Help! My Apple watch is not recording exercises [Easy Fix]

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Is your Apple Watch not recording exercises? It happens from time to time. Unfortunately, when it does, it is both annoying and frustrating. 

This article looks at what you can do when you notice your Apple Watch is not properly recording your exercises and workouts. Is there any easy fix? Don’t worry; it is usually easy to fix, and you should not have to contact Apple’s support. 

Ready? Let’s dive in!

How does the Apple Watch Track and Record Exercise? 

Before we start providing you with fixes on how to master the Apple Watch and the watch app, we need to explain how the Apple Watch records exercise. 

You may presume that everything you do counts as exercise on Apple Watch. This is not the case. What counts as exercise on Apple Watch is based on individual personal health data. 

As you probably know, your Apple Watch tracks your heart rate continuously. When your heart rate elevates for more than one minute, the Apple Watch thinks you are doing an exercise. 

This means if your heart rate during a workout closely matches your resting heart rate, the time spent exercising does not count towards the exercise minutes displayed on Apple Watch. 

Other workout minutes are also based on the pace you are moving at. For example, a slow walk towards the 19th hole at the golf club may not count. 

In other words, not elevating your heart rate enough means your Apple Watch does not record your leisurely outdoor walk to the clubhouse. This is one of the reasons your watch may not record your exercise.

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Recording Exercise Minutes?

There are numerous ways in which you can fix this without getting too technical: 

  • Adjust your personal data
  • Reset fitness calibration mode
  • Adjust the way you wear your watch

Make Sure You Wear Your Watch In The Right Way

The first thing to do is to check you are wearing your Apple Watch correctly. For example, are you wearing your Apple Watch on the wrist you set it up for? Wrist detection is essential when it comes to motion calibration.

Secondly, check the strap on the watch. The strap mustn’t be too tight or loose. The fit of your Apple Watch should be snug, and it should not feel like slipping. 

At the same time, the strap mustn’t be too tight. A tight strap interferes with blood flow. The result is the wrong heart rate is recorded. Your watch and strap should never cut into your wrist at any time.  A snug fit is okay. That allows for heart rate data recording.

Don’t Forget to Update your Personal Data

When you want to use your Apple Watch to track your personal exercise data, you need to make sure you update the information. For instance, your watch will not know you have lost weight unless you tell it. 

Your data allows for accurate tracking of your exercise and workouts. 

Providing your personal data is accurate, your watch continues to record physical activity, including how many minutes you exercise, the number of stairs you climb, the distance covered, and the number of steps you take during the day. 

Apple Watch Update Personal Data

This is how you update personal data: 

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone or another iOS device
  • Scroll down until you come to health and tap health
  • You should now see Health Details. Tap on it. 
  • In the top right-hand corner, tap edit
  • Tap the health data you would like to change, for instance weight. 
  • After you have changed the data, tap done, which appears in the top right-hand corner.

Matching Your Exercise With The Right Workout

The way the Apple Watch tracks workouts varies somewhat. Tracking changes depending on what workout you choose. Also, don’t assume all workouts are only based on speed. Heart rate comes into the equation as well. 

Your watch should credit you with one exercise when your rate stays above the average walking pace of 3.3 mph. Check your Apple Watch series. Not every watch has a specific heart or pace monitoring function

Check Location Tracking Settings On Your Apple Watch

Your watch can only make the most out of tracking when all settings are optimized. If your location tracking is not turned on, you must do so. Unless all of your settings are fully optimized, your watch and watch app can’t record your activity correctly. 

Apple Watch Location Settings

This is how to do it: 

  • Open the settings app on iPhone
  • Scroll down the screen to Privacy
  • Tap Location Services
  • The Location Services setting should be green, indicating it is enabled. 
  • Scroll to Apple Watch workouts and ensure “while using” is indicated. 
  • If it is not indicated, tap Apple Watch workouts.
  • Check that Precise Location is toggled on. 

Once you have completed this set of instructions, calibrate your iPhone with your watch. 

Calibrating Your Apple Watch

Making sure your calibration is up to date is essential. From time to time, recalibrating your Apple Watch is a good idea as it keeps it more accurate

When your Apple Watch device is correctly calibrated, it continues to measure and record your physical activity, including distances, paces, exercise minutes, and calories. 

One of the benefits of having a watch with cellular capability is that you don’t need to bring your phone or device. But, if it only has GPS, you need to have your iOS device with you to complete the watch calibration. 

How To Calibrate Your Apple Watch in simple steps?

  • First, go to a flat open outdoor area with a good GPS reception. 
  • On your Apple Watch, open the Workout app
  • Select Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run.
  • You should now walk or run for a minimum of 20 minutes at your average pace. 

Remember you need to wear your watch to do this. Your activity calibrates your Apple Watch with your steps, pace, and distance, making accounting in your Activity metrics more accurate. 

Resetting Calibration Data on Apple Watch

You should reset fitness calibration data when you suspect your Apple Watch is not tracking workout information accurately

Apple Watch Reset Fitness Calibration Data
  • Open the watch app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down the screen until you come to Privacy
  • Tap on Privacy
  • Select Reset Fitness Calibration Data.
  • The next step is to select Reset Fitness Calibration Data which appears at the bottom of the screen. 

When you are done, you need to calibrate your watch with your phone according to the steps we have already set out. 

If this does not work, you may have to do a factory reset on your Apple Watch.  This is a last resort fix. Contact support if the issue persists.

Is Your Software Up to Date? 

Before you go to the extreme of a factory reset, you should check your software is up to date. Unfortunately, this is something many Apple Watch users forget to do.

The fastest way is to use WiFi on your watch for the latest version of updates. The watch should preferably be on its charger for Download and Install. 

Is The Power Reserve On? 

When your watch operates in Power Saving Mode, it doesn’t track activity. Your watch battery may also be too low.

If it is under 10%, any activity you do is not recorded as it automatically enters Power Reserve. On the face watch, you will notice the red low battery icon. 

When your power is low, you need to charge. Apple support recommends charging your watch for at least 30 minutes. In reality, it is best to charge it fully as intermittent short charging periods affect battery life. 

Is Your Wrist Detection On? 

Wrist detection from Apple is a good thing as it keeps the information on the watch safe when you are not wearing it. 

But your Apple Watch is meant to be worn on your wrist to record activity. If placed in your pocket, it does not record arm motion and record activities. So for your watch to record activity, wrist detection should be on

Is Your Watch Unlocked? 

Have you set up a password for your watch? If so, you must ensure it is unlocked before you start doing any physical activity.

When you do a lot of exercises, it is a good idea to set your Apple Watch to unlock automatically. You can do so from your iPhone by going to the Settings app, selecting passcode, and turning on Unlock with iPhone.

Another alternative is to turn off your passcode altogether. 

Restarting Your iOS Devices

The other thing you can do is restart your devices. It is easy for both to “pick up” each other again. Leave both off for a couple of minutes and then perform a restart.

Apple also recommends you unpair your watch with the paired iPhone or device

You do this by going to the watch app and selecting All Watches. Next, tap on the information icon next to your particular Apple Watch. Now you tap on Unpair Apple Watch. 

Don’t forget to pair it with your phone again. 

Let’s Wrap It Up

Before we go, just a quick note about wrist tattoos. According to Apple Support, specific ink colors and tattoo patterns can interfere with sensor performance and block light. Although this is rare, it is important to remember that you wear your Apple Watch if you have tattoos on the wrist.

If you have continued problems with the “Apple Watch Not Recognising Exercise,” it is best to contact Apple support and ask them to help you fix the problem.