March 7, 2022

Giving Apple Fitness+ a Second Chance

Giving Apple Fitness+ a Second Chance

This week, we chat about fitness tech and Ryan's updated review of Apple Fitness+.

It's no secret that adding activity to your day can improve your mental and physical health, but it's easier said than done. This episode explores how to add short bursts of movement throughout the workday and how fitness apps can help you stay consistent.

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Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In the series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines. The problems they're facing, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took. That'll help you to get to grips with the digital workspace inner workings. Fine, thanks. How are you? Yeah, good. Thanks. No complaints. No complaints. Good start to the week so far behind on everything.

Heather Bicknell 0:37
Yeah. So good. So that three day weekend in the US, so I feel you I'm feeling behind on everything.

Ryan Purvis 0:49
Yeah, yeah. Well, actually ironic, because I thought, Oh, I'll make up some time, because everyone in the US is, is off yesterday. And I didn't, I fell further behind my, my daughter had to go into a pediatric and we had to hold the hobbit tests. So that took up the whole afternoon. So joys of life is a life. So I don't know if you've noticed on your watch every day, a lot of the apple fitness workouts.

Heather Bicknell 1:15
I have seen a few. Yeah. Do you want to give an update on? How that's going?

Ryan Purvis 1:21
Yeah, so I'm gonna reverse my opinion on it. Now that I've realized something that I was feeling early about. So remember, I said to you that I found the when you start a session, I found the the sort of way they spoke, and the hand gesture through irritating Well, I finally realized that that actually not irritating hand gestures their American Sign Language.

Heather Bicknell 1:48
Oh, yeah.

Ryan Purvis 1:51
So now that I realized that it makes more sense. So now it doesn't bug me as much, because clearly, it's the language of the nation. They're learning sign language, which is like a bonus. So, so it's made a lot more sense that the workouts are finding the workouts now a lot better. And I've actually been sneaking in extra workouts during the day, because they've got five minute 10 minute workouts. So sometimes when I get a gap in, you know, back to back meetings, or whatever, and I'd like five minutes or 10 minutes or 15 minutes, I'll just pop on or workout or do something. Notice I've got a map behind me, I use my flip my map that I stand on, I use that as math, and I'll do whatever it is not not stuff that will make you sweat, but like an ab workout or, or some yoga, or whatever it is. So I've been doing that this week, which I'm finding really cool. And I do the hit workouts like I normally do. So yeah, I'm impressed. I still wish that I didn't have to listen to a whole workout through like they're forcing listen to the soundtrack and the guys talking, I still like to listen to my podcast while I'm doing the workout because I still enjoy that time to listen to something. But, but I'm doing them, I'm finding a much better experience.

Heather Bicknell 3:10
That's good. Has the content changed much then when you had tried it before, or it just adding kind of more of the same stuff.

Ryan Purvis 3:20
So what they do is they've got a bunch of trainers. And they've added a few new ones recently. And they will record. Obviously, they're a 30 minute 20 minute, a 10 minute in their speciality. So Gary, who's my one of my favorites, he does a lot of hit stuff. So he will have a new one every every week or so. And there's a cycle those out. So you can see. Like if you do the filter by hit and then by 30 minutes, you'll see what he's got new that week. And it'll be like Episode 22, Episode 11, or whatever they're doing. There's also an add on I like Kim, she also puts out a new one. And then they've also added some categories. So there was yoga, there was Pilates. Now there's a call that I've seen is there's a couple other ones now and you could do ones of weights and with equipment. So that we don't even know so. So in general, it's a pretty good experience. Now, you can as I said mixing stuff like five minutes to do some stretching. Or so like a core workout or something like that. And they ties in nicely with the watch. So I could put the marker down and it'll say it's ready to start. You just started off, you're watching you kick off. So that's quite good. And then the other thing because I've signed up for the apple one package subscription, I've got access to Apple music as well. So if you like the size, you pick the sort of dance or anthems basically. And if you want the music afterwards, it's a new music list. So you can play from there as well if there's something that you liked Have a song that you're looking for some Okay, so, so that is quite good. That's really the whole ecosystem thing. They're really putting you in there. So like, I've been impressed with it. And the only thing they have is obviously many ways to improve it. Like for example, I would think at some point, you should be able to give a predefined things that you'd like to do or should learn that workout you'd like to do. And then pre pre load those for you. Because I always download the workup. I don't I don't know sometimes if the Wi Fi is a bit dodgy in the middle of workout, then it freezes while it tries to stream it down from America. So I always download the workouts. And that can be a bit of a pain because sometimes I'll look at my watch for 25 minutes or maybe 30. Maybe squeeze in a hit workout. And then I want to download the workout and that workout takes 30 minutes to download. So then I'm suddenly going okay, well that was a waste of time. So now I've got a couple downloaded, but it would just make sense of like a podcast would work. The next episode is just downloaded for you. And you just set that as a preference.

