Shawn Mendes, Dolly Parton and Uzo Aduba are among the first few guests on Apple's newest Fitness+ feature

By Julia McEwen

This past December, Apple launched Fitness+, a new workout service that supposedly caused Peloton stocks to dip when it was announced last fall.

The Fitness app is powered by the Apple Watch, which delivers a personalized and immersive workout experience, allowing users to take part in hundreds of boutique studio-style classes on any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV) while receiving real-time metrics about your workout, such as heart rate and calories burned.

A month-and-a-half after launching the Fitness+ app, a new walking experience has been added to their offering that relies on some very familiar voices. Officially titled 'Time to Walk,' it is a new, guided walking tour hosted by a rotating cast of celebrity guests.

"Walking is the most popular physical activity in the world, and one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies. A walk can often be more than just exercise: It can help clear the mind, solve a problem, or welcome a new perspective," Apple’s Jay Blahnik said in a release.

Like Fitness+ before it, the new feature couldn't come at a better time, as many parts of the word have reverted back down into lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

New episodes will be added every Monday. They'll feature a diverse range of notable guests, intended to keep you company on your daily walks, and each installment ranges in length from 25 to 40 minutes.

But unlike your run-of-the-the-mill podcast, the stars are actually walking with you. As you get exercise, they'll tell you non-scripted first-person stories, share curated songs and give you visual cues with personal photos displayed on your Apple Watch in real-time. All these touchpoints are there to help create intimacy and build on the storytelling process – and overall experience.

Griffith Park, where Shawn's walk takes place, is one of the most popular spots for Los Angelinos to get exercise through hiking. Photo: © Apple

On Jan. 25, the four episodes dropped. They feature a wide range of celebrities including the universally adored Dolly Parton, Golden State Warriors' star Draymond Green, Golden Globe-winning actress Uzo Aduba and beloved Canadian musician Shawn Mendes.

Shawn's episode takes us on a 28-minute jaunt on the trails of Griffith Park, situated in the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles.

"Taking a walk is a great way to clear your mind," Shawn says in the release. "It's the most simple thing you can do to calm the body and soul, reflect, and slow down.

"I hope people get to feel the same sense of calm I do while walking and can bring that to their own experiences," he adds.

As the singer finishes talking, he introduces a short playlist of songs to which users can continue to listen during their walk. His mini playlist includes all his own tracks: "A Little Too Much," "Wonder" and "Señorita," which he sings with girlfriend Camila Cabello.

I think we all can agree getting outside for some fresh air and some exercise is always better with good company, especially if that company is Shawn Mendes.

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