During coronavirus quarantine, Apple Watch is a fitness friend | Cult of Mac

During coronavirus quarantine, Apple Watch is some people’s best fitness friend


Apple Watch helps people like Sune Holt stay fit during COVID-19 chaos.
Stuck in quarantine? Apple Watch can help you stay active.
Photo: Sune Holt

Even people who never realized Apple Watch’s awesome motivational power are standing up and testifying: The device helps get your butt up off the couch during the coronavirus quarantine.

“It’s fantastic that a gadget was the thing I needed to get myself in shape again,” said Sune Holt, an Apple Watch wearer from Denmark. “In November, I feared I wasted my money. Now it’s the best investment in a lifetime.”

For many people stuck at home, the COVID-19 quarantine means binging on Netflix and snacks. Overeating during lockdown has been blamed for weight gain. (Yes, the “quarantine 15” is a thing.) But for some folks looking to stave off obesity — “the chronic condition with the strongest association with critical illness” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent study — Apple Watch proves a crucial fitness tool.

Apple Watch: Your quarantine fitness friend

Holt is one of several Apple Watch owners who told Cult of Mac how the wearable factors into their fitness routines during self-isolation.

“Every day since December 23, I have closed all three rings,” Holt said. “It’s an amazing feeling and I love that a gadget was the thing I needed to get the drive to get in shape again.”

Loads of Apple Watch fans like Holt have taken to Twitter and Reddit recently, praising the wearable for keeping them active in the age of social distancing. For some, the wearable has become one of their closest friends during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Many Apple Watch wearers Cult of Mac spoke with said they owned the device for months or years. Only during the COVID-19 crisis did they start really using it as a tool to stay active.

Closing Activity rings has become almost an addiction for a lot of them. Quite a few said Apple Watch’s fitness-tracking and motivational tools helped them lose weight.

Activity ring addicts

Apple Watch's Activity Rings help wearers form healthy habits.
Apple Watch’s Activity Rings help wearers form healthy habits.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Jay Gomez said he fell out of the honeymoon phase with Apple Watch a few months after buying it two years ago. But now that he’s focusing more on healthy pursuits, his passion for filling rings has returned. “I have actually been more active with Apple Watch during the shutdown. I currently have closed my Move ring 43 days in a row and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon,” said Gomez, who lives in North Carolina. “My goal for April is to close all three rings. The Apple Watch has kept me motivated.”

Losing weight with Apple Watch

Dawson Gould of Nebraska told Cult of Mac that she’s lost 20 pounds since focusing on completing her Activity rings earlier this year. She says she’s been using Apple Watch as a tool to boost her immune system through exercise and living a healthier lifestyle.

“During this quarantine period, my Apple Watch usage has surprised me a ton,” Gould told Cult of Mac. “It’s easy to just blame the quarantine but I went out of my way to make sure I didn’t just laze around all day.”

Apple Watch’s motivational prompts prove especially effective at a time when fear and malaise can set in.

“I find exercise to be a great outlet during these stressful times,” Gould said. “The alerts about standing and just getting up to move put it into perspective. There’s no need for me to sit around all day just because regular life is interrupted.”

An essential accessory?

Not everyone feels so lovey-dovey toward Apple Watch during the COVID-19 pandemic, though.

“Apple Watch is not an essential accessory” when you can’t go outside all the time, wrote Redditor itjustsohappened.

However, Apple Watch true believers quickly flooded that post with positive accounts showcasing the wearable’s usefulness during the quarantine.

“Most of my use case personally is just as relevant in lockdown as before,” said another Redditor. “Now that I can’t go to the gym, and I don’t get the walks in that I normally get as part of my commute, the Apple Watch rings are a very helpful reminder to still find ways to be active.”

Some Redditors mentioned that controlling music from their wrists works great around the house. And getting Apple Watch notifications offered some a welcome break from their iPhone screens.

But the Apple Watch’s health and fitness features — which Cupertino continues to emphasize as the device evolves — seem most important during the COVID-19 lockdown. For people practicing self-isolation and social distancing for weeks on end, the device offers a healthy reminder to stay active.

“I would say now it’s even more important because it helps me stay motivated to go out for a run or take a walk to keep hitting my goals,” an Apple Watch fan commented. “Whereas before it was much easier to do it and stay motivated. Now it’s a struggle so I need it to help me more now.”


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