Apple’s new Fitness + feature brings celebrity-guided walks to your wrist – TechCrunch
Here is a little curved ball from Apple. About a month and a half after launching the premium workout service of the Fitness + app, the company is offering an add-on to take a dimension of exercise beyond the limits of iOS (and your salon). Arriving today for Fitness + subscribers, Time to Walk is a new guided walking tour with a rotating cast of celebrity guests.
It’s a pretty diverse cast, as evidenced by the first set of names, which drop via a software update today. Among the top five are Dolly Parton – who is probably about as universally loved a celebrity as he was in 2021 – and Warriors forward Draymond Green, who is arguably less universal, because, well, the sport. Musician Shawn Mendes and “Orange Is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba are also included in the first round.
There are five episodes ahead, which will be available as activity cards on the Apple Watch Workout app. In fact, they should start showing up as maps in the app feed shortly. In the future, they will be updated at the rate of one per week.
The experience is straightforward at first glance. Essentially, Apple is asking guests to check in while taking a walk, telling stories, and sharing three songs. Music is streamed through the app and images are streamed to the small screen with the aim of creating a semi-immersive (but not distracting) accompaniment for your own walk. You can save the songs to an Apple Music playlist or save the episode for later, if you want to listen to it again. For those who use wheelchairs to get around, the feature will come across as “Time to Push,” which builds on the wheelchair fitness tracker that Apple introduced several years ago.
An Apple Fitness + subscription is required to track. This is due, in part, to deeper integration with the premium fitness service. The two are also directly linked to other Apple services, like Music, which the company has made a sort of staple of its workouts.
I have always been a great walker, trying to avoid driving or using public transportation when time and distance permit. But the past year has really prioritized activity for me both as an excuse to leave my one bedroom apartment and as a way to exercise with all the gyms closed for months. This is, frankly, a pretty big factor in keeping me going throughout the pandemic.
When I walk, I do it with music or podcasts. I have tried a few “walking meditations” in the past, but have found that the experiences revolve around notions of “silent reflection”, which are not enough when you walk across the 59th Street Bridge to the center. -City of Manhattan. Time to Walk turns the idea around a bit, resembling the experience of walking with someone. As they walk, they tell a sort of stream of consciousness, often telling personal stories in the process. The idea, of course, being that walking is a head lightening tool for many – creatives in particular.
“Walking is the world’s most popular physical activity and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies. A walk can often be more than just an exercise: it can help clear your mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective, ”said Jay Blahnik of Apple. said in a press release. “Even during this difficult time, one activity that has remained available to many is walking. With Time to Walk, we’re bringing original weekly content to Apple Watch in Fitness + that includes some of the most diverse, fascinating and famous guests providing inspiration and entertainment to help our users keep moving through the power of walk.
Like Fitness + before it, the new feature is timely, as many parts of the world (the United States in particular) are still experiencing shutdowns due to a pandemic. It seems like there’s a new story every day about a potential new mutation warning us about the kinds of things we used to do. Time to Walk is an effort to provide you with interesting companionship for these walks.