Thursday, December 3, 2015

Apple Watch

I didn't go to bed particularly late last night, didn't have much trouble sleeping, but felt exhausted this morning when I woke up. I blame two factors:

1. Poor diet this week (way too much junk food leftover from visitors over the weekend). Looking forward to getting off the sugar bend and back on track this weekend.
2. Feeling like it's an exceptionally long work week. I enjoyed only having a 3-day work week last week.

So I decided to give myself a rest day, but am feeling a bit guilty about that now. Do I need as many rest days if I'm sticking with low heart rate training? Do I need any? I've also got to decide soon on what I'm doing with the Apple Watch. It's really hard for me to make a call on it since I've never owned a Garmin running watch or Fitbit/Jawbone/other activity tracker - so I guess the question is, what am I really looking for?

From reviews I've read online*, it's certainly not up to the standards that serious runners expect, especially without working GPS. But I'm not ready to invest in the Garmin Forerunner because my ultimate goal is to STOP running after the Star Wars Half. I want something that is going to continue to be useful to me beyond April.

As an activity tracker, it's great, but way more expensive than a Fitbit and doesn't give you the sleep tracking because you have to charge it overnight - although I hear the sleep tracking isn't accurate anyway, and the heart rate monitors on those new Fitbits are not as accurate as the Apple Watch.  There are some features that I think are helpful in the activity tracker:

1. "Move" goal (pink ring) - This is customizable. I have a goal set to burn 600 calories a day. I believe the watch tracks this through a combination of your movement and heart rate. I have yet to meet this goal, even on days that I exercise.

2. "Exercise" goal (green ring) - Exercise for 30 minutes every day. This is not customizable. The watch logs any activity that gets your heart rate up as exercise.

3. "Stand" goal - Move around for at least one minute every hour for 12 hours a day. I have also yet to achieve this goal, but it took me a while to figure out what counts as 'standing' (it's not just standing - you have to walk around). I appreciate getting reminders throughout the day to get up and move. As a home-based employee, there really isn't much reason to leave my desk - so I don't. And I think I'll eventually pay the health price for that.

Here's a snapshot from the middle of the day yesterday:



Of course, there are other features of the Apple Watch besides heart rate monitoring and activity tracking, Apparently I can pay for things with my watch. If I need to know if it's going to rain tomorrow night while I'm at Disney, I can just look at my wrist (it's not). Getting wrist-based notifications on Facebook messages and Groupon deals is nice and all, but I just don't really care about them right now.

Decision to keep the watch is still pending whether I can get accurate mileage tracking running outdoors tomorrow using my phone.

* Here are links to some good reviews and descriptions of the watch as an activity tracker:
http://www.mcelhearn.com/how-accurate-is-the-apple-watch-as-a-fitness-tracker/
http://www.imore.com/apple-watch-activity-tracking-5-tips-you-need-know

135 days left.

Today's Exercise:  Rest

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