By Adam Drake
The world of fitness wearables is evolving. Those nifty little bands that wrap our wrists, tracking our movements like some Orwellian omnipresence, are about to get an upgrade courtesy of a small little company you’ve probably never heard of out in Cupertino, called Apple.
Apple’s announcement back in June about their health kit made a lot of the players in this space sit up and take notice. (Or, as has been rumored in Nike’s case, close up shop on their FuelBand.) Apple has a history of pushing technology in new directions, and we at the Sweat Life are seriously interested and speculating on what this “thing” could do to improve our workouts and lives.
What is it?
Truthfully, who the hell knows? In typical Apple-style, they tell you just enough to get you excited, and then turn off the lights and demand you pay more if you want to see the whole show. What we DO know is that it’s a dashboard for your health and wellness. Those of you familiar with the Up and Fitbit apps will see a lot of familiarity in Apple’s design. From the steps-per-day to sleep patterns and calorie intake, none of this is new.
The biggest difference about this app is that Apple is sending out development kits to potential third parties, meaning that they’ll be able to develop software and hardware that’s compatible, and will help give you a larger perspective on your health and wellness. Additionally, the app will let you store your list of medications, lab results, as well as other vitals such as blood pressure and heart rate. What makes this exciting is that you’ll be able to hand your phone to your doctor or trainer, and they can make recommendations based on a number of factors that are impacting your health and wellness.
What can we expect?
We’re entering the world of rampant speculation here, but there’s a rumor that Apple will be releasing the iWatch in the very near future. Having their own proprietary hardware will allow Apple to get real-time feedback on your wellness, via accelerometers and force-feedback data points in the iWatch, but compile the data through your iPhone to give you an accurate depiction of your body’s current state. While the Apple Health app may pair with your Jawbone Up or Fitbit, it’s likely that the iWatch will interact with the app seamlessly while providing much more information.
What does this mean for Sweat Lifers?
Aside from the basic tracking of your workouts, Apple’s Health app will give you a better understand of what’s going on in your body. From an exercise and nutritional standpoint, you’ll be able to see which foods get you through tough workouts better, and those that make you sluggish. You’ll see at what hours of the day your resting heart rate is low, and determine how much sleep you need to perform optimally during the day. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’ll keep you motivated, pushing you to take more steps, to workout longer, and to work toward your goals. This has the potential to be the all-in-one fitness app we’ve been searching for. Consider this app a Sweat Lifer’s dream: infinite data, real time body monitoring, and a motivator to keep you pumped.
Adam Drake is Creative Director for The Sweat Life, a former four-year varsity rower for the University of Miami, and currently rows for the Maritime Rowing Club. He is the co-founder of Kayak for a Cause, a charity event based in Connecticut. As a writer, Adam has developed television shows for Comedy Central, Bad Boy Worldwide, and Sky, written ad campaigns for clients such as Bacardi, Starbucks, Dove Men+Care, and HBO, and was a contributor to the pop culture site YesButNoButYes. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, boating, and working on his tremendous collection of unfinished novels.