How to start a workout on your Apple Watch in 2 different ways

Joseph Branston/Future via Getty ImagesIt’s easy to start a workout on your Apple Watch, and it can usually be done automatically.


Apple has positioned the Apple Watch as a health and fitness device, so it’s no surprise that it puts a lot of emphasis on exercise.

Many of the key features on your Apple Watch are geared towards working out, such as the activity goals that track exercise, walking, and standing time.

In addition, the Workouts app can be quite helpful for your exercise sessions – here’s how to use it.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $US399 at Best Buy)

How to start a workout on an Apple Watch automatically

The good news is that in many cases, you don’t need to do much to start a workout on your Apple Watch.

If you don’t start the Workout app manually, but simply start exercising, your Apple Watch should notice and remind you to start tracking the exercise on its own.

According to Apple, your Apple Watch can sense the following kinds of exercise:

  • Indoor Walk
  • Outdoor Walk
  • Indoor Run
  • Outdoor Run
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Pool Swim
  • Open Water Swim

After a few minutes of performing any of these exercises, your watch should display a reminder to begin tracking this exercise. When you see the message, tap “Record Workout.”

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIf you start exercising, your Apple Watch should notice and offer to start tracking the workout.

Likewise, when you stop exercising, the watch will ask if you are done and stop tracking the workout.

The amount of time it takes the Apple Watch to remind you to start and stop the workout varies, but is generally within a few minutes.

Even if you don’t get a reminder to start the exercise for several minutes, don’t worry: the watch has been tracking the exercise from the start and you should get credit for the full workout.

How to start a workout on an Apple Watch manually

You can also start a workout manually, and specify a goal for the exercise before you begin.

1. Press the Digital Crown to see the list of apps and start the Workout app, which looks like a person running on a green background.

Workout 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderStart the Workout app to choose an exercise and specify a goal for the session.

2. Find the exercise you want to perform.

3. If you want to start the exercise immediately, tap it. If you want to specify a goal for the workout, tap the three dots.

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderTap an exercise to begin immediately or tap the three dots to choose a goal.

4. On the goals page, tap the kind of goal you want and use the controls to set one for duration, distance, or calories burned. Then tap “Start.”

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can specify a goal for the exercise, like distance, duration, or calories burned.

5. When the workout is done, swipe to the right to open the Workout Options page, and tap “End.”

Dave Johnson/Business InsiderOn the Workout Options page, you can pause or end the workout, or tap ‘New’ to change the workout to a different exercise.

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