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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple in watchOS 7 and iOS 14.3 added a new cardio fitness feature that lets Apple Watch owners keep track of their cardio fitness levels through VO2 max measurements. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that the body can use during exercise, and it can be improved through physical activity.

watchos-7-cardio-fitness-1.jpg

Prior to watchOS 7.2, the Apple Watch was only able to estimate higher levels of VO2 max with outdoor walks, runs, or hikes, but now it can also take cardio fitness measurements as users walk throughout the day, allowing those who don't engage in vigorous exercise to see their cardio fitness levels.

Apple measures cardio fitness levels as high, above average, below average, or low relative to people in your same age group and of the same sex, and it needs to be set up in the Health app on iPhone. Here's how:
  1. Open the Health app.
  2. Tap the Browse tab at the bottom.
  3. Search for Cardio Fitness.
    cardio-fitness-levels-setup.jpg
  4. Scroll down to Cardio Fitness Levels.
  5. Tap on "Set Up."
  6. Confirm your health details and enter medications you take that might affect heart rate like beta blockers.
    cardio-fitness-level-confirm-detail.jpg
  7. Tap through to learn about Cardio Fitness.
  8. Tap "Turn on Notifications" if you want to receive notifications when your cardio fitness level is low. Otherwise, tap "Not Now."
    cardio-fitnessl-level-notification.jpg
  9. Tap "Done."
That's all there is to it. From there, the Apple Watch will take cardio fitness measurements during outdoor runs or walks, with the info then aggregated inside the Health app. If cardio fitness levels fall too low and notifications are enabled, the Apple Watch will send notifications with suggestions on how to improve it.

cardio-fitness-level-details.jpg

Apple says that there are multiple factors that can lower cardio fitness levels including age, pregnancy, chronic lung conditions, heart conditions, medications, and illness or injury, which is something to be aware of.

Aerobic exercise that causes the heart rate to rise and makes you breathe hard will give you the biggest boost to cardio fitness. Apple recommends running, cycling, or high-intensity interval training, but says even just adding a few hills to a daily walk helps.

Article Link: How to Set Up Cardio Fitness Levels in watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3
 

totom_

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
62
278
What’s your cardio level? Post your age also!
41.7, age 24. I am shocked. I go to the gym 6x a week and am really trained. I weigh 73kg (161lbs) with little fat. It's either because I barely do cardio, eat a lot of sodium, sleep only around 6h a night (a lot to study and work), or get wasted 2-3 times a week.......

In hindsight, maybe the cardio fitness level makes sense 😅😅
 
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spook

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2004
157
129
I have a fitbit currently.
I am thinking of getting a Apple Watch 6 aswell, but is it true that the Apple Watch doesn't take continous heart rate readings?

On my fitbit watch face it has a heart icon and is taking a reading all the time. I have the first ever apple watch and it only takes a ready when I open the heart App?
 
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spook

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2004
157
129
41.7, age 24. I am shocked. I go to the gym 6x a week and am really trained. I weigh 73kg (161lbs) with little fat. It's either because I barely do cardio, eat a lot of sodium, sleep only around 6h a night (a lot to study and work), or get wasted 2-3 times a week.......

In hindsight, maybe the cardio fitness level makes sense 😅😅
as mentioned in a previous post, I have a fitbit, but I think VO2 max for indoor GYM work is faked a bit, it takes a more representive reading if running with GPS, not sure if the same stands for a Apple Watch
 
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unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
2,460
3,642
Did anyone else’s level drop dramatically after installing the update? I lost about 15 points off my VO2 max after updating to 14.3...
 
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3rdiguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 17, 2012
1,240
381
I’m having a issue here. So I went to set this up and it has data from 2019 but nothing else. How do I wipe that and set up new?
 
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Moakesy

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
548
1,105
UK
I have a fitbit currently.
I am thinking of getting a Apple Watch 6 aswell, but is it true that the Apple Watch doesn't take continous heart rate readings?

On my fitbit watch face it has a heart icon and is taking a reading all the time. I have the first ever apple watch and it only takes a ready when I open the heart App?
AW takes your pulse throughout the day. Not sure if it’s continuous, but it’s close to that.

I have the HR min/max chart as one of my complications on my watch face. Like this one..

b5adf659-c120-4b8c-85cb-33ba1bd5ea73-jpeg.1694214
 

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totom_

macrumors member
May 5, 2020
62
278
AW takes your pulse throughout the day. Not sure if it’s continuous, but it’s close to that.

I have the HR min/max chart as one of my complications on my watch face. Like this one..

b5adf659-c120-4b8c-85cb-33ba1bd5ea73-jpeg.1694214
May I ask how you managed to set heart rate up to show like this? For me it looks like this:

Screen Shot 2020-12-15 at 00.22.37.png


EDIT: Nevermind, I found it. It's Infographic Modular.
 
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BrendanChase

macrumors newbie
Dec 14, 2020
2
1
I accidentally missed the part where you add the medications in. I take a beta blocker. Does anyone know if you can go through the process again and add them in?
 
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chucker23n1

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2014
5,919
7,512
I accidentally missed the part where you add the medications in. I take a beta blocker. Does anyone know if you can go through the process again and add them in?
On your phone, go to the Watch app, Health, Health Details, Edit. It’s near the bottom.
 
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chucker23n1

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2014
5,919
7,512
I'm surprised nobody has answered this and it isn't mentioned in the article. Guess I'll keep looking.
The press release makes no mention, so presumably it works with any Watch that runs 7.x. Including Series 3.

(Why not just try?)
 
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