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How to Start and Track Workouts Using the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch does a host of things the average wristwatch could only dream of, and one of the most important of these is the ability to start and track workouts.

Using the Watch to track your workout is a lot different than what you can do with the Activity Monitor, which is passive and works regardless (unless you turn it off in the Watch app on your iPhone) of whether you’re actually working out.

On the Watch, workouts are usually started by prompting Siri.

For example, you can start an outdoor run by holding the Watch up to your mouth and saying something like, “Hey Siri, start an outdoor run.”

When you start a workout, you’ll get a 3-second countdown.

You can also start a workout by simply tapping open the Workout app on your Watch, scrolling to the workout you want to start, and then tapping that.

You’re not limited solely to running and walking, you can also choose cycling, ellipticals, rowing, stair stepping, or you can create an “other” workout.

The “other” workout will give you the “calorie equivalent of a brisk walk” whenever “sensor readings are unavailable.”

The Watch will then count down and begin to track your time, calories burned, and distance.

Again, we want to emphasize that Workouts are different than the information tracked by the Activity Monitor in that Workouts are focused on one single workout, whereas the information gathered by the Activity Monitor happens throughout the day while you go about your daily routine.

When you are engaged in a workout, you will be able to track your elapsed time, current pace, distance, active calories, total calories, and heart rate.

As you work out, you can see how you’re doing by swiping left-right through the options.

When you finish your workout or you need to pause it, simply press the Watch’s screen until you see the options to end, pause, and lock the screen.

Press on the watch face when you’re ready to end or pause your workout.

If you pause your workout, you can further decide whether you want to end it from there or resume it once you’re done with your pause.

When you end a workout, you’ll be shown a summary of your accomplishment and given the option to save or discard it.

If you save a workout, then it will be synced to your iPhone where you can then view it and others (and keep track of your progress) in the Activity app.

Tracking Workouts Using the Activity App

We briefly touched upon this in our article on the Activity Monitor, but we want to focus solely on it today so you know and understand how this works.

In the Activity app, you will find the option to see your Workouts and All-Day Activity.

Looking at your Workouts, you can tap on any day highlighted in green and see your workout(s) for that day.

You can also access this information from the All-Day Activity screens simply by scrolling down to the “Workouts” section and tapping on them.

Workouts are broken down just as they are when you get a summary at the end of one. You will see total calories, active calories, and total time.

Additionally, you see the total distance traveled, your average pace, and your average heart rate.


We hope you found this article useful, and you’re using your Apple Watch to get the full impact of your workouts.

Being able to track them and note your progress is a powerful and effective way to constantly and consistently push yourself.

If you have any questions or comments you would like to add, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.

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