Listening to Upgrade recently, I was reminded about a feature that I really want to see incorporated into the Apple Watch fitness tracking: rest days. I’m not a fitness expert by an means, and I have a long journey ahead of me to start living a healthier lifestyle in 2022. But I’ve done a lot of training in the past, and I can adamantly say that rest days are vital whether you’re starting a new routine, are years-deep into one, or even if you’re a pro-level athlete. There are many situations where resting for a day is actually more beneficial than continuing to push through an injury or illness. And Apple would do well to make a feature available to users to implement days of rest. I think there are a couple of different ways to handle this: one is a simple change that could be done now, the other would take a bit more to implement but I think would ultimately be the better of the two solutions.
More “Close Your Rings Differently”
For the past few weeks, I’ve been battling a couple of different illnesses. First, it wast the GI flu, then it was whatever I have now. And both times, I was basically down and out most of the day. I absolutely detest getting sick, and I’m admittedly useless when I get sick. Thankfully, my wife has been able to take care of things for the most part. I just pray that she or my kids (who likely gave this to me) don’t catch it.
So in these times of being sick, I’m faced with a dilemma: how on earth do I complete my move goal? At the time of this writing, I’ve completed my move goal 296 times in a row – but it comes with a caveat. My wife will tell me that I’m cheating, but really, I blame Apple for what I’m doing. How am I “cheating”?
I lower my move goal.
I blame Apple because they really need to provide ways for people who are sick to have some rest days. How am I supposed to complete my normal 550 move goal when I have a 102ºF fever? There should be a way to change the Activity rings to a “sick” mode, where it lowers all three rings to a reasonable amount. While I’m at it: there should be a rest day, at least one day a week, that I can not complete my rings and the move goal streak can continue. Activity++ does this, and I like that the streak just continues even if you’ve taken a day off.
When I’m done being sick, I’ll change my move goal back to what it was and complete it regularly. But if I get sick again, I’ll likely lower it to reduce my stress and keep the streak alive. Sure, I could let my streak lapse and start over. But unless you’re a superhuman, it’s difficult when life gets in your way and things slip a day. I’m all for the gamification of things like activity, but I’m also going to game the system if there isn’t a reasonable way to let me take care of myself.
Habits are difficult. It is very easy for me to build bad habits, and I struggle to build good habits. The positive/negative effects of habits can be far reaching, depending on the scenario. One thing that I often struggle with is my weight. I’m not morbidly obese, but I am fat. This is due to bad habits that I’ve maintained over a number of years: stress eating, bored eating, poor portion control, poor diet, not enough exercise etc. The long story short is that I don’t do enough to monitor myself and don’t exercise nearly enough; I’m not doing a good enough job at taking care of me.
In admitting to myself that I have a problem, I talked about this with Seth on our podcast where I told him that I eat my feelings. And while I understand that a lot of people do this, it’s not a sustainable thing for me to do. There are a number of reasons why I personally wanted to devote an entire episode about it, but there were two big reasons: that 1) Seth had gone through something similar before, and has spent some time building good habits which he maintains today; 2) I needed to gain some accountability.
More “Building Habits”