Exercise isn’t my thing — I wish it was — but it just isn’t. Sure, I can take myself out for an occasional jog, or do some yoga in my living room, but I’ve never been dedicated enough to join a gym or take it any further.
For that reason alone I’ve never shown much interest in Apple’s Fitness Plus service. It’s a great idea for keeping fit, don’t get me wrong, but it’s never appealed to me personally, until now. One of the latest updates caught my attention straight away — Guided Meditation classes.
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Meditation is something I try to find time for everyday. We live in a hectic world and with the constant speed and pressure that comes with it, we all need to take time out to pause and calm ourselves. It’s arguably as important as exercise considering it improves your overall well-being, and it’s great to see Apple has recognized that.
Fitness Plus has previously offered Mindful Cooldowns — a quick meditation session to help you cool down after a workout. Now, with dedicated meditation classes being added on a monthly basis, you can focus solely on your mindfulness and easily fit sessions into your daily routine, whether you workout or don’t. You can choose from nine guided meditation themes depending on your mood, including purpose, kindness, gratitude, awareness, creativity, wisdom, calm, focus, and resilience. For each, you’re given a guided experience with the Fitness Plus trainers and these can last for five, 10 or 20 minutes.
While you can access Fitness Plus on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, you can also now access these classes in audio form in the new Mindfulness app on the Apple Watch. This means you don’t have to be at home to meditate: you can do it on the train or even in the office.
The watchOS 8 update will upgrade the Breathe app into the Mindfulness app. It will come with breathing exercises, a new session type known as Reflect, and access to the Fitness Plus Guided Meditations. You can hear the audio from each class via Bluetooth headphones. If you enjoy practicing meditation while on the move, you can also now track this using the Workout app.
The Guided Meditation sessions are led by a group of Mindful Cooldown and Yoga trainers who you may already have seen in Fitness Plus. Each trainer will offer a different style and tone so you can find the one who suits you best, or keep things varied. A new Meditation for Beginners program is also being introduced to give a basic understanding of the technique before you start the classes. Because of this, these classes will work for you whether you’re new to meditation or experienced.
Personally, I can’t wait to try out these sessions. I usually only meditate for five to 10 minutes at a time, so perhaps it will encourage me to do it for longer. Who knows, maybe I will try out some of the fitness classes, too.
Apple Fitness Plus costs $10/month; Guided Meditation will be available on September 27.