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I was afraid that by now my motivation to keep fit by walking would be diminishing, and the fitness watch bought for me by my son would be just another piece of tech gathering dust. But here is the thing, not only am I still motivated, the watch is actually pushing me harder and harder.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 and I love it. My son has an Apple Watch and he loves it. I am not promoting one brand or the other as these days they all have similar functionality and features. Also it doesn’t matter if like me you just need something to get you moving again, or if you are a fitness freak like my son, these watches really do help at all levels.

Because of the data being fed to me by the watch, I am able to plan my walks better. TheScreenshot_20170614-191216 maps help me refine routes that give me the distances I need and that are interesting and enjoyable to walk.

The live announcements coming from the watch through my Bluetooth headphones while I am walking, help me to decide if I’m going to speed up or slowdown to avoid over doing it before getting back home.

And even on days that I am supposed to be resting, I still try and meet the minimum activity required to keep the watch happy.

In just 2 weeks I can see that my heart rate stays a little lower during workout and recovers a little faster afterwards, and that my speed has increased from 4.5 km/h to 5.3 km/h. This information is what helps me to see benefit from effort. This is what helps me to want to do better. This is why even on days where I don’t feel like going out, I push myself out the door because I don’t want my inactivity being recorded. And once out the door I am always glad that I made the effort.

Also because the watch has all the sensors required built in (including GPS), I no longer take my phone with me. When walking fast the phone bouncing around in my pocket became very annoying. So I popped some good music onto my watch and paired my Bluetooth headphones to the watch instead of my phone and started leaving the phone behind. Which is quite liberating in itself, as this is now the only time when you cannot contact me in any way whatsoever. Before I was always 100% available as I never turn my phone off, and always had it with me.

This is one of the best pieces of tech I have had in a long time. I will continue to blog my relationship with my watch in the coming weeks.

 

Actually it’s an early birthday present as my birthday is not until the end of the month. But he wanted me to have it early to try and prevent me dying before the 29th June.

Now here is the thing; My son is a fully qualified personal trainer. He is a dietitan and a complete health and fitness freak. He trains some of Qatar’s elite in a gym appropriately named Q Gym Elite here in Doha. And that gym has very kindly given me completely free use of their facilities. But I don’t go to the gym, and my son is afraid that his constant nagging about my health will stress me to the point where the stress actually kills me.

So he cunningly bought me this watch to try and get me moving again. He knows I love data and information, and figured the watch would motivate me to at least walk.

It worked. I love the watch. And it is indeed motivating me to walk regularly and vigorously.

At present I am walking 4km a day at a fast pace. I am capable of more, but don’t want to pick up an injury from over doing it. So I am being sensible. I know if I push, something will get strained or torn or worse. And I don’t want to have to rest because of injury and never start again. Which is what happened when I injured my ankle back in 2014: 3 months after injuring my foot it’s still agony and now it’s starting to go numb in places, so off to @HMC_Qatar I go

I’m loving the data/feed back from the watch. I love the maps, the graphs and the motivating messages. And apart from my poor aching legs, I’m loving getting out there.

One of the nice things about the Samsung Health APP, is it encourages you to grab a photo of your workout. So recently while out walking I have used my phone to grab shots of stuff that will help me remember the route I was taking.

Soon enough you will learn from me if this latest fitness effort is just a fad or a long term commitment. Obviously my son wants it to be long term to try and keep me alive as long as he can. And I hope the technology keeps me motivated by showing me improvements as they happen. I will report back again in a month.