Need to check your heart rate on a regular basis? One device that can help is the Apple Watch, which comes with its own Heart Rate monitor app.
The smartwatch automatically displays your heart rate while you’re exercising and after you’ve completed a workout. With watchOS 4, released in September, your watch can display current heart rate, resting heart rate, and walking heart rate so you can compare them. You can also tell the watch to notify you of any dramatic rise in your heart rate during a time when you’ve been inactive. Here’s how to use the Apple Watch to monitor your heart rate.
First, make sure you’ve updated your Apple Watch to watchOS 4.0 or higher. To do this, first install iOS 11 on your iPhone if you haven’t already done so. On your phone, open the Watch app. Tap on General > Software Update. If the Watch app says you have watchOS 4.0 or higher, you’re in business. If not, let the update download and get installed on your watch.
To view your current heart rate, tap on the Digital Crown to move to the Home screen with the app icons. Tap on the icon for heart rate (hint, it looks like a heart).
If you haven’t yet used the Heart Rate app in watchOS 4, a message tells you that the app shows your current heart rate and daily summaries. Tap Next. The next message tells you that Heart Rate can notify you when your watch detects a heart rate that rises above 120 beats per minute if you’ve been inactive for 10 minutes. Tap on the button to Turn On. Now the watch will alert you to any increases in your heart rate during a period of inactivity.
The app then displays your current heart rate. Swipe up the screen to see your resting heart rate for the day. Swipe up once more to see your average walking heart rate for the day. Tap on the Current link at the top of the screen to see all three heart rates on the same screen.
You can access the Heart Rate monitor more easily than going through the Home screen. Just switch your watch face to one that displays a heart on the screen, such as the Modular face, the Simple face, or the Kaleidoscope face. Then tap on the heart icon to get your current heart rate.
Okay, now it’s time for some exercise. Yes, I can hear your cheers now. Climb aboard your favorite piece of exercise equipment or just go for a brisk walk or run. At your watch’s Home screen or on an appropriate watch face, such as the Simple face, tap on the workout icon (the one that resembles a running figure). At the Workout screen, tap the entry for the type of workout you’re about to perform, such as an Outdoor Walk, an Outdoor Run, an Indoor Cycle, or an Elliptical.
You can also tap on the three buttons next to the workout to enter the number of calories, time, distance, or another goal you wish to achieve. As you work out, your watch displays the elapsed time, active calories being burned, total calories being burned, and your heart rate. After you’ve completed the workout, the watch displays your average heart rate and the range for your heart rate during the exercise. Tap Done to record the workout.
You can review your heart rate and other factors for past workouts through the Activity app on your iPhone. Open the Activity app. You’ll see a chart for the current day. Swipe down the screen to a specific workout and tap the arrow next to the small circle. A screen pops up showing you the heart rate, calories, and elapsed time for that workout.
Tap on the Workouts button in the app. You can now review all your past workouts. Tap on the year in the upper left corner to view the past several months of workouts. Tap on a specific workout to view your heart rate data and other stats.