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Mastering Heart Rate Zones On The Apple Watch

Fitness has always been a big part of the Apple Watch features, but in WatchOS 9, you can take your fitness to the next level. For example, the ability to see and track heart rate zones in a workout is incredibly useful.

Apple automatically calculates your personalized HRZ as a percentage of your maximum heart rate using your age, or you can set your own heart rate zones on your Apple Watch. 

Tracking your Heart Rate Zone (HRZ) during a workout helps you manage your overall fitness.

What is a Heart Rate Zone

HRZ are a percentage of your maximum heart rate (Mhr) calculated in beats per minute. If you exercise too close to your Mhr, your heart, and body will struggle to keep up with the demand.

What is Maximum Heart

Maximum heart rate is typically calculated using this formula: 220- your age. For example, I’m 62, so my max heart rate is 158. Depending on your age, your max heart rate will differ from mine.

So, your HRZ are tied directly to your max heart rate. You must be between 50 and 69% of your max heart rate to burn fat.

How to add Heart Rate Zones to a Workout in the Apple Watch

Open the Workout app on the Apple Watch

  • Tap on the three dots next to workout
  • Select the pencil icon to edit

  • Tap Workout Views
  • Tap edit Views
  • Scroll to HRZ, and toggle Include on. The toggle switch will now be green.

Now, when you begin a workout, you can view your heart rate zones. 

How to View Heart Rate Zones During a Workout

Now that we’ve enabled HRZ, here’s how to access them during a workout:

  • Open the Workout app and begin your workout
  • Swipe up or rotate the Digital Crown to change workout views until you see the HRZ tracker.

Sometimes it’s tricky to do during a workout, but it’s worth the effort. 

How to View Your Heart Rate Data

You’ll need to access your iPhone to analyze and track your data.

  • Open the Fitness app
  • Select a workout; you can select Show More to view more workouts
  • Scroll down to Heart Rate and tap Show More

You’ll see a graph of your heart rate over the course of the workout, along with the time you spent in any of the heart rate zones.

How to Change Your Heart Rate Zones

Heart Rate Zones on the Apple Watch come using pre-set standards. However, if you’re serious about your fitness, you may want to customize them.

Open the Watch app on your iPhone

  • Tap Workout
  • Select Heart Rate Zones
  • Tap Manual

  • Select the HRZ you want to change
  • Now enter your new numbers

Now your workout is even more personalized.


It’s clear that Apple is trying to make the Apple Watch a more capable fitness-tracking device. I’m excited that Apple has added the ability to track my HRZ and access this information on my iPhone. Let me know if you have questions or share tips on what’s working best for you.]

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I help mature adults master their iPhone and iPads, even if they aren’t  techie! 

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