Heart rate zones on Apple Watch and iPhone


A helpful new health and fitness feature comes with watchOS 9 and iOS 16, available during and after workouts. Follow along with us to learn how to see heart rate zones on Apple Watch and iPhone, what they mean, how to see your maximum heart rate, edit zones manually, and more.

In watchOS 9, the Apple Watch and iPhone automatically create five heart rate zones based on the Heart Rate Reserve method. The max and rest values ​​are automatically updated on the first day of every month.

Here’s how Apple describes the new feature:

“Heart rate zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate and are calculated and customized automatically using your health data. On Apple Watch, heart rate zones are presented in five sections – effort levels from light to increasingly more difficult. By monitoring the heart rate zone cardio, you can make your workout more efficient and challenge yourself to improve your fitness.”

How to see heart rate zones on Apple Watch and iPhone

Watch your heart rate zones during exercise

  • Make sure watchOS 9 is running on your Apple Watch and your birthday is entered in the Health app on your iPhone
  • Start a cardio workout like A Running or cycling (Apple hasn’t exactly shared the types of exercises that include heart rate zones except for those that focus on the heart
  • swipe down In the first exercise screen to see your heart rate and the area in which it is located

Watch your heart rate zones after exercise

  • After your workout, head to iPhone fitness app To view the heart rate zone data
  • Choose a workout from the main summary screen or tap Episodes or Show More to choose a different date/workout
  • Once you choose a workout, swipe down until you see heart rateFaucet Show more

You will now see a breakdown of how much time you spend in each heart rate zone:

How to see heart rate zones on Apple Watch 2

How to manually adjust heart rate zones

While heart rate zones are added automatically based on your age, height, and weight, you can change them manually (usually for advanced athletes).

  • Head to Settings > Exercise > Heart Rate Zones on your Apple Watch and Choose Manual On the top
  • Or on an iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app > Exercise > Heart Rate Zones and then Choose Manual On the top

How do you see the maximum heart rate?

Exceeding the maximum heart rate is considered unsafe by medical professionals. To see the recommended maximum:

  • Head to Settings > Exercise > Heart Rate Zones on your Apple Watch, Swipe down to find your maximum heart rate
  • Or on the iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app > Exercise > Heart Rate Zones, Swipe down to find your maximum heart rate

What do heart rate zones mean?

Understanding heart rate zones can be helpful in a number of ways. But some of the most common practical applications are the use of heart rate training (rest or push correctly), targeting of heart rate zones that burn fat or burn carbohydrates, and awareness for those with health conditions.

The Cleveland Clinic has a helpful article on understanding the type of calories you burn in different areas. This won’t map directly to the five heart rate zones with the Apple Watch, but it’s a good starting point.

Use your maximum heart rate (details about finding above) to see the numbers from the calculations below:

  • Low Density Area: You are exercising at 50% to 60% of your maximum heart rate. At this point, 85% of the calories you burn are fat. What is the downside? You burn fewer calories overall than if you were exercising at a higher intensity. You can generally maintain this area for the longest period of time.
  • temperate zone: You are exercising from 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. Approximately 65% ​​of the calories you burn are fat.
  • air zone: Working out at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate puts you in the aerobic zone. About 45% of the calories you burn are fat. But you burn more total calories than in other heart rate zones. You can generally maintain this area for the shortest period of time.

For heart rate training, the big idea is to “train your aerobic system without straining your skeletal and muscular system,” personal trainer Erin Carr explains. Check out this article from Runner’s World for all the finer details:

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