It has been a little over one month since I started at the University of Waterloo. I’ve been kept really busy, but I want to take a look back at how my Apple Watch’s activity tracking has been helping me stay active.

Before Uni

When I received my watch back in April, I configured my daily move goal to the lightest setting, 350 calories a day. I didn’t want to set the bar too high the first day. Hitting 350 everyday was easily achievable, and a couple of weeks in I upped the move goal to 380 calories a day which it has stayed at ever since. I felt that 380 calories a day isn’t something I get from my regular schedule. Throughout the summer, I had to get out for a bike ride if I wanted to easily reach my goal. This specific goal encouraged me to exercise each day. Over the summer, I fulfilled my move goal every single day.

Off to Waterloo

Before I left for Waterloo, I considered the idea of reducing my move goal. I knew I would be busier, without my bike, and have less time to exercise overall. Yet I wanted to try.

The first week was Orientation week, with numerous activities and games all over campus. Hitting all three goals on the watch was not a problem.

Busiest o-week day

The week after was my first week of classes. Getting to know campus, seeing where all my classes are, and a bunch of events during the events didn’t stop me from filling the rings. On Wednesdays, I’m in the same lecture hall for four back-to-back 50-minute lectures with a small 10 minute break between them. In these 10 minutes, I realized I couldn’t just stay sitting between classes, stand reminders interrupted my afternoon repeatedly.

The weekends were different. Not needing to move around campus dramatically reduced the size of my rings and I ended up having to go for jogs on the weekend to make up for it to keep my streak alive.

Stand reminders have become a useful reminder to take breaks from studying. Often I’ll be plugging away for an afternoon on a Linear Algebra assignment and the light tap on my wrist reminding me to stand up gives me a chance to take a well needed pause. Also, I mentioned before the long 4 hours that comprise my Wednesday afternoons. Now, with encouragement from the watch, I get out of my seat and walk around a bit and chat more with my friends while giving a boost to my stand ring.

I’ve been keeping up with my activity and hit all three activity goals as I have been over the summer.

Until this past weekend. I returned home for Thanksgiving with almost all my books so I could start studying for my upcoming midterms (midterm week is nicknamed “Hell Week” by the engineers at Waterloo). This past Saturday, I spent more than a few hours studying (with stand breaks in there) and spent an evening out with some highschool friends to see The Martian. It was a great movie, but went longer than expected and finished up a bit past midnight. It was only after the movie I realized I hadn’t reached my move goal for that day. It was the first time I didn’t reach it in 117 days.

Although I’m slightly disappointed that I broke my streak, but it gives me another thing to work towards. I’ve managed to avoid the Freshman 15 so far thanks mostly to the Apple Watch and I hope to stay active and set a new longest move streak. I know the next few months will be more challenging with a Canadian winter coming, but knowing that the Apple Watch keeps me fit is a fantastic motivator.

A lot more work to do today