Heather Bicknell 6:03
Yeah, that would be a good feature. Well, you're making me want to try it again. I have enjoyed it when I had the subscription my only my name made negative with it was I had to use my phone to actually watch the you know the workout. So yeah, I think I think they have airplay on it. Now, I saw I looked this up to see if they have it. So if I could cast it to my TV, we would be back in business but because it didn't work on the Mac, like a MacBook. You couldn't use it there. And then the iPad is under my partner's login. It's his his apple id so I couldn't use the iPad with my apple fitness. So I just had my phone, which is a bad experience. Yeah, this small.

Ryan Purvis 7:04
Yeah, I can understand it depends on what I mean, I could put my iPad as usual as the tool of choice. So I go sit outside and do it. So I couldn't really use a TV anyway. But I did buy a amazon so long, like long, thin one. Fire TV. It's called the Fire TV. bought, I bought that. And that's got the Apple TV app on it. And both LG TVs here. I've got Apple TV apps on it as well. So I think that's become a little bit more. Expanded, expanded. But yeah, maybe it's worth an investment in in the new iPad at some point. Even the little mini one might work for you.

Heather Bicknell 7:44
Yeah, maybe. I guess. Yeah. Like holiday season?

Ryan Purvis 7:51
Yeah. Yeah, that's the thing. I mean, there are there are a treat, but you know, sometimes it's cheap to become go to devices.

Heather Bicknell 8:03
I'm sure I find uses for a second iPads. I don't know. But yeah, no, I'm glad you glad you're enjoying those it is. There's something really satisfying right about seeing your rings on the screen and the progress bar against other people who have done the workout. So very nice touches.

Ryan Purvis 8:26
Oh, no, that's cool. That's gamification. And that works like a charm. I mean, even today, I was I didn't sleep well last night, and probably about four hours sleep. So I wasn't really in the mood. But I thought I'll just I'll just do it slowly. I'll just push myself a sec, which was I'll do the 30 minutes and, and I just go with the flow. And there were times when and you know, competitive. So I always want my idol not to be at the end on that burned by I've got to be pushing my limits. And I've seen that I wasn't supposed to be off and I get that push myself a bit harder to get to get back up there. So definitely works. I mean, I still work I still walk in the morning when I wake up. So I've already closed the Marines by the time I did the workout. So that doesn't, that doesn't always make a difference to me. But the beauty of that and the thing because the the countdown timer because everything's on your watch as well, which is some of the challenges I have with other workout platforms is that the watch isn't wash app isn't very good. But the WhatsApp for fitness is actually quite good because you can be doing your workout. It's counting down the time on the device. But you can also look on your watch. And you could see the countdown. So that also definitely makes it a bit better experience.

Heather Bicknell 9:33
Yeah, definitely. There's so there's two things I wish the Apple Watch would have when it comes to the rings. One is a streak freeze. So I don't know if you've ever used Duolingo other apps probably do this as well, where you have just like I have like, I don't know, 297 days in Duolingo right now and I think I've used to treat freezes so One day I, you know, forgot or was extra busy, I don't lose that, you know, huge streak that I built up, I wish Apple Watch had something like that. And then pre pre programmed rest days would be nice to have the ability to do that because or, you know, even if you still want to have, let's say, like a lower movement goal on like a recovery day, but you don't want it to be as high because what I do is I kind of set a low threshold for my metrics, because just just so I can have a streak versus like being able to be more ambitious about it on some days versus others. I wish it was a bit more flexible.

Ryan Purvis 10:42
Yeah, it's, it's a good point, because there's actually evidence that says if you and we are coached, you know, in society, that you're always pushing your boundaries. But there is some science, the fact that if you make your goals attainable, you tend to exceed them at a greater rate, because you've already you've met the easy years, or the easy goals, you've met the goal. And then you can push harder. Whereas if the goals too far away, you tend to give up, because it's just unattainable. And I think I told you the story, I think it was IBM, they used to set their sales guys targets really low, and then had accelerators for the bigger numbers. And the guys would always hit the hit the low number, which was the target, like the the initial target, but then they really have to work hard for the accelerators. And they did because they'd already achieved something. So yeah, I could see that. Alright, and I have tricks around that. That streak stuff, because I refuse to live them to not close my rings every day. So that always happens.

