As much as it wants people to keep using its devices, Apple knows that physical and mental health is crucial to keeping its customers happy (enough to keep on using those devices). The company has invested a lot in health and fitness products, best exemplified by the Apple Watch. Of course, that isn’t the extent of Apple’s well-being campaign, and upcoming additions to its Fitness+ subscription service aims to not only expand its geographical reach but also expand beyond physical health to mental health.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded last year, more and more people have become more conscious of the state of their bodies and minds, especially while at home. There has been a surge in the home fitness market, from expensive Peleton equipment to monthly subscriptions to exercise programs. Apple jumped on that bandwagon late last year with Fitness+, and it is now trying to grow that program with more types of content.
Pilates is the latest low-impact workout to join Fitness+ and will be lead by award-winning trainer Marimba Gold-Watts and former pro athlete Darryl Whiting. There is also a winter sports-inspired “Workouts to Get Ready for Snow Season” designed to prepare you for having fun on the slopes. And since some people view workouts as a social or competitive activity. Group Workouts with SharePlay is coming later this Fall to let you go through the reps with 32 people all at once.
These stressful times have brought mental health under the spotlight, and Fitness+ is adding guided Meditations to its repertoire for that very purpose. To emphasize that aspect of one’s overall health, watchOS 8 will rename the Breathe app into Mindfulness app while adding new session types like Reflect and Guided Meditations. When connected with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones, the Apple Watch can play these meditation prompts in audio form so that you can practice mindfulness even while outside (in safe areas, of course).
Later this year, Fitness+ will be coming to 15 more countries, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. The Fitness+ subscription costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year and is also included in the Apple One Premier plan.