Build healthy habits that stick
Learn how Apple Watch can help you get off the couch and take on the world.
6 minute read
Why are healthy habits so hard?
As humans, we can struggle to do what’s good for us. We procrastinate, we over-think and we rationalise our bad choices. Our willpower ebbs and flows like the evening tide.
Luckily, we’re also amazingly adept at creating tools to fix our shortcomings. Case in point – Apple Watch.
Like a tiny trainer on your wrist, Apple Watch nudges you to make better choices and build healthier habits. It delivers at every stage of the habit creation process:
Prompting good behaviours
Offering compelling reasons to act
Rewarding you for your efforts.
By making it easy to track your exercise and mindfulness goals, Apple Watch can help you to lose weight, build stamina and manage stress. It also makes a mighty fine piece of wrist candy.
Get into the habit of standing
Is sitting really the new smoking?
Well, studies show that sitting for 8 hours a day increases your risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes by a whopping 40%. So yes, sitting probably needs a ‘quit campaign’ of its own. Though many of us understand the harmful effects of prolonged sitting, we still find ourselves slumped over a desk for hours on end or slipping into a couch coma most nights of the week.
Why is that?
Creating good habits (and breaking bad ones) requires conscious, deliberate and consistent effort. This is where a fitness tracker like the Apple Watch can make all the difference.
Apple Watch uses an accelerometer (an electromechanical device) to sense movement. If you move from a seated position to a standing position, and then walk around for a bit - the Apple Watch counts this towards your Stand goal.
A smart watch that goes deeper than just counting steps
The Activity app challenges you to get moving. It helps you build healthy habits by turning them into a ‘ring-closing’ game.
The small blue ring at the centre of the Activity app shows progress towards your Stand goal. This goal is the same for everyone, no matter where they are on the fitness spectrum. It involves standing and moving for at least a minute, every waking hour of the day.
Feel that gentle tap on your wrist? Apple Watch is telling you it’s time to stand and move.
Have a stretch. Pat the dog. Get some water.
When you reach your Stand goal for the day, the blue ring forms a complete circle (or ‘closes’ as they say in Apple Watch speak). Prepare to be surprised at how satisfying this is - you can even win awards if you regularly meet your goal.
Before you know it, you’ll be challenging other Apple Watch friends to a Standoff.
Pro tip: You can turn off Stand Reminders in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone (Open the Watch app > Activities > Stand Reminders). You can also set your Apple Watch to Do Not Disturb - swipe up to access the Control Centre and tap the half-moon icon.
Make exercise part of your daily routine
Now that you have the Stand habit locked in, let’s talk about exercise.
According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel, you should aim for at least 30 mins of moderate exercise every day.
Again, Apple Watch can help you get there.
When you go for a brisk walk or jog, the green ring in the Activity app tracks your progress towards the 30-minute Exercise goal. Close the Exercise ring first thing in the morning and feel awesome for the rest of the day!
To shake things up, you can choose from a swag of workouts in the Workout app –swim, cycle or hit the yoga mat.
The Workout app uses a motion sensor, GPS tracker and heart rate sensor to monitor what’s going on. You can track distance, pace, elevation, laps or whatever rocks your fitness world.
The watch’s heart rate sensor helps you exercise at the right intensity to get the most out of every workout. If you have a favourite exercise app, like Strava or SWEAT: Kayla Itsines Fitness you can download it from the App Store and use it to crush your Exercise goal.
The Stand and Exercise goals are the same for everyone and you can’t change them, but you can change your Move goal to specify the number of kilojoules you want to burn.
Track your overall Move goal
The red ring in the Activity app tracks the number of active kilojoules (or calories) you need to burn based on your age, gender, weight and height. If you burn the calories with all your standing and exercising, this ring closes and you are officially Lord of the Rings.
But don’t get too smug.
If you close the rings on a regular basis, the Activity app increases the Move goal and you’ll need to exercise more to burn the calories. This approach is super useful if you’re trying to lose weight. Continuous improvement is an excellent habit in itself - and Apple Watch encourages you every step of the way.
Pro tip: Pushing a pram can prevent your arms from swinging naturally. To avoid missing out on Exercise credits, be sure to log your walk in the Workout app.
Build a mindfulness habit
We’ve all heard about mindfulness. It’s a healthy habit that focuses on living in the now and being fully engaged with what’s happening around you.
Not just a fitness tracker, you can also use Apple Watch to track your ‘Mindful Minutes’.
Conscious breathing is one of the key steps in developing a mindfulness habit –it involves slow deliberate breaths in and out. This kind of breathing is known to ease anxiety, depression and other stress-related issues.
Apple Watch can remind you to breathe up to ten times a day. It’s a simple and effective way to reset, recharge and power through what life throws at you.
As you inhale and exhale in time with the pulsing animation, your muscles relax, and your heart rate slows. It’s the perfect thing to do before a stressful meeting or after a taxing commute.
You can set a breathing session for either one or five minutes. As a bonus, the Breathe app monitors your heart rate and provides a summary at the end. For anyone interested in meditation as a practice, Breathe is an ideal place to start
Plus, it seems only fair you get to breathe after smashing your fitness goals and taking major steps towards a healthier life.
Pro tip: You can adjust or disable Breathe reminders in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Open the Watch app > Breathe > Breathe Reminders.
Get Apple Watch with Telstra
If you’re a Telstra customer with an existing post-paid service, you can choose an Apple Watch from our range and pay now or monthly.
Want to make calls, text or stream music without having your phone nearby? Telstra One Number lets you share your phone number with your Apple Watch.