data using the watchs workout capabilitywhich has settings for most kinds of cardioand I also use third-party apps like Strava, Nike+ Run Club, MySwimPro, and Pocket Yoga for bendy stuff.

Sharing achievements taps into our evolutionary need to belong to a tribe. Joining several tribes is a smart way to cover all your fitness and health bases and have fun while doing so. Ultimately, says Blahnik, were working to make the watch help you be healthier tomorrowor at least be as good as you are today.

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How Apple Engineered Its Watch to Push You to Perform at Your ... - Men's Health

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