A handy new health and fitness feature comes with watchOS 9 and iOS 16 that’s available both during and after workouts. Follow along for how to see heart rate zones on Apple Watch and iPhone, what they mean, how to see your max heart rate, manually edit your zones, and more.
In watchOS 9, Apple Watch and iPhone automatically creates your five heart rate zones based on the Heart Rate Reserve method. Max and resting values are updated automatically on the first day of each month.
Here’s how Apple describes the new feature:
“Heart Rate Zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate and are automatically calculated and personalized using your health data. On Apple Watch, Heart Rate Zones are presented in five segments—effort levels from light to increasingly harder. By monitoring your Heart Rate Zone, 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
See heart rate zones during a workout
See heart rate zones after a workout
Now you’ll see the breakdown of how much time you spent in each heart rate zone:
How to manually edit your heart rate zones
While the heart rate zones are automatically added based on your age, height, and weight, you can manually change them (usually for advanced athletes).
How to see your max heart rate?
Going beyond your max heart rate is considered unsafe by medical professionals. To see your recommended maximum:
What do heart rate zones mean?
Understanding your heart rate zones can be useful in a variety of ways. But some of the most common practical applications are using heart rate training (properly rest or push yourself), targeting fat-burning or carb-burning heart rate zones, and awareness for those who have health conditions.
The Cleveland Clinic has a helpful article on understanding what kind of calories you’re burning in different zones. This won’t map directly to the five heart rate zones with Apple Watch, but is a good starting point.
Use your max heart rate (details on finding above) to figure out the numbers from the below calculations:
For heart rate training, the big idea is to “train your aerobic system without overstressing your skeletal and muscular systems, explains personal trainer Erin Carr.” Check out this article from Runner’s World for all the fine details:
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