Today, Apple launched a new component of its Fitness+ personal health subscription service: “Time to Walk.” With it, users who own an Apple Watch can take a tracked walk exercise while listening to stories or inspiring talks from “influential and interesting people.”
These talks will be automatically downloaded to users’ Apple Watch, provided those users subscribe to Fitness+. When users start listening to one of the 25-40 minute episodes, the Watch will begin tracking a Walk workout. For users in wheelchairs, Time to Walk is instead called “Time to Push” and offers up an Outdoor Weelchair Walk Pace workout instead.
The announcement states 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 stories and talks obviously involve audio of the figure speaking, but Apple says this feature will also surface photos on the Apple Watch at specific times during the talks to illustrate the stories or points.
Also, the talks are followed by short playlists composed of songs that gave the speaker “motivation and inspiration.”
The first Time to Walk episodes come from the following guests: country singer Dolly Parton, NBA player Draymond Green, musician Shawn Mendes, and actor Uzo Aduba. New episodes will be released each Monday “through the end of April.”
The announcement came with this statement from Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of Fitness Technologies:
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.
Experts and organizations like the United States Department of Health and Human Services advise that people get 150 minutes per week of medium intensity exercise, which for some could include walking—but many Americans don’t get anywhere close to that.
Increasingly, personal tech products like smartphones and smart watches have become parts of the battle against that problem in the United States and elsewhere. Apple launched Apple Fitness+ in December—its first health-oriented subscription. There are also numerous third-party apps on the iOS and Android App Stores that offer similar content and features, and many other big tech companies have been looking to make waves in personal health as well.
Listing image by Apple