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Apple Watch 2018 Activity Challenge – But is it Helpful?

workout
Apple is helping you kick off the new year by providing you with a new activity challenge for 2018. But do these challenges actually help you?

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Apple is helping you start off 2018 with another Activity Challenge on the Apple Watch.  This will show up on your Watch starting on December 28th.  The new challenge promotes fitness, by asking users to complete all three Activity rings for seven consecutive days in January 2018.  While I don’t want to rag on Apple about this one, but I wonder if these are really challenging people?  I know that some people need those check marks, or closed rings in order to consider their day successful, but the other thing to consider is – are you pushing yourself too hard?

For a long time, I didn’t consider my day successful unless I had closed all of my rings.  Most days my goal was to double my 500 calorie goal, also.  The thing is, your body can only do so much in a week and you do need rest.  I’m not saying to sit on your couch all day, but there are times that you have to.  During that time, if I didn’t close my rings, I looked at myself like a failure.  I missed a day – I’ll have to do better tomorrow.  While wanting to do better is a good idea, feeling like a failure is mentally damaging, in my opinion.  Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to meet these arbitrary perfection goals?

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Let me put this into perspective for you.  I have done five – High-Intensity Interval Training sessions this week.  Five!  My body is screaming for me to take a break.  Which I will tomorrow.  And by a break, I just mean I am not going to do a hard workout.  I might go for a walk or a run, but it will be light, regardless.  That means I am not going to be able to close my exercise ring tomorrow.  Is this a bad thing?  Not necessarily.  Like I said, I am not going to spend my entire day sitting on the couch, but I’m not going to be working out as hard as I did all week.

Getting back to the January challenge, though. This one might be ok.  Why do I say might?  Well, 7 consecutive days of closing your rings doesn’t seem like it would be over the top for a lot of people.  There is one Activity Challenge that I’ve been eyeing for a long time, which is 30 days of closing all the rings.  I haven’t been able to do it as I always seem to have one or two days (in a month) where I just can’t.  On those days, I can’t do much more than the bare minimum to get by.  I am often hard on myself for these days, but I probably shouldn’t be.  In the 30-day challenge, I think that’s pushing people too far.  But the 7-day challenge seems reasonable.

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The Activity Challenge will appear on your Watch towards the end of December.  If fitness or health improvements are part of your new year’s resolutions, this might be a good way to get that started.  You won’t be able to do this challenge after January, so if you are hardcore and need those accomplishment badges, then get to it right away.  It’s a great time to start to get into some kind of fitness routine, and the Apple Watch lets you decide your goals.  You can set your Move goal for 300 calories a day.  Or less if you’re not there.  That’s ok.  You get to control the challenge, really.  So if you want to do it, set it in a way that works for you and lets you get some achievements under your belt.  You’ll feel better, I promise.

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