If you’ve decided that 2020 will be the year where you forgo the sofa in favour of workouts and a generally healthy change in lifestyle, then good on you! You’re not on your own though, as your trusty Apple Watch and iPhone can be excellent coaches that keep you going when the biscuit jar starts calling. Here’s some useful ways that they can help you get in shape this year.

Use the Activity rings on your Apple Watch

Motivation is a hard thing to maintain, but it’s made easier when you can see your progress and gain some sort of reward. The Activity rings on your Apple Watch are an excellent way to do this, as they display how close you are to the various daily health goals you set yourself. 

The most effective way to get the most from Activity rings is to set a Home screen on your Apple Watch that displays how close you are to closing them (completing the circle). You can change the settings by opening the Watch app on your iPhone and selecting the Face Gallery option at the bottom of the screen.

Next, look for the faces in the Activity section and select the one you like best, then tap the Add button under its name. You’ll be taken back to the My Watch page where you can then tap on the face again, scroll down and tap Set as current watch Face.

How your iPhone & Apple Watch can help you get in shape for the new year: Watch Face

Now you’ll be able to quickly glance at how far around the circle you are in terms of time spent exercising, calories burned and times you’ve stood up each hour.

If you find that the targets are too low, you can change the Calorie goal, although the other two are set in stone. You just need to go to the App screen on your Apple Watch (press the digital crown to get there), then open the Activity app and press firmly on the rings when they appear.

You’ll see two options appear – Weekly Summary and Change Move Goal – of which you want to select the latter. Now increase (or decrease) the number of calories you want to burn each day and tap Update to finish.

Compete with your friends

Another way to keep your enthusiasm going is to challenge your friends with goals you can compete to achieve. These work across seven days, during which you are rewarded a point for every one percent of your goals that you meet. At the end of the week the points are totted up and the person with the most wins.

Obviously, for this feature to work both yourself and your friend will need to have an Apple Watch and have the Share Activity setting enabled on your iPhone. 

To do this, open the Activity app on your iPhone and tap Get Started then select the Sharing tab. To add a friend, tap the + button in the top right and type their name. Apple states that the maximum number of friends you can add is forty, which should be enough to keep you going for a while.

When you’ve assembled all of the friends you want to challenge, tap the Send option in the top right corner and you’ll be notified when they agree.

How your iPhone & Apple Watch can help you get in shape for the new year: Sharing Activity

To start a competition, go to the Activity app on your Apple Watch and swipe left until you find the Sharing page. Next, select the friend’s name, then Tap Compete with [their name] and wait for them to accept the challenge.

How your iPhone & Apple Watch can help you get in shape for the new year: Compete with Friends

That’s it, you now have seven days to accrue as many points as you can. Good luck!

Start collecting the achievement badges

If you’d rather pit yourself against numbers rather than people, there are a wide range of achievement badges that you can earn for being active. These are automatically rewarded when you meet the criteria and Apple has included plenty to keep you going.

To see which badges you may have already completed, open the Activity app on your Apple Watch and swipe left until you reach the Awards page. Now you can scroll down through the various challenges and tap on each one to see how you acquired them.

All the greyed-out icons represent the badges you can still add to your collection. Tap on each to see the criteria required and once you’ve found one that feels within reach you can set about achieving the goal. 

For a breakdown of how to complete the set, read our How to get every Apple Watch Activity achievement badge guide.

You should also take a look at How to use Apple Watch Workout app and How to lose weight with an Apple Watch for more ways to get fit with the help of your Apple devices.