How to Add a Workout to the Apple Watch Before or After Your Workout

Your Apple Watch Workout app can track your workouts if you start the workout on your watch first, or you can go in and add a workout manually after you exercise if you forgot to start the workout in the app beforehand.

This article will show you how to track a workout on your Apple watch. And if you forgot to hit the start button on your Apple Watch, or if you left your watch behind during a workout, don't worry! You can still add a workout to your Apple Watch. We've already shown how to start a workout in the Workout app, and how to view your Apple Watch activity and trends. Here we'll cover how to add activity to an Apple Watch in the Health app on your iPhone. 

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How to Start a Workout on the 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 wiht 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 in the Apple Workout app:

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

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

    Tap the three dots to adjust the workout settingsSelect a setting to adjust
  6. Use the plus and minus icons to make changes to that setting.
  7. Tap Start when you're ready to begin your workout.

    Add or remove time using the plus and minus iconsTap 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

Related: How to Add a Custom Workout on the Apple Watch

How to Add a Workout to an Apple Watch Manually

To add a workout to your Apple Watch after the workout has already concluded, you'll need to enter it in the Health app. Here's how:

  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. On the top right, tap Add Data.

  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 goal on your Apple Watch!

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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.