The Apple Watch is a great tool in tracking health signs, such as heart rate or blood oxygen, and helps you get the most out of your workout sessions with its smart features.
To fully maximize your Apple Watch’s features, here’s a handy guide in navigating every kind of workout you can perform and track. We’ll show you how you can use all the Apple Watch workout types and how you can configure them.
How to Track Your Exercises with the Workout App
Tracking your exercises and monitoring your vitals is easy with the Apple Watch’s intuitive interface. Follow these simple steps to start tracking your workouts.
1. Launch the Workout app
To start tracking your exercises, you should first open the workout app by browsing through the menu and tapping on the app’s logo.
You can also access the Workout app hands-free. Just raise your wrist and say, “Hey, Siri, Workout.” Both actions will launch the Workout app. When the app opens, you’ll be able to see the main Workout screen, and from there, you’ll see all the different kinds of indoor and outdoor workouts.
2. Scroll down for the list of activities
After launching the Workout app, you’ll see the list of workouts available for you to do. Simply scroll down and see the complete list of activities available to be tracked. You can either swipe down or twist the digital crown to scroll up and down the list.
3. Tap on your desired activity
Once you’ve found a suitable workout of your choice, tap on it to get started.
4. Set a specific goal
If you’re working toward a specific goal for your workout, tap the three dots on the upper right side of the exercise or swipe the screen to choose a goal to be tracked. When setting a numeric goal, utilize the plus and minus sign or the digital crown.
5. Tap Start!
Great! Now you can start your exercise and view the results afterward.
Which Types of Workouts Can You Track?
This workout can be indoor, such as using a treadmill or walking on an indoor track, or outdoor, like walking in the park or on an outdoor track. Apple Watch lets you track workout goals you’ve set, such as pace, distance, and elevation.
This is another type of workout that you can do indoors or outdoors. Indoor running activities include running on a treadmill, while outdoor activities include running on a track field or doing a marathon. Using your Apple Watch, you may track your metrics like pace, distance, and elevation.
Do a cycling workout if you’re feeling up to it. Your Apple Watch can determine whether you’re taking an indoor spin class or an outdoor bike marathon. Tracking your goals like speed, distance, and elevation is easy, too.
Your Apple Watch can also detect swimming workouts. Your Apple Watch screen will automatically lock itself to prevent water droplets from getting into your watch if you accidentally tap your device during the activity. You can choose an indoor pool swim or an outdoor open water swim. Either way, the app lets you track your workout history, calories, laps, and distance.
This refers to any workout that includes an elliptical machine. Trackable metrics include the heart rate, pace, and calories.
If you’re going to use a rowing machine or do any similar activity, you can opt to choose the rower workout and track your progress, specifically the duration, calories, and heart rate.
- Stair Stepper
This workout is usually done at a gym; however, you can also choose this workout even if you’re just walking up and down your apartment’s stairwell. The Apple Watch will record your heart rate and count how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Track your HIIT workout with your Apple Watch. You can do various exercises like jump rope, dance, aerobics, and more. Your watch will track how long your work-rest-work cycle is and how intense you’re doing it. While it might be difficult to accurately read your heart rate, calories are still tracked using the built-in accelerometer.
Choose this exercise to track your pace, distance, elevation gain, and calories burned. You’ll see how high you’ve climbed in real-time and total elevation gain at the end of your workout.
Choose the yoga workout to track all your yoga sessions. The app will track your heart rate and active calories burned while doing relaxing yet challenging yoga poses!
- Functional Strength Training
This is the perfect exercise to choose when performing dynamic strength sequences for your lower, upper, and full body. You can use small equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and medicine balls to help with your workout.
Dancing is a great way to burn calories. Choose this workout option when dancing for fitness, whether the style is Latin, social dance, hip hop, contemporary, etc.
After a great workout, it’s good to track your cooldown session, as well. Your Apple Watch will track the activity’s duration and your heart rate while you prepare to end your session.
- Core Training
Core training exercises are great for building your abdominal and back strength. With the Apple Watch, you can track the duration, calories, and heart rate metrics for these exercises.