Heather Bicknell 11:48
You just you do some jumping jacks, or how do you.

Ryan Purvis 11:54
So the first thing is, like, if I'm up early, which is usually every day, go for a walk, you know, fast, 520 25 minute walk, maybe longer if I can all depends on time the kids wake up, who's Yeah, I get a phone call I'm walking today, now you need to come out with kids. So that's the first trick, you know, then it's done. And that's like six in the morning, five in the morning, which is fine where we are because it's summer might be different in winter. And if that's not possible that I jump rope, again, 20 minutes, I tried to do away from the house, because that's quite noisy. Otherwise I will, if I'm, if I haven't made it to gym or something like that, I'll pick an activity, like a household activity, and then I'll start the exercise time on that. So if I'm going to sweep the floor, or I'm going to wash the dishes or whatever it is that I include that as part of my Active Directory activities that because sometimes the watch doesn't pick that up, but you actually aren't doing something. I mean, he's covering a frying pan after you've made something, you know, that's that's, that could be heavy work sometimes. And, and then I also count like, like playtime with the kids. If I'm on the ground, and we're doing resting or you know, playing calls, or whatever it is that I'm using those as opportunities to stretch in different positions, do planks and all that stuff cuz my son really likes if I do a plank because he can come jump in my back while he's got his cars and it needs to be or something like, I can't all that stuff keeps the things ticking over. Plus, that all synchronizes into my online diary. So I can look at the day go here's an other which we thought was pretty good time with the kids. And yeah, right. He when I remember that I saw what we did at that time. So everything syncs to Stryver. And if an app called Run camp, synchronizes all my things together and puts it into into day one, which is my my diary. My journal

Heather Bicknell 13:55
Run Run cap. He says Run,

Ryan Purvis 13:58
run, run gap gap gap.

Heather Bicknell 14:01
Yeah. So that's that for apps you just listed.

Ryan Purvis 14:10
So yes, that sample which is obviously what we are measuring well for for most workouts, it's Apple fitness now like if I'm doing the workout at home at Apple fitness. And I'm always trying to do a hit workout or a yoga and then try Pilates tomorrow. That's kind of nervous about so that's that's my home workout app now that I use another app called Fit BOD. If I tpod which is my workouts in the gym. And these are the our home workouts that I've put designed in there because it's an AI based app. Well your planner takes into account all the things you've done and then it works out your next routine based on either muscle fatigue or with doing a push pull. The routine whatever it is the work that only exercise you should have to think about it just go that you do the next, you just do them. And you could say like, I want this to be an hour long workout, and then you push through for an hour. That's those two things both synchronize with with Apple fitness or Apple Health. And then I use Strava to track. But only reason I use Strava Strava as an intermediate into my day one journal that I use, right and gap and run gap basis sucks in all the workouts from all the different apps you could have, there's about eight or nine that I know of is plenty more than that sucks them all into one place. And it puts those all into Stryver. And installer is made immediately put it straight into my my day one journal.

Heather Bicknell 15:46
A lot of a lot of apps, but it sounds like you have a system system works out. Yeah,

Ryan Purvis 15:51
I used to do it manually and it becomes such a pain, because then you got to remember that they just did 100 Push ups now and write down 100 Push Ups. Why not? Why not just have it automatically go in. So if I if I do a functional training, I'll know that my functional training is usually squats and push ups and pull ups and whatever, I don't really care about that detail. I just came on this day last year, I did 20 minutes of functional. And this year, I'm doing headwind. So I can see that that's that's the kind of level that I care about is like what am I what am I doing physically different? And how do I feel about it much more flexible, less flexible, that sort of thing? Because that's the thing I'm worried about at the moment, and I'm getting, I'm hitting it in the 40s. Now, So flexibility is becoming more important than just strength?

