Apple Fitness+: Everything you need to know
Apple’s subscription service for exercise brings trainer-led studio-style workouts into your home. Roman Loyola reports
Online fitness services have become very popular, and now Apple wants in on the business. The firm has launched Apple Fitness+, the latest service for Apple users. It combines your Apple devices, videos, and collected exercise data to allow you to have satisfying workouts.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Apple Fitness+ launched on 14 December. You’ll need to install IOS 14.3 on your iphone, iPadOS 14.3 on your iPhone and tvOS 14.3 on your Apple TV hardware to sign up and use Apple Fitness+. You’ll also need to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 7.2.
Once the updates are installed, launch the Fitness app on your iphone or ipad (ipad users need to get the Fitness app from the App Store). A new Fitness+ button appears at the bottom of the app. Tap it to sign up. If you already have Apple One, all you need to do is go through a couple of screens about your data.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll see the Apple Fitness+ workouts.
On a Apple TV, you may need to restart the device for Fitness+ to appear. Look for the Fitness app.
WHAT IS APPLE FITNESS+?
Internet-based fitness services and apps that work on your iphone has been around for a while from firms like Daily Burn and Yogaglo. They saw a huge growth in popularity thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.
With the Apple Watch, Apple has a device that’s perfectly made to help people get the most out of their workouts. The new Apple Watch Series 6 includes new blood oxygen monitoring and an ECG app to go along with the heart-rate monitor that’s been with the Apple Watch from the beginning. Even before the Series 6 was released, the Apple Watch’s use in fitness has been on a steady growth path. And you don’t need a Series 6 watch to use Apple Fitness+.
With so many Apple Watch users using it as an exercise tool, Apple decided to create the Apple Fitness+ service. Fitness+ features a series of workout videos that users can play on an iphone, ipad, or Apple TV. Data is collected by the Apple Watch and displayed with the workout video, so you can track stats such as workout time, heart rate and calories burned.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
To use Apple Fitness+, you’ll need an Apple Watch. The Watch is used to track your data as you work out.
You need another device for the videos: an iphone, ipad or Apple TV. Apple Fitness+ will be in the iphone’s Fitness app. Apple will be releasing a Fitness app for the ipad and Apple TV.
Apple will have a catalogue of workout videos for you to use. When you are ready to work out and start a video, your Apple Watch is automatically triggered to record your data. As you do the video, your fitness data appears on the video screen. You’ll also get notifications when you reach fitness goals.
When you finish a workout, you see a data summary screen, and there’s a ‘Burn Bar’ that allows you to compare stats with other people who have done the same workout.
ALL THAT DATA – WILL MY PRIVACY BE PROTECTED?
Apple says that the workout recommendations are “powered using on-device intelligence”, so it’s not collected online. The calories burned and the trainers you choose are not stored with your Apple ID.
WHAT TYPES OF WORKOUTS DOES APPLE FITNESS+ HAVE?
Apple will offer 10 different workout types at launch: • Core
• High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
• Treadmill run
• Treadmill walk
• Mindful cooldowns
New workouts will be added weekly, so you don’t get bored doing the same workouts over and over.
Apple Fitness+ can make workout recommendations based on your past activity data collected by the Apple Watch. Filtering tools for workout type, trainers, duration and music are provided so you can exercise the way you want.
DO I NEED EQUIPMENT?
You can use your own equipment, so for example, if you want to do a Cycling workout, you can use your own exercise bike. You don’t need to buy special equipment. Apple says that many of the workouts don’t require equipment at all.
If you have a gym membership, you can do Apple Fitness+ there. You can play the videos on an iphone or ipad and use your gym’s equipment or workout rooms.
I’M NEW TO WORKING OUT, OR I’M COMING BACK TO IT AFTER AN ABSENCE. WOULD APPLE FITNESS+ WORK FOR ME?
Apple Fitness+ has an ‘Absolute Beginner’ programme for users who are just getting started or are returning to regular workouts.
The programme teaches the body movements often used in the workouts, so you can feel comfortable while you find your groove.
CAN I PLAY MUSIC WHILE I WORK OUT?
The workouts play music, and Apple Fitness+ works with Apple Music so you can save the songs played and use them for future workouts, or listen to them at your leisure. This requires an Apple Music subscription.
WHAT DEVICES DO I NEED FOR APPLE FITNESS+?
Apple Fitness+ requires:
• Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with an iphone 6s or later, or an iphone SE
• If you want to use an ipad, you must have and ipad Pro, ipad (5th generation or later), ipad mini 4 or later, ipad Air 2 or ipad Air (3rd generation)
• Apple Fitness+ can be used on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
HOW MUCH DOES APPLE FITNESS+ COST?
Apple Fitness+ is a subscription service that is free for the first month. After that, you pay £9.99 per month, or £79.99 a year. A subscription can be shared with up to five other people though Family Sharing. An Apple Music subscription is not required.
Apple Fitness+ is part of the new Apple One service bundle, where you can sign up for several Apple services, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, and icloud in addition to Apple Fitness+ for a special price.
CAN I TRY APPLE FITNESS+ FOR FREE BEFORE I SIGN UP?
You can. Anyone who buys a new Apple Watch Series 3 will get a free three-month Apple Fitness+ trial.