How to Use the Exercise Tab in Apple Watch’s Activity App

By Marc Saltzman

Apple Watch’s Exercise tab is a handy tool. Whether you want to do something active in one shot — such as jogging on the treadmill after work — or a little bit here and there, it’s recommended you do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. What constitutes “exercise,” you ask? How is this different from mere “moving”?

Any activity at the level of a brisk walk or above is considered exercise, says Apple. By seeing how much you’re exercising — or, rather, not exercising — you might just be motivated to improve your overall health (which has also been proven to be linked to happiness).

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To use the Exercise tab in the Activity app, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Digital Crown button to go to the Home screen

  2. Tap the Activity app.

    You can also raise your wrist and say “Hey, Siri, Activity.” Either action opens the Activity app, taking you to the main Activity screen with a summary of all three rings.

  3. To go to the Exercise area, swipe twice to the left. Or whatever you’re doing on Apple Watch, tell Siri “Show me Exercise information” to go right to this screen.

    You should see a large number in the middle of the screen. This is the total exercise time calculated for the day so far. Underneath this number is the total goal for the day (such as 30 minutes). The greenish-yellow ring also shows you how close you are to your overall daily goal. To change your goals, press firmly on the screen (Force Touch) and tap + or – to set your desired goal.

  4. Swipe down for your History graph, which shows your hourly activity level — measured in minutes — for when you were most active.

    As you might expect, the higher the line on the graph, the better. Even if you exercise a little here and a little there, every bit helps and goes toward your daily time goal.

  5. Twist the Digital Crown button for additional exercise information on your Apple Watch, including a numerical summary of your day’s achievements. Alternatively, grab your iPhone and open the Activity app.

  6. Press the Digital Crown button to return to the Home screen.

    Don’t be discouraged if you’re not reaching your exercise goals. Try again tomorrow or reduce the number of your suggested active minutes — from say 30 minutes to 20 minutes.