Heather Bicknell 16:36
Yeah, I can see that. Mobility is super, super key. That's why I like yoga. Pilates is nice for that to just mobility work. Well do some bodyweight. Yeah. So you don't have any analytics kind of on the back end of all that you just look at, you're more looking for what did I do? How did it benefit? In terms of kind of, what are you using that look back for? Or is it just to have a log,

Ryan Purvis 17:07
just it's just a log at this point. I'm not training for anything in particular, so so it's just about doing it everyday. And you can also why don't train in the morning. I'm grumpy as hell the whole day. And it's I think it's you know, got ADHD. And I think that that's a big part of it. Because by doing that exercise, the rest of the day is pretty easy. I can focus I can I can get things done. But if I don't do it, then I'm I always feel the sexual energy due to burn off. But I do keep a track on visible visually is how is my sleeping going. So I can, you know, like I said I didn't sleep well last night. So I didn't work out as hard today. So I'll see how my sleep is tonight. Maybe I'll be back to back to normal. And then I try and get a 10 minute meditation in as well. Especially, because I'm going into you know meetings till like three, four hours to try to get that 10 minute in there. Or at your Nicorette, which is my other secret trick, or secret, it's pretty well known if you nicotine helps you concentrate. But I get the benefit of the nicotine without the smoking.

Heather Bicknell 18:19
Interesting. I just I just go for more coffee.

Ryan Purvis 18:28
The problem the problem with coffee is coffee is a is a stimulant. So you kind of go up and down like a roller coaster. Whereas if you hit the nicotine, it kind of takes you up. And then you slowly come down and then you probably take it too late in the day I find you struggle to sleep as well. So I've seen that in the data as well. That's where the aura ring is so useful.

Heather Bicknell 18:51
Yeah, so keeping track of that. Does that mean metrics? Well, cool. Yeah, you've definitely inspired me to give Apple fitness plus another go. I don't know how many fitness apps one needs. It is a nice one in that it's so integrated. And you Yeah, it has the different music selections and just a different vibe. So it is a cool app.

Ryan Purvis 19:25
Yeah, I mean, like I said, there's this little there's still the gaps that I think the first time that they can improve on but as I say it's paid for my apple one subscription. So you know if I was paid for it as a separate customer like it was pay lady pounds a year or whatever it is. I would expect a lot more. But now that I'm paying 30 bucks a month, which I know is a lot more, but I need my news, my data, my TV all that together. I'm less I'm less fussed about it. It's just a nice filler.

Heather Bicknell 19:57
Way less than a gym membership. Think about it that way

Ryan Purvis 20:01
Well, that's the thing, when we get back to the UK, we will probably set a gym membership at the gym will be 15 minutes drive away. I just like it's like now it's five minutes away. And, you know, sometimes you just don't have the time to get out there. And I'm actually doing a thing on burnout at the moment. And one of the biggest factors to avoiding burnout is exercise. And having breaks, and you know, the 30 Minute, 15 minute workout, even the 10 Minute ones are a great way just to just to break up the day and do something for yourself, you know, when you when you've had a long day?

Heather Bicknell 20:38
Yeah, for sure. You know, you're sort of mentioning the mood benefits of exercise earlier. And it's definitely real stuff, it's making the time for it. And, you know, if you're doing it during the work day, give yourself permission to take five minutes to do something for yourself that, you know, ultimately, right makes makes you have a better workday anyway. So,

Ryan Purvis 21:05
yeah, look at the RPO moments when you're like, I should either do this email, well, I should do five minutes of this. And some of those, I just write down what I want to do what I want to do with the email, and I'm gonna go do the workout and then come back, and then what I was thinking I was gonna do the email, I changed your mind. And it's no different, you know, had that time that that break to rethink it. Or deprioritize, which could have been an impulsive thing or, or actually the wrong approach. And you've now broken the the frenetic piece of the day. And you're like, oh, actually, I don't need to see any other phone that aren't sorted out, whatever it is.

Heather Bicknell 21:43
Yeah. Well, was there anything else you wanted to chat about today?

Ryan Purvis 21:48
No, I think that's good. I was bugging me. We hadn't spoken about my changed opinion on Apple fitness. And I was doing a workout this morning. And I wondered if I wanted to talk about it, because I know you get to get the notification on your new watch as well. So I thought I'd bring it up.

Heather Bicknell 22:10
Yeah, I'm glad we've we've cleared the air on our last chain. Well, yeah, I'll see if I, maybe, maybe in a little bit. I'll have my own second opinion on it. We'll see. Go. Cool. All right.

Ryan Purvis 22:30
All right. We'll leave it in. Good. Cool, thanks.

Cheers. Thank you for listening today's episode. Heather Bicknell, our producer, editor. Thank you, Heather for your hard work on this episode. He subscribes to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the DW W podcast. The show notes and transcripts will be available on the website, www dot digital workspace that works. Please also visit our website www dot digital workspace that works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues.

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