Tuesday, 26 January 2021 23:24

Apple encourages users to walk more with new Fitness+ 'Time to Walk' experience

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Promising an inspiring audio walking experience with its new "Time to Walk" feature within the subscription Apple Fitness+ service, Apple says the episodes feature "personal stories, photos, and music from influential people to inspire Apple Watch users to walk more"

Walking. It's one of the easiest ways to meaningfully exercise on a regular basis, and one that I've personally being doing along with intermittent fasting and a keto-style diet to lose several kilograms and get fitter.

So, and especially as a Fitness+ subscriber as part of my Apple One subscription, Apple's new Time to Walk experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers most definitely caught my eye, and it's an experience I'll definitely be trying out, and while you'll need an Apple Watch to use the service, this isn't a problem for those who already own Apple Watches and who want to get fitter. It's also a great way for Apple to sell more Apple Watches!

Now, I already like to listen to a range of audiobooks from the very cool 12min app, something I purchased a lifetime subscription to a few months ago when it was available through StackSocial, and which co-incidentally is available via the StackSocial-powered iTWire Shop on special, but with Apple stating Time to Walk was "created to encourage users to walk more often and reap the benefits from one of the healthiest activities", I'll certainly be trying it out!

Apple tells us that "each original Time to Walk episode "invites users to immerse themselves in a walk alongside influential and interesting people as they share thoughtful and meaningful stories, photos, and music. Time to Walk can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere with Apple Watch and AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones".

Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies said: "Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world, and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies. A walk can often be more than just exercise: It can help clear the mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective.

“Even throughout this challenging period of time, one activity that has remained available to many is walking. With Time to Walk, we’re bringing weekly original content to Apple Watch in Fitness+ that includes some of the most diverse, fascinating, and celebrated guests offering inspiration and entertainment to help our users keep moving through the power of walking,” Blahnik added.

Apple explains that "each Time to Walk episode is shaped by the guest’s personal, life-shaping moments and includes lessons learned, meaningful memories, thoughts on purpose and gratitude, moments of levity, and other thought-provoking topics, recorded while walking outside or in locations that are meaningful to them.

"The narrative comes to life through photos that appear on Apple Watch, perfectly timed to amplify a corresponding moment the guest shares. Following the guest’s stories, the experience extends with the guest introducing a short playlist of songs that has given them motivation and inspiration, so the listener can continue their walk to a soundtrack intimately connected to each guest".

Time to Walk has now launched with four episodes from the following guests:

  • Country music star Dolly Parton has won nine GRAMMYs and is also a celebrated actor, businessperson, and humanitarian. Dolly reflects on her career, family, and growing up in rural Tennessee. “I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton says. “I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk. And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together.”
  • NBA player Draymond Green won three basketball championships with the Golden State Warriors, helping to change how the game is played. He reflects on the virtues of failure and tuning out criticism. “There’s nothing better than a walk in nature, getting lost in my thoughts, and taking a deep breath of fresh air,” Green says. “Take all the stresses of your day and let them blow away with the wind. I hope sharing my stories with those who go on a walk with me will give them the same drive to chase their dreams that I had in chasing mine.”
  • Musician Shawn Mendes went viral on social media at 15, had his first platinum album by 19, and has toured the world. He shares how a slower pace has helped him personally and creatively. “Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind,” Mendes says. “It’s the most simple thing you can do to calm the body and soul, reflect, and slow down. I hope people get to feel the same sense of calm I do while walking and can bring that to their own experiences.”
  • Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba found stardom on the series, “Orange Is the New Black,” but only after many rejections. She talks about lifelong relationships and keeping the faith. “I love walking either by myself or with my dog,” Aduba says. “It’s a time to connect and have the conversations with myself that can often get overlooked throughout the day, and bring peace of mind. The experience of walking and telling my stories gave me that familiar feeling that walking brings, answering questions that need to be answered, and addressing topics that need to be addressed. I’m so excited to share that with those who take the time to walk with me.”
  • Article continues below image, please read on!

We're told that "new episodes will appear in the Workout app on Apple Watch from a different guest each Monday through the end of April. Users can browse and enjoy previous Time to Walk episodes when it is most convenient for them."

"Time to Walk episodes are automatically downloaded to Apple Watch with a Fitness+ subscription, and users can start an episode directly from the Workout app. Once a Time to Walk episode is selected on Apple Watch, a Walk workout automatically begins and users can go at any pace that suits them while listening with AirPods or paired Bluetooth headphones.

"New episodes ranging from 25 to 40 minutes will appear automatically in the Workout app on Apple Watch, and users can also browse episodes in the Fitness+ tab in the Fitness app on iPhone. For Apple Watch customers who use a wheelchair, Time to Walk becomes Time to Push, and automatically starts an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout."

Pricing and Availability

Apple tells us that "Time to Walk is the latest addition to Apple Fitness+, the first fitness service built around Apple Watch, which also brings studio-style workouts to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, intelligently incorporating workout metrics from Apple Watch for a first-of-its-kind personalised and immersive experience users can complete wherever and whenever is convenient for them.

  • Apple Fitness+ is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.
  • Three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Series 3 or later, and one month of Fitness+ is included for existing Apple Watch users.
  • Fitness+ is available as a subscription service for A$14.99 inc. GST per month or A$119.99 inc. GST per year.
  • Fitness+ can be shared among up to six family members for the same price, making it easy for other Apple Watch users in the household to enjoy the service.
  • Fitness+ is included in the Apple One Premier plan, which, where available, also gives customers access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for A$39.95 inc. GST per month, and can be shared among up to six family members.
  • Fitness+ requires Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with iPhone 6s or later, or iPhone SE, with watchOS 7.2 or later and iOS 14.3 or later.
  • Time to Walk requires AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones paired with Apple Watch.
  • Once Time to Walk episodes are downloaded, a WiFi or cellular connection is not required.

Here's the Time to Walk info in the Fitness+ app on an iPhone:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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