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New Fitness+ features – take a walk with Dolly Parton

Walking. It’s great, isn’t it? Free, fun, and good exercise. But wouldn’t it be more appealing if you could take a favorite celebrity with you? Like, say, Dolly Parton?

Apple’s Fitness+ subscription service, launched at the tail end of 2020, has just added a new feature called Time to Walk. These bite-sized audio experiences – not dissimilar to podcasts – clock in around 30 minutes each and involve famous and influential people chatting to you as you take a stroll.

Guests will be telling stories from their life, reflecting on moments from their career, or philosophies that help them on the daily. Importantly, each recording was made whilst on a genuine walk in the outdoors, so you’ll get the environmental foley and perhaps even some celebrity breathlessness to make it feel as though they’re really there with you.

Each guest also contributes a short playlist of inspirational songs to keep your walks entertaining, though it’s worth noting that you’ll need an Apple Music subscription to listen to them. The songs aren’t included in Fitness+.

Wheelchair users don’t have to miss out, with the feature automatically switching over to Time to Push with an accompanying wheelchair workout option on Apple Watch.

The first four Time to Walk episodes are available immediately if you’re a Fitness+ subscriber and feature Dolly Parton, Draymond Green, Shawn Mendes, and Uzo Aduba. These guests will be joined by 14 more celebrities on a weekly basis going forward.

“I’ve loved walking ever since I was a little girl in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton says. “I think it’s so important to be able to get out and walk if we can during this time. I do my best thinking when I walk. And while many of us feel confined during this time, I’m hopeful that people will take a walk down memory lane with me and we can all feel a little more freedom taking the time to walk together.”

This is an interesting approach to broadening the scope of Fitness+ to include some outdoor activities. In a world where many people are stuck at home, it could be nice to get some fresh air with a friendly voice in your ear. And who better to accompany you than the country queen herself?

If you’ve not tried Fitness+ yet, it’s worth noting that the first month is free. While it’s true that you can get similar subscriptions at better value elsewhere, the way Apple’s solution ties together high-quality video with live stats from your Apple Watch is very neat.