Today, I want to talk about my watch and how it helps me to deal with the symptoms of cerebral palsy. It is a smart watch, an Apple prodiuct. I know not everyone may have one, and I’m definitely not advising you to get one; but if you do have one, or plan to get one, I hope this column piques your interest. I’ve had my watch for about two years now and I have to admit that it was a love/hate relationship until recently.
I felt for a long time that the watch was just some weird extension of my iPhone, and that without my iPhone the watch was kind of useless. So, it just seemed odd to me. I went through month-long periods of obsessively wearing it and then consciously avoiding it. This made me pretty sad because it is such a cool piece of technology, and I’m all about tech. But I just couldn’t find a way to make it work for me.
That was until the latest version introduced so many accessibility health and fitness features and possibilities that I still drool over them. It’s impossible for me to cover all the things the masterminds of Apple brought us, but I’ll tell you some of the things that matter most to me. As I have said, I have an Apple Watch, and these features may not be available on all smart watches.
One of the greatest things Apple gave us with this release is a “Fitness for All,” introduction, an activity app they remade with wheelchair users in mind. This was so exciting for me as I was using a wheelchair 90% of the time when this was released. The activity app introduced wheelchair workouts instead of your standard able-bodied workout options. We also now get alerts that it is “time to roll!” instead of “time to stand!”
As you probably could guess, instead of your standard step counter, when you enter that you are a wheelchair user the number of “steps” becomes the number of times you “rolled” in your wheelchair. How amazing is that?!
As my health changes, the desire for me to know more about my body grows alongside my wish to treat and fuel it better. I recently unpaired my watch from my iPhone so I could reset it and begin exploring and taking advantage of the new features. I also did this because, instead of being in a wheelchair this time, it is my goal to begin walking more and to get healthier.
One of the things I was most excited about was that we users now have a few different watch faces to match our interests or passions. Then they also gave us endless combinations of what our watch faces could display. I use a modular face with weather conditions, date, activity app, battery display, and my heart rate. I love this. It’s totally unique to me and the information I need every day.
The watch I have now allows me to change the app layout, has an official “dock,” which I am loving and where my favorite or most-used apps can be displayed. In my dock I have “Now Playing,” “Calendar,” “Timer,” “Alarms,” the “Breathe app,” and the “Activity app.”
I love wearing my smart watch to track my activity, but I think it also just keeps me more productive having access to all the important things on my phone, right there on my wrist, just a tap away.
Do you have a smart watch? If you do, please let me know which brand you have and what it can do for you. Share your favorites or your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.