How to use heart rate zone tracking on Apple Watch

With the debut of watchOS 9, Apple has introduced new workout features designed to take your personal fitness to the next level. One such new feature is heart rate zones. This article explains what they are for and how to use them.

Apple Watch heart rate zones
Apple is getting more into fitness with every new version of watchOS released, and the latest version, ‌watchOS 9‌, puts more metrics on your wrist than ever before on the Apple Watch.

You can now view real-time heart rate zones for any type of cardio workout, so if you’re running, for example, you can look at your wrist at any time and see which heart rate zone you’re currently in.

What are heart rate zones?

Each heart rate zone represents a percentage of its maximum heart rate, or the number of beats it performs per minute. These zones can be used as training levels that tell you your intensity level, your heart rate and whether you are using carbohydrates or fats for energy.

The higher your heart rate zone, the lower your oxygen intake, and therefore the more your body relies on carbohydrates to produce glycogen to fuel your muscles. On the contrary, the lower the heart rate zone, the more fat you burn, although this is offset by the fact that you burn fewer calories overall than if you were training at a higher intensity.

By tracking your heart rate zone, you can make your workout more efficient and challenge yourself to improve your fitness. For example, once you can comfortably stay in a certain heart rate zone throughout your workout, you may want to move on to the next zone. Generally speaking, the ability to increase and maintain workload in a higher heart rate zone indicates that your heart is getting stronger.

How to view your heart rate zone while exercising

On Apple Watch, heart rate zones are automatically calculated and personalized using your health data, but only if you enter your date of birth in the Health app on your iPhone.

  1. Run Workout app on the Apple Watch.
  2. Start a cardio workout, like jogging outside.
  3. Turn digital crown to view the heart rate zone workout.


The heart rate zones are presented as five segments, indicating levels of effort from mild to increasing. You will also see your current zone, heart rate, time in current zone, and average heart rate.

How to view your heart rate zone data

To view a graph detailing the estimated time you spend in each heart rate zone, follow these steps:

  1. Run Fitness app on your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. Tap a workout, then tap Show more next to heart rate.


How to change heart rate zones

If you don’t want to rely on your Apple Watch to calculate zones based on your health data, you can edit them manually.

  1. Run Settings app on the Apple Watch.
  2. Click to Workout -> Heart Rate Zones.
  3. Click Management.
  4. Click Zone 2, Zone 3or Zone 4then enter the lower and upper limits.

You can also edit zones in Watch app for ‌iPhone‌. Click My watch tab, go to Workout -> Heart Rate Zonesthen touch Managementand you will be able to access the same three zones to enter upper and lower limits.

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