Let me start by saying, no, I’m not an Apple Watch Fanboy and I once actually loathed Apple. Over the past 5 years I’ve since changed my tune quite a bit when it comes to Apple products. However, as this isn’t really a post about the company I’ll stop there but just wanted to set the record straight for you!
Where I’ll start is about six months ago because wearable technology is something that I have reluctantly com to embrace over the past 6 months. My acceptance of this new fad came shortly after I (and bear with me, it’s still hard for me to get my head around this part) had a heart attack. Odd for me and if you ever meet me you might think I’m lying because I’m definitely active, don’t eat poorly and would consider myself in shape. But just like the Universe itself, not everything makes sense and so I’ve had to suck it up and accept that somehow I stressed my heart beyond it’s capabilities! Now this is where the technology comes into the story.
While all the wonderful doctors and nurses looked after me I was able to engage them in some interesting conversations about my physical makeup. I learned a lot more than I thought I would about the heart in general and also was trying to deduce what actually happened. I had a complete makeup done (of my heart) including a full blown angiogram (this is where they go inside your heart with a camera looking for plaque buildup or blockage). When all was said and done, I was found to be completely plaque free, and in fact the damage done to my heart was so small it was hard for the doctors to discern. I was nothing if not lucky!
I’m no hype magnet, I’m too old for that.
So now what? I mean if my heart was so great, and there was no real damage, how did this happen? Well as I mentioned before, I’m in decent shape. I do frequent my local gym 3 to 4 times per week. One thing I’d never really considered was my heart rate during my exercise routines. So this had to change! One of my restrictions after my heart attack was limiting my heart rate based on a percentage of what my maximum (beats per minute) should be. I heard the number 50% and about had another heart attack! There was NO WAY I could do that – not physically mind you, just mentally. It’s not “who” I am when I exercise – I’m either all in or nothing. So after some short mostly one-way conversations with my wife (I’ll let you guess who was talking!) I “decided” it was best if I did what I was told!
Let me just say, I’m no hype magnet, I’m too old for that. At a time where I would actually laugh at the commercials (for ANY wearable technology product), and still do to some extent, I purchased a Fitbit Charge HR. As my first introduction to wearable technology, I have to say I was much more impressed with it’s capabilities than I ever imagined I would be. I wore it every day for roughly 3 months. I tuned the app to my liking and rather enjoyed the playful sophistication of the app itself. I really only had a few minor grievances with the device:
- Heart Rate during workouts seemed inaccurate on “glances”
- Limited workout modes that didn’t reflect what I was actually doing
- Somewhat “boring” appearance (this of course is extremely subjective)
- No text message feature
Now while it may not sound like a lot in terms of complaints, the big one about my heart rate always concerned me (as you might imagine). It seemed to read far too low every time I would interact with the device during a workout. This being a key reason for purchasing the device essentially made me lose confidence in my purchase. As an example I would check the reading after an intense set of exercises and it always seemed to read 110bpm (beats per minute) and then I would promptly put two fingers on my wrist and time out 165bpm.
When all was said and done, I realized that I actually WANTED this technology now, but I wanted more features, and more accuracy. This is where the Apple Watch comes in. Now this is the part where I must apologize to those of you who’ve read this far only to realize I’m not actually reviewing the watch in this post. I did however want to provide you with a good deal of background first before I dove right in. It will all add up in my next post though and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Well at least not if you like free stuff – and by “stuff” I mean words… on a web blog.