Want you to Watch me
Skin-friendly Fitness Tracker
The Apple Watch is here and it is a superlative skin-friendly fitness tool. Let me elaborate. I have loved fitness trackers ever since I can remember — I was into the Quantified Self before I knew what the movement meant — it’s about personal analytics — gaining insights from one’s behaviour. The tagline is “self-knowledge through numbers” heady stuff!
Now there are other blogs that will detail the Apple Watch’s vaunted tech specs but this is a fitness skincare blog and here are the reasons the Apple Watch is the skin-friendliest fitness tool!
- Heart-rate monitoring — I have delineated the link between robust cardiovascular health and good skin in Sweaty Beauty — blood flow boosts oxygen and skin-friendly nutrients to the skin’s surface. Elevating one’s heart rate is what makes High Intensity Interval Training effective. see Refine Method. If the only thing the Apple Watch did was record one’s heart rate, it is worth wearing and using. Why? because wearing wires as anyone who has taken a stress test can affirm is a cluttery business and there is no way I can reasonably when approaching 60% to 80% intensity take my own pulse. This makes the effort in every workout a nebulous goal one never knows if one has hit and I would argue it’s not in the spirit of a hard workout to be glancing at a watch but to look at how one’s heart rate fluctuated over the course of the workout is pretty interesting. I for example discovered my resting heart rate is 59 BPM — it gets a little lower even to 57 BPM when I’m meditating! see TM=Totally Money. In my last two workouts I had a high of 176BPM and an average of 150BPM — I showed this to my doctor who reassured me that this is a good thing. This continuous feedback on heart rate is way interesting but the Apple Watch with its being automatically recorded in the Health app in the iPhone is rich with possibility. Movement tracking is a proxy for effort but heart rate people is legit. Understanding the impact of conscious decisions on the involuntary circulatory system almost constantly is the best thing for heart health and because of the importance of circulation for skin health great skin.
- Phone-freedom — I have written about the travails of overtexting and phone addiction— see Hunchneck of Notre Phone and how I have started carrying my phone in my backpack to have a less text-trammelled experience — see Pack up your troubles in my new gym bag. It has had its drawbacks — I need to look up directions or quickly text pals I’m meeting and monitoring work email. What the Apple Watch has done is decluttering the phone experience. Sure it’s great to look up the childhood psychoses of an artist like On Kawara who was a bona-fide Quantified Selfer — see this postcard to John Baldessari. But wearing the Apple Watch is more about being in the moment with a device attending to the details of one’s life and allowing one to life freely strolling around museums rather than snacking on a mobile. To stand in front of the painting and give it the attention it deserves. By paring the phone features to its essential bits — and in the 21st century that’s just text rather than calling — the device is actually liberating. It’s basically KonMari for the phone ☺
3. Passive Recording — Good fitness tracking technology records data passively. I don’t need to get in there to urge the Watch to track my steps or heart rate. The most effective trackers automate data storage — like this Fitbit Aria wifi weight and bodyfat scale (see Sensible Scale). It’s also what I liked about the Fitbit Flex but had to abandon when that plastic strap gave me a rash — not skin-friendly no! One of the drawbacks of Fitbit’s sleep tracking since it didn’t use heart-rate was that one had to tap the device before one slept or woke up. Now I haven’t used any sleep apps on the Apple Watch but the less one needs to intervene to record data, the more reliable an indicator it is of real behaviour. A story for another post.
4. Siri — I love Siri and she works really well on the Apple Watch because holding the bulky iPhone 6 — no matter how flat the profile is, I am deeply grateful for my bluetooth headphones (a story for another day) but she works better on the watch — I don’t know if it’s the hand freedom or the lack of a typing option but it’s a lot of Siri who has no fear of giving lip even on the watch ☺
I clearly will find a lot more to say about the Watch as time goes by but everything so far is super skin-friendly!