It’s a new year so this means that Apple will start sending out new monthly challenges. I hadn’t even stopped partying or hugging family and friends during the New Year festivities when I got my notification for January’s challenge.

I took a quick peak and decided to continue partying and worry about January’s challenge later.

After partying and dancing, just before I went to bed and took my Apple Watch off, I managed to look at the challenge and smiled. The first one of the year didn’t prove to be too difficult.

“Close exercise ring 21 times this month”

I have a 10 day grace period, which is good. That said, I wanted a head-start and decided that I’ll tackle the challenge first thing in the morning.

I woke up at 10AM on New Year’s day to take a nice walk in order to close my exercise ring and complete day 1.

I grabbed my Kindle, Beats buds and walked out the door without my iPhone. I normally don’t walk out of my home without it, but the Watch has a GPS so my workout should be covered.

My walk was being recorded just fine, but my exercise ring seemed to be “stuck”

I walked around the track near my home for 2 miles while listening to my audiobook. Before I wrapped up my workout, I decided to look at my watch rings to see my progress. My walk was being recorded just fine, but my exercise ring seemed to be “stuck”. This seemed weird at first, but maybe I just needed to sync it back to the iPhone or perhaps it would update when I complete my workout.

When I got home, I ended my workout and sat with my iPhone to look at my stats. My Exercise ring didn’t go past 23 minutes… even when it recorded a 31 minute walking workout. Ugh, so weird and frustrating.

I had to dig deeper into this, so I did what any modern-day rational human would do: I did an online search for the issue. It seems that Apple’s algorithms require that you walk at a specific pace of 3.3mph or above to get credit for the exercise ring. My workout stats showed that I was walking at 3.27mph. 0.3 mph slower than the pace Apple recommends. Blah!

I was frustrated and annoyed enough that I decided I wasn’t going to go for another 7 minute walk. That changed around 7pm when the unclosed workout ring began bothering me. I decided to take that walk after all. This time, I decided to take my iPhone to avoid any further issues.

The exercise ring finally closed and I wrapped up day 1 of my January challenge. I’m Not sure what happened during my morning workout, but I will experiment to see if working out with the watch alone has significant consequences for workouts 🤔.

Though I got this one in, Apple Watch made it harder than it should have. I have 20 more days of exercise rings to close in order to complete the challenge. I hope that this small issue was just a hiccup and it doesn’t repeat itself again.