Choose Pilates if you’re using equipment-based or mat Pilates exercises that help strengthen your core and overall flexibility. The Apple Watch will help you track how much time you’ve spent and the calories you’ve burned from these exercises.
- Tai Chi
Based on Chinese martial arts, Tai chi involves doing slow, meditative, full-body movements. As such, maintaining a steady heart rate is one of the key objectives of this exercise, which the Apple Watch will help you track.
If you’re a manual wheelchair user, you can choose the Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace or Outdoor Wheelchair Run Pace. Choose one that best fits your activity. However, don’t be afraid to maintain a steady pace since you can mix your speeds in either workout. Both wheelchair workouts can measure calories, time, heart rate, pace, and distance.
What If My Desired Workout is Not in This List?
If you can’t seem to find a workout that fits your exercise routine, don’t worry because there are more than 60 activities you can find on the Workout app. Just scroll through the list along with the goals and metrics for specific activities. Then select the “Others” option and tap “Add Workout.”
This list contains more niche exercises like barre, kickboxing, and cross-training. You’ll also find sports-based activities like boxing, basketball, climbing, tennis, and wrestling.
Usually, your heart rate and calories burned will be tracked by the app. But, considering that these exercises use varying movements, the Apple Watch’s sensors may have trouble accurately tracking your activity. In this case, the app will show your level of activity by treating it as a brisk walk and pulling up the equivalent metrics.
Additional Workout Settings
Besides tracking your exercises and the calories you’ve burned, your Apple Watch has additional workout settings to help enhance your daily sessions.
A complete list of your watch’s features is in this link, but here’s a brief overview of some of the workout settings you can incorporate into your workout.
- End, pause, or lock your workout.
- Just swipe right, then tap the End button with the big X to end your workout.
- To pause a workout, all you have to do is tap the Pause button. You can also pause your workout by pressing the digital crown and the side button simultaneously. You can resume your exercise by tapping the same controls.
- Lastly, to lock your screen and avoid any accidental tapping, just swipe right and lock your screen by tapping the Lock button. Then to unlock the screen, turn the digital crown in the opposite direction.
- Change the workout metrics.
- You can easily change your workout metrics by opening your iPhone and tapping the Watch app.
- Tap “Workout,” then go to “Workout View” and select the metrics you want to change.
- Tap edit and then add the metrics you want to include. You can add or remove metrics by tapping the minus or plus button beside it.
- To change the order of your metrics, just tap and hold the Change Order button or the button with the three lines.
- You can choose up to five metrics for each workout.
- Change the units of measurement.
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
- Tap Workout, then the Units of Measure.
- Select the proper unit of measurement that you’re comfortable with.
- Energy (Calories, Kilocalories, or Kilojoules)
- Pool Length (Yards or Meters)
- Cycling or Walking and Running (Miles or Kilometers)
- Divide your workout into segments.
You can track different segments of your workout. To do so, just double-tap the screen during your training, then wait for the segment summary to appear. After that, you can use segments to track different sections of your session.
You can see all your segments after a workout by:
- Opening the Fitness app on your iPhone.
- Tap Show More, which appears next to Workouts.
- Tap on the Workout button, then scroll down.
However, since your Apple Watch screen locks during swimming sessions, you can’t mark segments. As such, Pool Swim workout sets are marked automatically every time you decide to rest for 10 seconds or longer.
- Get reminders to work out.
Apple Watches with watchOS 5 or later operating systems can sense when you’re exercising. It taps you on the wrist and asks if you’re working out. You can command your Apple Watch to record your workout by tapping an option to record the activity, change the workout type, mute notifications for the day, or dismiss the notice.
However, you can also give your Apple Watch specific instructions to alert you when you seem to be exercising but forgot to record it. You can easily turn this setting by going to the Settings app on your Apple Watch, tapping Workout, and choosing Start Workout Reminder.
Maximize Your Apple Watch Features
The Apple Watch is a great way to not only keep your vital signs in check but also serve as a great workout buddy. Apple’s ecosystem makes the workout experience better with reminders and specific metrics that you can use to track your progress. You’ll have an easier time getting on top of your health.
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