Wellness over 4 years ago by Liz Adams

Answering Your Questions About My Apple Watch

Shop the post: Series 3 Apple Watch (I actually have the Series 1 but it is no longer available)

I always get asked about my Apple Watch and how I use it to track my workouts and in my daily life! I thought it would be best to answer the most frequently asked questions in one place. To begin, I would say that I mostly use my watch for activity tracking purposes. Yes it is extremely convenient to have your phone at your wrist but I don’t rely on my watch to respond to every little message, email or call. For the most part I keep it on all day because I’m competitive with myself when it comes to closing my activity rings. I think since focusing on my health over the past year, my Apple Watch has helped me stay on track with being active every day that I can. I get a little obsessive with closing my rings and I appreciate the pressure it puts on me to be active every day! I also love checking the Activity app on my phone to see how I’m progressing.

For those of you who don’t have an Apple Watch, one of the main features is the Activity setting. You have three rings in the activity setting (move, exercise and stand) with goals for each day. When you register your apple watch with your phone you’ll enter some general information about yourself (age, weight, height) which will help you figure out the best activity goals for your personal goals! Your watch will then track your activity each day! So you can enter any sort of specific workouts you do (indoor run, elliptical, HIIT), it tracks your steps (my goal per day is 10,000) and will give you simple reminders to help you achieve your goals. Hopefully that makes sense! 

Here are your most frequently asked questions about my Apple Watch!…

Do you wear your watch all the time, even while you sleep? (And on that note, do you use it to track your sleep?)

I do usually wear it every day but not when I sleep. I put it on once I get ready in the morning (even if that just means workout clothes) and then I take it off when I get in pajamas at night (right after putting kids to bed). Some days when I’m not working out or I know that I’ll be doing very little activity I will leave it at home. Only because the alerts telling me to seize the day can sometimes get annoying, especially when I know it’s not happening. Ha!

What are your daily activity goals? 

Daily move goal is 600. Daily exercise goal is 30 minutes. Daily stand goal is 12 hours.

What activity do you set your watch at when training with your trainer?

I used to always do “Open Goal” but recently I noticed that there is a “Strength Training” activity so I’ve been using that! I’m trying to decide what I like more…a lot of our workouts include some HIIT circuits so sometimes I feel like open goal is more accurate. 

Did you have a Fitbit before you got an Apple Watch? Do you feel like it’s worth it to make the switch? 

I had a very simplified Fitbit awhile back but I never wore it. I think that the Fitbit Versa is probably the most similar but I’m not too familiar with its features. Honestly, having your phone at your wrist is so convenient. Especially with my kids! I feel like it allows me to be more present while casually checking my watch if needed. I love that the Apple Watch holds you accountable but also keeps you connected. 

What apps do you use on the watch besides activity and texts? 

Nest, Starbucks, Spotify, Slack, Calendar. 

Do you pay cellular data for the watch? If so, is it worth it? 

I do not. I actually only have the Series 1 so I have to be near my phone to get texts, emails, notifications, etc. I feel like I actually appreciate being away from my phone when I am because otherwise I’m always with it. I don’t mind that I’m not always connected, like on a long run outdoors. I guess it depends how necessary it is for you to be by your phone at all times! I don’t have an issue with it. 

How often do you need to charge your watch and do you do it at certain times of day? I hate not having it on!

I just charge it every night while I’m sleeping!

How often do you have your watch and not your phone on you (if ever)? 

Pretty rarely. I would say I’ll leave my phone at home if we go to the park or on a walk or running some quick errands, but I guess I don’t rely on my watch to be my source of response to texts, emails, phone calls. I’d much rather answer these on my phone. I more use my watch for activity tracking. 

Where did you find your watch band and what do you feel is a reasonable price to pay for a band? 

Dave bought me my watch a year or two ago and I still wear the same Apple watch band! But probably $50? I honestly don’t know!

Do you think the activity tracking is accurate (especially for running)? 

Yes and no. I was having issue this winter with my runs on the treadmill being off compared to my outdoor runs. A few people had mentioned that your watch calibrates better after more consistent runs outside so it can get a better read of your stride. I’ve noticed a huge difference since I’ve gotten a few outdoor runs in lately. It is much more accurate with my treadmill runs! So maybe get some more outdoor runs in?

What’s the difference between active calories and total calories? 

Active Calories (active energy) are calories that you burn by standing, moving around or other activity (including workouts). Active calories + resting calories (those used each day when your body is minimally active) = total calories

Do you look at “active calories” or “total calories” after a workout? 

