Apple Fitness+ vs. Fitbit Premium: Choosing a service
If you're committed to improving your health and fitness, you might benefit from a subscription service such as Apple Fitness+ or Fitbit Premium. While the service you choose will likely be determined by which smartwatch you own, it's worth exploring the two services if you're still shopping for a wearable. Some people prefer affordable fitness trackers with basic features, while others prefer premium fitness smartwatches with advanced features.
With Apple Fitness+, there are only different versions of the Apple Watch to choose from. However, with Fitbit Premium, you have a wide array of devices to choose from. It's also worth mentioning that Fitbit Premium offers a membership option that includes exclusive 1-on-1 health coaching, which Apple Ftiness+ lacks.
Apple Fitness+ provides a plethora of workouts
Apple Fitness+ officially launched in December 2020, so it's still a new service compared to Fitbit Premium, which has been around for two years now. However, the company states that Fitness+ was made to provide users with studio-style workouts that can be accessed via iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
The idea is to give users the ability to launch an activity anytime, anywhere with a reliable service that incorporates key workout metrics. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a long-time fitness enthusiast, Apple Fitness+ is designed for users of all skill levels. What's more, the trainers who host these workouts are specialists in their fields. The workouts are accompanied by motivating music from top artists, too.
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It's important to note that you'll need at least an Apple Watch Series 3 paired with an iPhone 6s or later to use the subscription service. Your devices need to be running watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3, respectively. If you're already an Apple Watch user, you'll find Fitness+ is a new tab in the Fitness app on your iPhone. If you're an iPad user, you can download it from the App Store. Apple TV users will find that the Fitness app automatically appears once they upgrade to tvOS 14.3.
If your main reason for investing in a fitness service is to access exclusive workouts, you'll be happy with what you get. Apple Fitness+ gives you access to numerous workout options across various durations: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, and Mindful Cooldown.
If you have a day where you're not quite sure where to begin, Apple Fitness+ can recommend workouts based on activities that you've already enjoyed. You'll be able to pick up with a routine that feels familiar, or you can mix it up and try something entirely new.
Perhaps you want to discover a new trainer or search for a workout to complement your existing routine. There are also easy-to-use filters that allow you to choose a specific trainer, duration, exercise, or music. In a matter of seconds, you'll be enjoying another amazing workout.
For those who are just starting with Apple Fitness+, trying a new workout for the first time, or getting back into an exercise routine, check out the Absolute Beginner workouts. These programs will provide expert-level guidance while you learn the basics of HIIT, Strength, Core, and Yoga. This is the perfect way to start preparing for the weekly studio workouts. As you can see, this service is mainly focused on workouts and doesn't currently offer 1-on-1 coaching.
Apple Fitness+ users will now have access to guided meditation and Pilates.
At the 2021 fall event, Apple announced some exciting additions to the subscription service. Apple Fitness+ users will now have access to guided meditation and Pilates. Snow athletes will appreciate the workouts to get ready for the winter season, which features two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion skier Ted Ligety and Apple Fitness+ trainer Anja Garcia. These workouts will help build strength, balance, and endurance so users can have more fun on the slopes.
Another improvement is that users can take advantage of SharePlay to initiate Group Workouts with Apple Fitness+. This is an excellent way for users to take a class with friends and family. Now, you'll also have the option of pausing your workout on one device and resuming it on another device without losing your place. Finally, Apple Fitness+ will be available in 21 new countries.
Fitbit Premium offers personalized guidance and coaching
There are many elements within Fitbit Premium that you can access, but one of the most popular is the Guided Programs. These programs are designed to help you learn healthy habits, become more active, improve sleep, and more. The program lengths will vary depending on the subject matter. If you've been looking for extra guidance in your current health/fitness routine, you'll appreciate how these programs integrate with your physical activity by setting specific goals for you to achieve.
If you want less commitment, Fitbit Premium offers tons of guided workout sessions that range from 10 minutes up to an hour or more. Tap a guided workout to see how long it lasts, how much you'll burn, and what muscles are targeted. You'll find it's easy to watch any of the guided workout videos directly from your Fitbit app. There's also a Mindfulness section that provides you with multiple guided meditation sessions based on how you're feeling.
You have the option to upgrade your membership to Fitbit Premium + Health Coaching.
Where Fitbit Premium stands above Apple Fitness+, however, is with the option to upgrade your membership to Fitbit Premium + Health Coaching. You'll enjoy all of the same perks that come with Fitbit Premium, along with personalized support from a certified health coach. It costs a whopping $54.99 per month, but if you've been sorely lacking when it comes to motivation, this might be just what you need to get going. New users can try a 7-day free trial. If you're an existing Fitbit Premium member, you can access a 30-day free trial.
There are a few advantages that come with having a health coach. For starters, you'll receive a personal action plan created by your coach. Many people will find it helpful to have a health coach that offers motivation and a certain level of accountability. You even have access to unlimited, direct messaging with your coach in the app and data-driven guidance from your coach based on your Fitbit stats.
Fitbit Premium also offers detailed Insights that are designed to help you improve your health. While every Fitbit user gets standard insights on the app, Fitbit Premium users will get more detailed information (you'll find your insights at the top of the Today page). There's also a Wellness Report, which details your health trends over the past 30 days. This report is available digitally or can be printed, which you can bring to your next physical to discuss with your doctor.
Fitbit Premium now offers content from Calm, including up to 30 sessions for sleep, meditation, and relaxation.
In September 2021, Fitbit announced updates to its subscription service. Fitbit Premium now offers content from Calm, including up to 30 sessions for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. If you happen to own a Fitbit Sense or Charge 5, you can pair one of these sessions with an on-wrist EDA Scan app session. Combining these sessions will help you learn how a mindfulness session affects your heart rate and EDA responses to stimuli.
Another new feature is Snore & Noise Detect, which will help users determine if they snore or other noises in the room that may disrupt sleep. This innovative feature utilizes the built-in microphone on your compatible smartwatch to analyze noises in the room, such as snoring and other noises.
Many of the company's wearables are equipped with the new Daily Readiness Score feature, available with Fitbit Premium. This perk uses insights from your daily metrics, including your activity, heart rate variability (HRV), and recent sleep, to help you determine whether you should push yourself physically or you should prioritize recovery.
When you wear your device daily, you'll receive a personalized score each morning, as well as details on what impacted your score. You can view suggestions such as a recommended activity level for the day and Premium content to help you make the best decisions for your body and make your workouts more efficient.
Apple Fitness+ vs. Fitbit Premium: Which service should you join?
With all of this in mind, if you already own an Apple Watch or a Fitbit device, your decision might be an easy one. However, if you're still on the fence about which device you should buy, you may want to make your choice based on the subscription service that comes with it. Some people are perfectly content recording their workouts on their watch and calling it a day. If you've been seeking a service to help you get motivated, Apple Fitness+ and Fitbit Premium are both excellent options.
Those who are already thinking about buying an Apple Watch will likely be content with what Apple Fitness+ offers. It's still a pretty new service, so it's not quite as robust as Fitbit Premium. However, it's steadily expanding and improving over time. For example, you'll have the option of sharing with up to five family members, which is a nice benefit that you don't get with Fitbit's service. Some people may prefer a more established service that provides personalized health coaching. If that's the case, you'll be better off with Fitbit Premium.
A great place to start
A more casual approach
Apple Fitness+ may not offer the 1-on-1 coaching perk, but it's still a great pick for Apple users who want to get more involved with guided programs while closely tracking their health and fitness metrics. It costs the same as Fitbit Premium, so if you're an Apple Watch fan, it's a good deal.
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