How Apple Watch can help you lose the Thanksgiving flab

After Thanksgiving you'll want some exercise

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow USA, blessings from my house to yours – however, once your turkey’s digested it may be time to focus on personal fitness, BodBot’s fitness focused Apple Watch apps may help.

What is it?

BodBot makes three online personal trainer apps that are compatible with iOS, Android and Windows phones. All three apps (on iOS) are free to use and download but full features cost c.$9.99/month. The people behind the apps have tried to take things one-step further than most quantified fitness devices. They did so by developing an intelligent and personalized system. Essentially the app creates a model of your body and makes exercise and nutrition recommendations based on your own characteristics. It’s not just about your gym workouts and eating habits, it’s also about what you do during the day – which is where Apple Watch integration comes in.

Biometrics for the rest of us

The Apple Watch gathers some useful data. I’ve used BodBot’s personal trainer app in a slightly half-hearted way on my Apple Watch series 1. (I lack commitment, and feel bad about it). With Apple Watch Series 2, the device counts your reps and heart rate and will adapt routines to your heart rate as you progress. This is important because it means you gain biometrically driven insights to make your workout more effective. It’s also useful that the exercises you should be doing are all visible on your Apple Watch, which should help you do your routines correctly (it’s not just your personal emergency alarm).

BodBot’s apps aren’t the only fitness apps you’ll find with Apple Watch compatibility (Here are 12 more). I spoke with the co-founder, Edward Laux, to find out a little more.

Laux sees huge potential in connected wearables.

“Once people stop focusing on just tracking data but actually making use of the data, people will no longer have to research for themselves about health and fitness, they can just offload that knowledge and mental effort to software, as we have done in so many other areas of our lives,” he said.

Speak to the team

In essence it’s about making the data that is being gathered by these things relevant by making it understandable. “Users shouldn't be expected to figure out what to do with their data (much less be expected to have the education necessary to know), they should just know what to do next based on the data,” he explains.

BodBot is available on all three key mobile platforms, but the Apple Watch is able to do things that are “impossible to do on a phone,” said Laux. “We need access to motion and heart rate data to do what we're doing; without real-time data about what the user is doing and how they're doing it, we can't provide real-time adaptations concerning those data points.”

The latest edition Apple Watch is a performance enhancement because its faster processor helps the app analyze incoming information in real time. “The better the CPU, the better the rep detection and analysis,” he said.

A decade ago no one had this

“With this app, the Apple Watch's biometric suite is wedded to the robust planning algorithms on BodBot, and we’re able to provide biometrically-driven workouts that just a decade ago only an Olympian or world class athlete would have access to.”

The next 12-months is likely to see some big debate about mobile health and wellness apps, particularly focused on whether the apps are based on good science. Stressing the advanced scientific background of his team, Laux advised:

“Being certified as a personal trainer is absolutely not sufficient, has there are over 70 certification boards for personal training with huge variations in the standards for issuing a certification. Many boards require you to just read a book and take a test, which means that you have no way of knowing whether those trainers have any real background in science, they could just have a vague idea of how to put together a basic workout based on pre-made templates.”

Thanks for reading today. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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