I personally look at active calories but I don’t know why! I should just look at total calories! 

Do you use your watch to listen to music while you run? I can’t figure out how to do it without my phone! 

Same! I did have a recent update on my watch which makes it easier to switch songs while I’m running but I don’t know how to connect my watch to my AirPods. I still start the Spotify playlist on my phone/connect to my headphones but then I switch songs on my watch. Any suggestions for an easier way to do this? I’m sure the comments of this post could be a huge help to people! 

Do you feel that the watch makes you look at your phone less? Or do you feel that the watch makes you feel “too” connected, if that makes sense?

Less! You know how your phone tells you your average daily time spent on your phone? Mine has gone down significantly since really using my watch. I will say I have a bad habit of checking things on my phone and then forgetting to respond – eek. I’m the type of person who always used to feel like they had to respond immediately and for some reason checking on my phone makes me feel so much more relaxed when I’m with my kids. Like realizing that certain things don’t need a response immediately. 

How do you clean the watch post-workout? 

I don’t…

Do you use a screen protector? 


How did you decide which model to get? Such a price difference between the 3 and 4!

Like I said, Dave bought it for me a couple years ago and I have the Series 1! Apple has great product updates so I’m pretty sure aside from Cellular there isn’t a huge difference in the models. All of my updates have been similar to every other watch! Not sure if I should upgrade in the coming months? But I’m happy with the Series 1!

(this is how I review my workouts in the Activity App on my phone! I can see my progress and a breakdown of how I’m running! *I use this more for my runs)

If you have a good response to any of these questions, please leave them in the comments so others can take advantage of your suggestions!

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  1. I did not find this to be a very helpful post for someone who does not have an Apple Watch. It would have been helpful to explain what “closing rings” means and you could have researched the difference between “total” and “active calories.” Just my thoughts!

  2. I’m actually kind of tempted to get the Apple Watch! Part of me trying to be more active, haha! Thanks for the thorough answers! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. I’m so surprised you still have your same pink band! I went through 2 of them (they kept getting ugly stains from rubbing on my dark denim jeans) and I finally switched to an off-brand metal band, but that has a tendency to snag on sweaters so it isn’t perfect either. I think the bands are the trickiest aspect of the apple watch, because you need something that holds up well since you’re wearing it every day!

  4. Unfortunately I don’t think you can play Spotify music on your watch without your phone nearby. “Unlike Pandora, which brought support for offline playback, Spotify’s Apple Watch is still just a controller for your iPhone, meaning you can’t stream over the Apple Watch’s LTE connection, nor play music directly from Apple Watch.” https://9to5mac.com/2019/01/07/apple-watch-spotify-iphone-xs-xr/

    However, you can play Apple Music or any playlists you’ve created on your iTunes account. I have cellular data with mine though so I’m not sure if it works without it.

  5. If you didn’t carry your phone with you on outdoor runs, would it not be able to track pace and mileage? I’m a runner and would love it for that, but don’t want to have to carry my phone on runs, so thinking I probably need a watch with data…right?

  6. You can also share your activity rings with your friends, so they can see your activity and vice versa! You can even do weekly competitions with them. This has kept me so accountable for closing my rings each day !

  7. As far as cleaning the watch after working out — I just wear it in the shower since it is shower proof! With my old apple watch, I used to rub the band with rubbing alcohol, but it caused discoloration. I find just letting it get washed off in the shower does the trick.

  8. Great post! I also have the series 1 (no WiFi) and use mine to run with AirPods. You have to first download music to the watch – you do this in the watch app using music you own (ie not Spotify). Once downloaded, I didn’t pair my AirPods separately – they were paired to my phone and I just put them in and played the music directly from my watch (not through the phone) and it worked great!

    I also found a good leather watch band for cheap on Amazon, but when it inevitably broke (after over 1 year btw) I can no longer find it 🙁

  9. How many cals do you normally burn when working out with trainer? I go to a class that’s incorporates weights and usually around 300 cals. Just curious!

  10. Apple Watch pro-tip: if you are a walker (not a runner) do not use the walk exercise function. It’s not accurate enough for time and/or calories. Use open goal and it will track all of your movements even if you’re walking your dog and give you such a more accurate exercise time and calorie count.

  11. Liz- thanks for this post, super helpful! So random but what do you do with your phone when you’re on a run? I like to keep mine with me in case of emergencies but can never figure out the best way to hold it (other than in my hand). Since you have your watch to change songs, I’m guessing you might have a good way to stash your phone?