Launched directly after the Devices event in NYC this week, Microsoft made a Microsoft Health dashboard refresh available. The updated dashboard has a number of improvements, particularly for better organization. For example, all activities now exist under their own drop down menu…
Additionally, there’s a new Workout planner area that solves a request I made earlier this year. In addition to being able to locate new, guided workouts you can also now create your own workouts, keep them saved to your dashboard account, and even sync them directly to your Microsoft Band for your next workout. And, fortunately, this is not just a v2 feature. Owners of the original Band can take advantage of this new option, too.
Each workout you create is fully customizable and includes the ability to modify sets, repetitions, times, rests, etc.
To get there, in your Microsoft Dashboard, locate Workout Planner, then choose Build a Workout.
Here you can rename your workout, and then start adding exercises using the included database. The database is pretty comprehensive, but also not customizable, i.e., you have to choose from what’s provided. But, the exercises included are pretty standard and you won’t run out of options. You can add the standard workout options such as reps, duration, etc., but there's also a couple advanced options for intensity and variation.
Once you’re done, just Save it.
(You can always go back into each personalized workout and modify – i.e., add, delete, customize exercises, sets, reps, etc.)
Once you’ve saved your custom built workouts, they’re saved to the My Workouts area. You can create as many as you want, allowing you to continually rotate your workouts. This is important, since muscle confusion is key for making continual improvements and advancements. 5-week rotation is the norm.
Once you have all your workouts saved, you can go back and sync at any time. This pushes the selected workout to your Microsoft Band (through the Health app on your smartphone), allowing you to build your own database of guided workouts.
And, once they're saved to your Microsoft dashboard, they're also available in the Microsoft Health app on your smartphone in a new My Workouts area.
The one thing I’m still not satisfied with is the ability to share and search for custom workouts. This would be a great feature to build community around Microsoft Band and Microsoft’s health services. Let’s hope this function comes in the near future.
The latest refresh of the Microsoft Health dashboard is pretty significant. I realize Microsoft has many partnerships with 3rd parties for Microsoft Band integration. I use the MapMyFitness integration religiously – or have. But if these types of improvements keep up, there may not be a need for anything else except Microsoft’s offering.
Microsoft Band v2 is now available for pre-order and will start shipping on October 30, but it’s good to know that the v1 users will still be able to take advantage of these improvements. Curious about what Microsoft Band v2 will bring? Read through the Microsoft Band v2 Preview.