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How To Change your Move Goal on an Apple Watch

Posted by Jamie on April 11, 2019

A move goal is part of the Activity app on the Apple Watch that works a bit like Fitbit or other fitness tracker. It gamifies calorie counting, exercise and activity in the hope that we all might move and exercise more. If you find your original goals too easy, you can change your move goal on an Apple Watch. This tutorial will show you how.

The Activity app is a powerful inducement to move more and to shake off our sedentary lifestyle. With many of us sitting at a desk all day typing for a living instead of doing manual labor, anything that encourages us to move more must be a good thing right?

Apple and other tech manufactures seem to think so as there are dozens of movement and fitness trackers on the market right now with more to come.

The Activity app on the Apple Watch

The Activity app on the Apple Watch works a little differently than other fitness trackers. While it can count your steps, it is more about movement and calories than how many times you took the stairs.

The Activity app uses three rings. There is a Standing ring that tries to get you to stand for an hour a day. There is a Exercise ring which can include programmed workouts and a Move ring that counts general movement on a daily basis. Each ring will grow every time you perform one of the corresponding actions.

The Move goal is the one you can configure to your own specific needs. It uses a calorie counter to assess how much you move by combining all its sensors, including a heart rate monitor. It will then use your age, gender, height and weight to assess a healthy level and then gradually stretch those goals to help you improve.

Changing move goals on the Apple Watch

Move goals are calorie based. There is also a useful stand reminder but that isn’t a goal. Each gamifies movement in a compelling way that encourages you to move more while subtly driving you to go a little further each time.

To adjust a calorie goal on an Apple Watch, do this:

  1. Launch the Activity App on the watch.
  2. Press and hold on the screen until a popup appears.
  3. Select Change Move Goal.
  4. Press + or – to move your goal up or down.
  5. Select Update to save the change.

If you go to view your goal within Activity, the new setting should be reflected there.

Viewing Activity goals on the Apple Watch

The Activity apps collates all of your goals on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re looking to make improvements or just see how far behind you are, you can do so quickly within the app.

  1. Launch the Activity app and scroll to the Digital Crown.
  2. Scroll to view data as numbers, the ring or as a graph.

Every Monday, the app collates the previous week’s data for you to view.

  1. Long press on the screen with the Activity app running.
  2. Select Weekly Summary from the popup menu.

You have the same display options as when viewing daily goals only stretched over a week.

Do fitness trackers work?

The original Fitbit was launched in 2009 and ten years later, Americans are still growing in size and becoming more unfit and unhealthy. So do these devices work?

The evidence doesn’t tell us either way as yet. What studies have shown is that fitness trackers on their own will not make you fit. A fitness tracker alongside a genuine desire to get fit and improve your health will be a lot more effective. So if you’re looking for the Apple Watch to force you into a life change, you’re out of luck. If you’re looking for it to help you achieve your stated goals, it can do that and more.

You need to already want to lose weight, burn more calories, move more or whatever to make an investment in a fitness tracker worthwhile. We have all seen people with one on their wrist and never seem to lose weight. Unless you are psychologically invested in the process as a whole, it’s just an ugly bracelet.

This piece in Wired goes into a lot more detail than I can about fitness trackers. If you’re thinking of investing in one, it makes for an interesting read!

If you are invested in your health, gradually increasing your move goal on an Apple Watch is one of the many ways technology can help. Along with a bunch of other useful functions, becoming healthier is the perfect reason to justify buying a new Apple Watch!

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