Fit Family


I’ve started taking keeping fit a bit more seriously. I’m using my Apple watch to track my efforts and I’m trying very hard to make sure that I “close all my rings” each day.

Let me explain. The Apple fitness system (to which I am now a slave) measures three parameters each day: how many times you stand up, how much you move and how much you exercise. You get targets for each of these and during the day a growing arc is displayed that represents your efforts. When the arc closes on itself you’ve “completed a ring” and can go back into couch potato mode.

The stand goal (of 12 stands a day - one per hour) can be a peculiarly tricky one to hit. Too much lazing around early in the day can result in you having to stay up to 11:00 pm at night just so that you can get the final stand in. The watch goes ping at 10 minutes to the hour to tell you to stand up at least once (it’s scarily surprising how often I have to reminded to do this) but if you’re deep in a piece of code you can easily miss that.

Recently other members of the family have linked their Apple fitness regime to mine, so that we can compare our progress. This is going quite well, if only as an instructive lesson on how devious people are at “gaming” a system. One member of the family has adjusted his “move” target to a level where simply getting out of bed and raising one eyebrow will count as a days’ worth of activity. Another has discovered that you can start a workout (and thereby gain exercise credit) at any time, which allows time spent watching athletics on telly can be made to count as keeping fit. And I have perfected a sequence of arm waving that works beautifully in convincing my watch that I’ve stood up and taken a walk.

I guess this means that we are all now “lab rats” dancing to the tune of a faceless corporation.

But at least we’ll be slightly fitter lab rats.