It’s that time again. I woke up this morning and realized I’m once again starting a whole new month to try and keep my current move and exercise streaks alive in Apple’s Activity app. I’ve been really proud of myself for keeping the streak going for 3 whole months (I know people who have gone years!) but honestly, looking ahead at an empty September is daunting.
The problem only gets worse over time. The longer my streak continues, the more pressure there is not to break it. It can be so stressful in fact, some people have come up with clever hacks to work around breaking streaks. Contrary to what the folks on Apple’s Activity team may tell you, this isn’t actually healthy. It’s important to give your body (and mind) a break to recover and rebuild every now and then. Which is why iOS desperately needs to build in the concept of rest days into its Activity app.
Let’s just set aside the fact that the Activity app doesn’t even allow you to keep your streaks alive if you become sick or injured. That’s bad enough. But not to be able to give myself a much-needed break after many months of filling my rings is a poor decision on Apple’s part. I had really hoped iOS 13 would introduce Rest Days or Rain Checks or something that would allow us to take a day or two off a month and keep streaks alive, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The concept is simple – For every perfect month of activity award I complete, give me one rest day that I can use at any time to take an activity break and recuperate. Over time they would accrue like vacation days and I could even apply them for actual vacations so I don’t have to worry about filling my rings when I’m laying on the beach or waiting in line at Disney World. However Craig Federighi and his team decides to do it, we need something that takes the pressure off and lets us not be slaves to our Apple Watches every now and then.
I’m really happy iOS 13 will bring health advancements like the Noise app to monitor your hearing and Activity Trends to keep an eye on long-term exercise goals. Rest Days should be a part of a healthy lineup, other exercise apps in the store have had them for a long time. Apple needs to adopt them too because a little peace of mind goes a long way towards overall health.