How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch

Mar 5, 2021 - 3 Comments

How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch

Have you ever wanted to measure your cardio fitness and determine your endurance during workouts and jogs? In that case, you’re in for a treat since Apple now allows users to easily check their cardio fitness levels directly on their iPhones, provided they use an Apple Watch as well.

With the recent iOS 14.3 and watchOS 7.2 software updates, Apple released a new Health app feature that shows cardio fitness levels with the help of your Apple Watch. This is made possible by measuring VO2 max which is considered to be the most valid measure of cardiovascular fitness. For those who aren’t aware, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen consumed by your body during an exercise. This is something that can be improved through physical activity.

Are you excited to check out your endurance? Read on to learn how you can set up and view cardio fitness levels on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch

Before you go ahead with the following procedure, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.3 or later and the paired Apple Watch has been updated to watchOS 7.2 or newer. Once you’re done, just proceed with the steps below.

  1. Launch the Health app on your iPhone.

    Health app icon
  2. This should take you to the Summary section of the app. Here, scroll down to the very bottom and tap on “Set Up” for Cardio Fitness Levels.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  3. Now, you’ll be informed that your location will be used to check if the feature is available in your region. Tap “Next”.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  4. In this step, you’ll need to enter your personal details like your sex, date of birth, weight, and height. If you’re taking any certain medications that are mentioned, you’ll need to check those boxes too. Once you’re done, tap on “Next”.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  5. You’ll be given a brief description regarding cardio fitness. Tap “Next” when you’re done reading.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  6. Now, choose “Turn on Notifications” so that you’ll receive a notification on your Apple Watch if your cardio fitness levels are low.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  7. Next, tap on “Done” to complete the setup process.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch
  8. Now, your current VO2 max score will be displayed on the screen and you’ll be informed if your cardio fitness level is high, above average, below average, or low.

    How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels on iPhone & Apple Watch

There you go. You’ve successfully set up cardio fitness levels on your iPhone for your Apple Watch.

This wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the sensors that are packed into the Apple Watch. From now on, your Apple Watch will be able to estimate your cardio fitness by checking your heart rate while you’re walking or running. Based on your age and other details you provided, your cardio fitness levels will fall into high, above average, below average, or low.

If your VO2 max score is below average or low, don’t feel demotivated. Your cardio fitness levels can certainly be improved with increased physical activity. So, try going out for a jog every day and check your fitness levels in a month to see if your score has improved. If your cardio fitness levels remain low for a long period, you’ll receive a notification every four months.

Sometimes, your fitness levels may not show immediately after you set this feature up. In that case, you may need to wear your Apple Watch for at least 24 hours followed by multiple workouts before the initial estimate is displayed in the app. You can your VO2 max score at any time by going to Browse -> Heart -> Cardio Fitness within the Health app.

We hope you were able to learn how physically fit you are in terms of cardiovascular activity. What VO2 max score did you get if you don’t mind us asking? What’s your take on this health-oriented feature? Let us know your valuable opinions and share your experiences in the comments section down below.

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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Apple Watch, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. andrew says:

    FYI Many Apple Watch owners have had problems after update to iOS 14.3, Watch OS 7.2. That being their stats for Outdoor Workouts DROPPED significantly, while their workouts remained the same.
    Lots of feedback to Apple Support Watch specialists and they have confirmed there is a problem for some, but this has gone on for several months with no update to fix as yet ! So be advised !
    If they are so focused on the Watch for Health tracking and Wellness…..when do we get an update !!!!?????

  2. David Mewett says:

    I have an Watch 3 and live in Australia, both my Watch 3 and iPhone XR are at latest software levels.

    I cannot though see the setup Cardio

  3. Bob Romeo says:

    Does this work with an Apple Watch SE?

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