Tech

You'll get more exercise if you use this Apple Watch feature to compete against friends and family

Key Points
  • The Apple Watch has an Activity app that you can use to compete with people.
  • Most folks probably don't know about this, but it's a lot of fun and can help keep you moving throughout the day.
  • You can even smack talk or encourage others to move more.

The Apple Watch is already one of my favorite tech products -- I wear one every day -- and I recently started using a feature that's made it even more fun: Activity Sharing. It's even helping me move more throughout the day.

You probably already use the Activity app on your Apple Watch. It's the app where you try to close all of the colored rings, and looks like this:

The Activity App on the Apple Watch.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

When you close the red ring you've met your daily calorie burn goal. When you close the green ring you've exercised for 30 minutes, and when you close the blue ring you've stood up once an hour throughout the day.

Activity can be a whole lot more fun if you compete with people. It's a feature that I only learned about recently. You can share your progress as you close the rings throughout the day, and see how close your friends are to doing the same thing. It pushes you to move more. You can see when friends finish workouts, when they earn awards for working out multiple days in a row and even smack talk with them.

I've been doing this with my brother and mother-in-law, and it's actually pretty funny. Look, this is my mother-in-law doing some text-message smack talking after she saw I hadn't moved much yesterday:

My mother-in-law smack talking my laziness.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Brutal.

Want to compete with someone? It's easy to setup.

Here's how:

  • Open the Activity app on your iPhone.
  • Click "Sharing" at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap the "+" button at the top of the screen.
  • Type in the name or number of someone with an Apple Watch, then add them.
  • They'll receive an invite and, if they accept, you'll see them in the Activity app on the "Sharing" page.
You can see how much your friends have moved and compete with them.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

When someone completes a workout or closes a ring, you'll receive an alert on your Apple Watch. You can send any response you want, or send pre-set messages like a gold star to let someone you respect their workout ethic. Try it, you might find that you like it as much as I do.