How To Fix Apple Watch Not Counting Outdoor Walk As Exercise

Anyone know why my Apple Watch isn’t counting an outdoor walk or jog as exercise? 🤔 Is there something in settings I’m supposed to turn on to have it count?

Here are some suggestions if your Apple Watch does not count your exercise activities.

Start a Workout

Glynnis Fairbanks

Are you starting a workout?

If yes, open the workout in the Fitness App and the details are there.

Apple treats walking as a fitness exercise. Need watch arm moving, elevated and consistent heart rate, brisk pace of less than 20’ per mile.

Check your Workout Pace

Gene Stalnecker

If you go into the watch app and then in the workout section there’s a screen where you can set which metrics are displayed while using the workout. In Outdoor Walk you can put “Current Pace” on the screen, that way you can get an idea of where you’re at pace-wise DURING the walk. Keep that number as far below 20’00” as you can. If you have a watch that can use Always on Display this is a good time to have it on.

Also keep in mind it’s using the GPS to calculate pace so you can’t just walk a few steps and see your “speed”…you need to have some forward travel for it to measure distance and make the calculation.

Another good idea to get in the “zone” is to use a metronome to learn what a true “brisk walk” feels like. This one gets you there…click/left click/right etc etc. Also every time you do this for over 20 minutes at any consistent pace it adds data that helps keep the watch calibrated.

It’s your hear rate

Helen Maltby-Cottrell

Your heart rate must be raised. If I go for a regular walk it doesn’t count it. I have to walk VERY fast.

A question from Vik: Does outdoor walking not count on the green ring? I couldn’t get it to log the walk before, but it’s doing that now. I was expecting it to log as exercising on the green ring too. 

Other Answers

Leslie Pilz

Here’s a good question when I walk on my treadmill and walk 30 40 minutes my Apple Watch does not register on my green circle, but when I walk outside it registers. Anyone know what I am going wrong? Thank you in advance.

Laura Adele

You have to be working at a certain heart rate to log it as exercise.

Todd Mates

You have to have your heart rate up so high or it won’t count as exercise, the green ring.

Nina Smith

Have to turn it on “other open goal” for however many minutes it is to close that green ring. Mine is 30. Then I swipe right and press + and swap it over to outdoor walk.

Gene Stalnecker

The green Ring isn’t a generic “timer” it is counting consistent MET minutes at 3 MET or higher which is the medical definition of “exercise”. MET means “Metabolic Equivalent of Task” and in simple terms it’s sort of like a way to express human “horsepower”, or your ability to move your own body weight at a given pace. This makes heart rate the RESULT of exercise not the definition of it, and what the watch does is use your heart rate at an exertion level of 3 MET to define “your” fitness abilities. And for every full minute you spend at 3 MET, the ring moves by one minute. People assume it’s heart rate because often getting the heart rate up might give you more credit, but that’s because you raise your heartbeat by increasing your PACE, again showing that heart rate is a product of reaching a certain level of exercise and is different for everyone.

Bottom line – get the average walking pace to be below 20 minutes per mile (around 12 minutes per km) and the ring will close just fine.

Bill EA

I use ‘other’ often, instead of walk. I keep heart beat up, will walk a bit, jog a bit, do some wall pushups along the way, a few squats, etc. It has always told me at 30 min that my green was closed. I think cause, my heart rate is up.

Heather Jean

That outdoor walk timer helps calibrate your steps and GPS, but it’s super stingy with exercise minutes based on heart rate.

Meanwhile sometimes my tachycardia closes my exercise ring before breakfast.

Glynnis Fairbanks

Apple treats walking as a fitness exercise. Need watch arm moving, elevated and consistent heart rate, brisk pace of less than 20’ per mile. Open the workouts and look at them side-by-side.

Markus Pajussaar

I usually log my walk in manually for green ring (I usually walk 5km per day and it counts only as 20min of my 60min goal)

Angela Varga

You can add the total duration manually too. I do this sometimes when I go for a bike ride. Because I am not hoofing it for 30 minutes I feel I did the 30 minutes, so I add the time needed to close my ring.

Rebecca Lipscomb

I calibrated my watch and iphone, had my heart rate at 101% of maximum heart rate, had arms moving and it still didn’t give me all the minutes using outdoor walk. I now use other unless I want to refresh the calibration or get a V02 max reading.

Vivi Phimmasone

Check your pace by clicking on the workout.

Depending your age, and if all your settings are correct, you should maintain a constant heart rate above X bpm during a minimum of 10 minutes for the watch to start counting the workout minutes…When i go on a walk with my mom for example, at her pace, it doesn’t register the minutes as exercise minutes due to her slower pace. Hope this helped.

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  1. The VO2 max was working perfect until end of February 2021.
    After an software update from Apple it stopped. There is a bug in the system what is
    not yet repaired by Apple. I bought a new iPhone 12 and a new watch 6 series.
    After contact with Apple they told me that I,am not the only one and that the engineers
    are working on it. I wonder how long that will take after 89 feedbacks nothing happened yet.,


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