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Watch Time Stories: Apple Watch — from work to working out

In the very first episode of our new Watch Time podcast, Benjamin Mayo and I talk about how the Apple Watch has become a critical part of our lives. We don’t have to use Apple Watches for our jobs, but we both insist on wearing it all day for the same reason: Apple Watch improves our lives.

For the next three months, Watch Time will explore how the Apple Watch is making an impact in the lives of people from many backgrounds, and we’ll share highlights from those conversations at Subscribe to our 9to5Mac Watch Time podcast to automatically receive new episodes from season one every two weeks, and read on for highlights and more from our first episode.

For some background on how the Apple Watch has touched my life in major ways, check out my January 2017 story Apple Watch, New Year’s resolutions, and losing 50 pounds which describes my fitness journey from out of shape to feeling great. The story isn’t that simple, however, as I wrote two years later in The journey continues: Apple Watch, positivity, and improving mental health

Both are stories I’ll explore deeper on 9to5Mac Watch Time, and I also want to learn from my guests and how the Apple Watch has touched their lives. My goal is for everyone to feel more open and connected through season one. If the project can achieve that goal, we’ll return with a second season next year.

In our warm up episode, my 9to5Mac colleague and Happy Hour co-host Benjamin Mayo trades stories with me about how the Apple Watch fits in our lives. For starters, we talk about how the watch is like a personal assistant for keeping us on track for work. Then we discuss our go-to Apple Watch faces. Benjamin prioritizes Activity rings on every face for viewing exercise minutes, active calories burned, and stand hours for reminders to move throughout the day.

Infographic Model, unique to Series 4, shows lots of information in his configuration including date, Activity rings, and plenty of weather data. He also uses complications for launching Messages and Workouts. Numerals is a much more simple analog watch face that lets you stylize the current hour and add floating complication — Activity rings for Benjamin.

On days that Benjamin needs an extra reminder to complete his workout routine, the Activity Digital face serves as a big clue to close those Activity rings before the end of the day. Apple Watch lets you easily swipe between multiple watch faces with an edge-to-edge gesture so using many watch faces regularly is very easy.

So what’s Benjamin’s fitness routine? I have to admit it’s a bit unconventional: running in place for 30 minutes. As someone who loves outdoor running and only compromises with the treadmill when running outside isn’t an option, I was skeptical that running in place could feel like a workout.

There’s no incline or propelling yourself forward, but it’s definitely a cardio exercise. After trying Benjamin’s workout method and working up a sweat, I had to concede that more value in it than sitting on the couch.

Benjamin describes this exercise as most appealing because it can go anywhere with you even if you don’t have access to gym equipment or weather suitable for exercise.

Because the Apple Watch makes creating a streak and measuring a workout so easy and compelling, Benjamin now prioritizes closing his rings and intentionally exercising every day.

Going forward, Benjamin says he’s curious about how his indoor run stats might compare to running outside (stats the Apple Watch can capture and save) and there’s a desire to get back in the pool for the first time in ages. The Apple Watch is tuned for advanced swim tracking with automatic swim stroke detection and lap data based on pool size.

After a year and a half of his daily routine, Benjamin says he definitely feels more healthy and more active — two benefits that make the Apple Watch worth wearing everyday.

Want to hear more? Listen and subscribe to 9to5Mac Watch Time on Apple Podcasts or Overcast. Watch Time will return in two weeks with an inspiring story of someone’s weight loss journey that ultimately leads to completing a marathon.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.