Apple Watch App for Tracking Walks

I’m looking for an Apple Watch apps that will track my daily walks as exercise. I know sometimes the built-in app doesn’t give credit for this and want an app that will move my exercise ring. I’m trying to get away from the computer screen and get healthier and I need the motivation! Thanks.

I found myself experimenting similarly. I was using Runkeeper because they offered a challenge of 20 miles in 20 days. Unfortunately, I found that the data was inconsistent between the 3rd party app and WatchOS in terms of crediting my rings. I ultimately had to use both. Runkeeper for the 20 days competition and the WatchOS activities app to get better credit in closing my rings. I will be interested to see if anyone else has better insight.

Did you try Workouts++?


I use “StepsApp” and it works great! The watch complication is great too!

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With the next WatchOS we will get hiking as activity. :slight_smile: In the meantime try Workouts++

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I have the same frustration with the walks activity not closing the exercise ring. I think it’s based on my pace, but it might also include heart rate(?). I haven’t found a consistent means of testing it.

Try to walk faster, i can close the green one completely and the red one to 50% with a 1h walk to my local bakery. I read somewhere or maybe heard on the bbc health podcast - the right pace is if you got slightly out of breath, but can clearly talk.

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There was a similar question a week or so ago. You can create a custom workout for your walks using the standard WatchOS (and name it whatever you want). Heart rate etc will not be used. I tracked down and put a link to Apple’s instructions.

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Thanks, Ron. I read that post and followed your links. I was hoping for some advise on an app that would move the exercise ring. I asked the question on that thread, but I never got an answer, so I started a new thread. Thankful for the good replies and ideas here! I will download those apps and give it another try.

Yeah, there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. Some walks are tracked that were pretty easy, or it even tracks when I’m shopping, but then other walks where I am working hard and out of breath don’t count at all, or as was the case yesterday, get added on hours late for some reason. I want an app that tracks when I want it to. I’m going to try workouts ++ and some of the others suggested on here. I’m excited for hiking to be added. I live in the mountains at high elevation, so sometimes I don’t cover a lot of ground in terms of mph, but I’m working my tail off in thin mountain air. I’m not sure apple’s algorithm takes that into account.

No, I’ll check it out. Thanks!

This is strange, I walk every day at about 20-30 bpm over my normal rate without any workouts app started and it always registers against the workout and move goals. Not 1:1, but at least at 60-70% rate, depending on my pace that day. Maybe the problems you’re having are caused by hardware, rather than software.

This might be a dumb question, but are you remembering to turn the app on every time you want it tracking? There are lots of cartoons out there that describe some of us not getting credit for our workouts because we forgot to set the app.


Having read the rest of the comments, I think I understand better than when I clicked on the topic… :slight_smile:

I don’t know why setting an “outdoor walk” gives me 1/3 the ‘credit’ that an “indoor walk” does. But it’s the reason that my streak is 703 days instead of around 1000… :frowning:

Anyway, the watch DOES track the workout, if you set it to workout mode… I don’t know why it gives so much less credit. You can always do it as an indoor walk if that gives you the result you want. :slight_smile: My buddy has the same problem with his watch and I’ve noticed this on series 1, 2 and now 3… So I think it’s a matter of expectations, not hardware.

I’m looking forward to WatchOS 5 because it should be ‘better’ at automatically detecting when a workout starts (or stops), though.

My assumption is that none of the 3rd party apps are going to do better, because they’re almost definitely using the Apple APIs under the covers.

I haven’t spent much time comparing various “workout” types, but I do see a consistent 10-20% difference in the # of steps … less on the native app versus Pedometer++ or Workout++. As a senior-senior, my cardiologist wants my heart rate under 140 max, and I notice if I don’t exceed about 85-90, I don’t get any credit for exercise on the native app. Since my resting rate is 58-60 I am working hard! It would sure be helpful for gym workouts, etc to have more information about how these algorithms work. Are they tuned to our age?

Haha. Not that dumb of a question! I’ve forgotten to turn on the app in several instances, but not the ones I’m talking about in this post. I think there will be an update relatively soon that will address this issue. I’ve lost credit for several workouts because I forgot to tell my watch I was working out. So bummed after I realize!

I did not know this! Thank you for posting. Who does “indoor walks” except at an indoor track or mall or something? I’ve never tracked an indoor walk so I would have never known this. I agree that makes zero sense. The terrain, weather, elevation change, all of these impact calorie burn in ways indoor walks would not have similar change of environment. I’m sorry your streak got messed up. That’s a real bummer.

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I have a treadmill desk… I walk indoors 1-2 hours a day, almost every day.

Thanks, I was pretty annoyed about the streak. Especially when a buddy told me “Hey, you missed it by 10 calories? Why didn’t you just lower your target?” and I said “WHAT!!! I didn’t know that was possible!” Darn force touch hidden options… :wink:

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Perhaps I do need to retrain it. I haven’t looked at those settings in a long time. My BPM is definitely over 100 and I’m breathing heavily. I live at 7,000’ elevation, so a steep hill will get me breathing hard in a hurry. The health app is seeing the activity, but it’s not counting it as exercise. On the other hand, I’ve seen it count a shopping trip when I was walking briskly through the isles, but not nearly as hard as my climb up the mountain. That doesn’t seem right. The later is definitely harder than shopping!

Yep, a leisurely stroll isn’t a walk for the purposes of exercise as far as the watch algorithms are concerned. Gotta step it up a bit!