SS 247 – Apple Watch as a Fitness Device

Episode 247 Show Notes

Grant and Heavey talk about the Apple Watch, which is probably the most popular watch on the market right now. They dig into the benefits, specifically looking at its uses within the health space. 


[02:50] Heavey’s Personal Experience


Grant thinks Apple makes some of the best personal electronic devices on the market. There are less expensive products out there, but if you take cost out of the equation, objectively, their products are better.


Heavey has been noticing an increasing number of people wearing the Apple watch. He recently got it and noticed he doesn’t really use it. He feels it has turned into a glorified watch and that all he uses it for is to tell time and get notifications for text messages, which he actually finds irritating. 


Plus, he has to charge it every night. He admits he hasn’t found a good use for it in his personal life. Hence, he finds it using it while sleeping difficult. If you’re going to use your watch to track your sleep, you can’t put it on the charger overnight.


[06:15] Grant’s Personal Experience


Grant, on the other hand, has found a ritual that works. He puts the watch on the charger as soon as he wakes up. He does all his morning routine. The last part of the routine includes grabbing his phone and watch before he leaves for the day. Then in the afternoon or evening, he charges it again as he takes a shower. As long as he does those two things, he never has to worry about the battery.


Knowing how Grant is far from being a man of routine, Heavey is surprised how Grant is so committed to it that he created this routine to make the watch work in his daily life.


The watch on its own doesn’t do much for Grant, but what he does get out of it is this sense of community. The activity piece of the watch links in with other people who also have it. You can basically share your activities with each other so it has a sense of accountability. 


Heavey had a Garmin watch that he enjoyed using. But he agrees that the Apple watch facilitates the social element straight on the watch and this could be the reason how it’s motivating for many people.


[11:00] Uses of the Apple Watch


Heavey has been on a mission to eliminate all of the notifications on his phone. Grant explains that you can actually turn off your notifications if you find that too distracting.


What Grant loves about the watch is whenever he’s traveling because he wants to travel with his pocket empty. So he doesn’t have to have his cellphone or his wallet. He just uses Apple Pay right on his wrist. The boarding pass is also right on his wrist. 


When he goes for a run, he doesn’t have to carry a phone for music, it’s all on his wrist with wireless air pods. 


Heavey had a bad taste of the product right upfront. He tried to download music on the watch and listen to it for a run but Spotify didn’t download. Apple Music supports it and Spotify is on the way. That being said, the watch is a relatively younger device with only four versions out. So the watch is still evolving. 


Futhermore, there are so many things it does outside of health and fitness but some of the stuff it does that aren’t social, Grant finds impressive. 


When he does his swimming exercises, it collects data and breaks it down for him. It measures his heart rate, number of laps, etc. The newest version has ECG so you can tell if your heart is in sinus rhythm or if you have an arrhythmia or AFib. 


What’s even cooler is that you can send the report to your doctor with just one click of a button. And if you were going through AFib and not do the ECG, it would still give you that warning.


[14:14] It Can Be Life-Saving!


Each notification has different feedback and it showed notifications for his dad. It showed his dad’s location and notified him that his dad had a fall. So he got to his dad’s place right before the emergency service responders because the watch also notified them. 


His dad actually fell on the front porch where he slipped, hit his head on the brick, and he was bleeding. Good thing his dad was okay, but how cool is this watch for having the ability to contact your loved one and the emergency services to get everybody there – all on his wrist automatically?


[15:45] Going Minimal


Part of the reason Heavey got a watch in the first place was his desire of getting away from notifications. 


You can buy a model that has LTE connection and then you can receive phone calls or text messages from it. You can turn off notifications for everything else. So it could potentially be a very minimal device. 


Heavey used a Strong app on his watch which he found to be phenomenal. He uses it for working out, especially if you’re doing back squats or bench. When you use the watch version of it, you can dial in your workout on your phone at some point. 


You don’t need to have your phone in the gym. It’s easy to be distracted on the phone in the middle of sets. Before you know it, 10 minutes go by because you got distracted looking at your email.


With the Strong app, you just have to tap the button when you finish your set. You can set your rest time and then it notifies you when it’s time to lift again. 


[18:05] Improving Health Choices


Grant admits how the watch has motivated him to drink less caffeine and alcohol. He actually notices how his sleep has improved on days when he keeps those down. 


Heavey believes the quantification piece is very important because it can influence motivation for a lot of people.


The watch has the ability to buzz you when you need to stand up because you’ve been sitting for long hours. Grant points out how these little things can add up to a cool experience.


There’s also another notification where it just notifies you to take a moment to breathe. Another thing they built into the phone also is the heart rate variability (HRV). 


They don’t just put out apps that are shit. They’ve hired a lot of experts both in sensor fields and health fields. All that creates a very compelling package but there is no one killer app. It’s not for everyone. It’s not free. But it’s cool!


[20:42] Quantification Piece


Heavey thinks there’s a lot of value when you look at the data in a relative sense. For instance, you hit 8,000 steps yesterday so you want to continue that and close your loop. It influences motivation and it can help people improve their sleep habits and be more active. 


However, what Heavey finds a little frustrating is when people use the calorie estimates off of it to justify other things. For example, the watch will tell them they’re burning 3,000 calories a day and they’re eating 2,000 calories a day and they don’t understand why they’re not losing weight. 


Heavey clarifies that any device is very terrible at estimating your calorie burn. So everything is relative in terms of those measures. Grant adds that everyone always underestimates how much they eat. 


[23:00] S&S Shoot the Shit: Destressing From Creating Something


One of Heavey’s interest is woodworking and he bought some pieces of equipment after being inspired by what Grant is doing in his shop. Grant and Heavey actually did most of the work building a cutting board from lumber. It’s a great way of destressing.


Heavey admits that one thing he’s good at taking time away from work. He would usually have coffee at 3 pm. Just like the woodworking thing, it’s impractical and enjoyable. And there’s a rewarding feeling about the process of making something.


Heavey finds that if he spends a lot of time not creating, it makes him feel off and uneasy. If you’re always just consuming, that creates an imbalance that makes you feel shitty long term. Grant highly agrees with Heavey on this. That’s why he makes dinner a lot of times. 


If you create something you enjoy, what seems like a chore to you could turn into something special. All this being said, Heavey is getting something out of the renovation he’s creating around his house, but there’s also an inherent stress that comes along with that. 


Having a creative outlet is powerful for a lot of people and many people can benefit from finding one. Any hobby is better than none. You’ve got to find something that’s fulfilling that you don’t need from somebody else. It doesn’t have to come from an outside source to make you feel happy. 


Heavey adds not to try to turn it into something that you’re making money from. Keep it detached from all of that. Just make it something for you. Have no goal other than enjoyment. 


[30:15] Glenmorangie


Grant and Heavey have been enjoying Glenmorangie for four weeks now. They both enjoy it. It’s easy to drink. Heavey has drunk a third of the bottle since they started because he really loves it. 


It’s a great example of the Highlands despite how large the region is. Speyside is next on the list. 




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