How to Add a Workout to Apple Watch Before or After Your Workout (WatchOS 8 Update)

Manually add a workout to Apple Watch, even if you forgot to record it!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you forgot to hit the start button on your Apple Watch or you left your watch behind during a workout, don't worry! You can still manually add a workout to Apple Watch via the Health app. We'll show you how to add a workout to Apple Watch manually, plus how to start one the typical way so you won't have to enter your workout later.

Related: How to Improve Calorie Tracking Accuracy on Apple Watch

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Close your Activity rings by manually adding in workouts you forgot to record.
  • Keep track of movement metrics like calories burned, even when you don't wear your Apple Watch during a workout.

How to Add a Workout to Apple Watch Manually

To add a workout to your Apple Watch after a workout has concluded, you'll need to enter it in the Health app. If you're actually hoping to learn how to start a workout on Apple Watch, skip to the next section! You can also learn more about iPhone and Apple Watch features by signing up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. For now, here's how to manually record an Apple Watch workout:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone.

  2. Select the Browse tab.

  3. Tap the Search bar and enter the word Workouts.
  4. Select Workouts from the list of results.

  5. Tap Add Data in the top-right corner of the screen.

  6. Choose your activity type, then enter the number of calories and the start and stop times.
  7. When you’re finished, tap Add.

Now the data from the workout you forgot to track from your Apple Watch will be counted toward your fitness and activity goals on Apple Watch! If you're actually wondering how to start a workout on Apple Watch, keep reading.

How to Start a Workout on Apple Watch

If you're about to start a workout and want it to count toward your Apple Watch Activity, you'll need to track it in the Apple Watch Workout app. But first, if you've been having trouble with your Apple Watch not counting exercise minutes properly or another issue, you may want to troubleshoot that issue prior to continuing. Here's how to start a workout on Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.

    Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch
  2. Scroll through the workout types to find the one you want. Once you see the workout you want to start, you have two options.

    Tap the workout to begin immediately
  3. To track the workout without setting time or other settings, simply tap the workout and it will start automatically.

    Your workout will begin after a short countdown
  4. To set time, distance, or calories before you begin your workout, tap on the three dots.

    Tap the three dots to adjust the workout settings
  5. Select time, distance, or calories.

    Select a setting to adjust
  6. Use the plus and minus icons to make changes to that setting.

    Add or remove time using the plus and minus icons
  7. Tap Start when you're ready to begin your workout.

    Tap start to begin

Now your workout will begin after a brief countdown. If you have any issues logging your exercise minutes, check out how to troubleshoot your Apple Watch. Don't forget that you can see all your Apple Watch workouts in the Fitness app and have your steps display on your watch face for even better insight. Plus, check this out to learn how to get better Apple Watch calorie accuracy to maximize your fitness experience.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.