How to use heart rate zone tracking on Apple Watch

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

Apple Watch heart rate zones
Apple has been targeting fitness even more with the release of each new version of watchOS, and the latest version, ‌watchOS 9‌, adds more metrics to your wrist than ever before on the Apple Watch.

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

What are heart rate zones?

Each heart rate zone is a percentage of your maximum heart rate, or the number of beats it makes per minute. These zones can be used as workout levels that let you know your intensity level, how hard your heart is working, and whether you’re using carbohydrates or fat as an energy source.

The higher your heart rate zone, the lower your oxygen intake and the more your body relies on carbohydrates to produce glycogen to fuel your muscles. In contrast, the lower your 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 exercising at a higher intensity.

By monitoring your heart rate zone, you can make your workout more effective and challenge yourself to improve your fitness. For example, once you can comfortably stay in a certain heart rate zone during your workout, you may want to move on to the next zone. Generally speaking, being able to increase and sustain exercise in a higher heart rate zone indicates that your heart is getting stronger.

How to see your heart rate zone during exercise

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

  1. Start Training app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Start a cardio workout, such as running outdoors.
  3. Rotate Digital crown to the heart rate zone workout view.


Heart rate zones are presented in five segments, indicating levels of exertion from mild to progressively greater. You’ll also see your current zone, heart rate, time in current zone, and your average heart rate.

How to view your heart rate zone data

To see a graph detailing the estimated time you spend in each heart rate zone, do the following:

  1. Start Fitness app on your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. Tap a workout, then tap show more to Heartbeat.


How to edit your heart rate zones

If you’d rather not rely on your Apple Watch to calculate your zones based on your health data, you can manually edit them.

  1. Start Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap to Workout -> Heart Rate Zones.
  3. Touch Handbook.
  4. Touch Zone 2, Zone 3or Zone 4then enter a lower and upper limit.

You can also edit zones in I’m watching ‌iPhone‌ app. Touch My watch tab, go to Workout -> Heart Rate Zonesthen tap Handbookand you will have access to the same three areas to enter upper and lower limits.