Useful Fitness Features of Your Apple Watch

Useful Fitness Features of Your Apple Watch

There’s no denying the popularity of the Apple Watch, with its booming sales year after year. Apple sold 22.5 million of these smartwatches in 2018, then sold 30.7 million across the globe in 2019. Apple also sold 11.8 million units in just the Q3 of 2020, compared to the 6.8 million they sold in the Q3 of 2019.

With the ubiquity of Apple Watch units, it’s not surprising that gyms such as Fitness First use workout equipment that works in tandem with Apple Watches. In fact, it can be argued that the beast features of the Apple Watch are all connected with fitness.

If you wear an Apple Watch, you owe it to yourself to optimize the benefits you can enjoy from all these Apple Watch fitness features. Here are some of the features you should start with:

Handwashing Timer

The recent Covid issue has certainly emphasized the importance of washing your hands frequently. But some people don’t wash their hands properly, and they’re not doing it long enough. To get rid of the germs in your hands with soap and water, you need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

The good news is that your Apple Watch can detect when you’re washing your hands, and it will automatically start a convenient 20-second timer. Just go to the “Handwashing” section of your Watch app, and enable “Handwashing Timer”.

Cardio Fitness Notifications

Weight loss isn’t actually the main benefit you get from cardio exercises. These exercises boost your cardio fitness, which actually refers to how efficiently your body can use oxygen to power your muscles. The basic cardio fitness metric is VO2 Max, and this is basically the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use when you’re working out.

However, your Apple Watch can notify you if our cardio fitness levels are getting low. Just open the Watch app and go to “Heart”. Enable “Cardio Fitness Notifications” for this feature.

Breathe App Customization

Breathing exercises can really help with stress management, and your Apple Watch can help you with your breathing. This feature is enabled by default, and can remind you whether you’re going too far down or up from your regular breaths per minute.

You can customize “Breath Rate” in the Watch App as well. The normal breath rate for adults is about 13 to 19 breaths per minute.

High and Low Heart Rate Notifications

This feature isn’t enabled by default on your Apple Watch, so you need to do it manually. Open the Watch app and then go to “Heart”. Tap “High Heart Rate” and “Low Heart Rate”, and set the BPM levels that will result in notifications.

For most people, this means set it for 120 BPM for “High Heart Rate” and 40 BPM for “Low Heart Rate”. You’ll receive a notification if your heart rate reaches any of these levels and stays there for 10 minutes. That may mean some sort of issue for your heart health, so you may want to see a doctor.

Irregular Heart Rate Notifications

Your Apple Watch can also monitor your heart beat for irregular rhythms, as that may be a sign of atrial fibrillation. If you get this notification, it’s again time to give your doctor a call. You can get this notification by going to “Heart” in your Watch app and enabling “Irregular Heart Rate Notifications”.

Sleep Tracking

Hopefully, you already know how bad sleep quality can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Your Apple Watch also knows this, which is why the sleep tracking feature is enabled by default.

But you can customize your sleep schedule so the Apple Watch goes into its “Do Not Disturb” mode when it’s your bedtime. Then a vibrating alarm will wake you up at the right time.

Just go to the “Sleep” section in your Watch App, and then tap “Open Sleep Options”. Then you can set your preferred times for sleep and alarms.

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