Why does Apple Watch not count outdoor cycling as exercise?

Answered by Jason Smith

There can be several reasons why Apple Watch may not count outdoor cycling as exercise. Let’s explore some possible explanations:

1. Incorrect Settings: It’s important to ensure that the necessary settings are enabled on both your iPhone and Apple Watch. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Motion Calibration & Distance, and make sure it is turned on. Additionally, in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, go to Privacy > Fitness Tracking and ensure that it is enabled for cycling.

2. Inaccurate GPS Data: Apple Watch relies on GPS data to track outdoor activities like cycling. If the GPS data is not accurately capturing your movement or if there is poor satellite reception, it may lead to incorrect or no exercise credit. It is worth checking if you have a clear view of the sky during your cycling sessions to improve GPS accuracy.

3. Intensity Threshold: Apple Watch uses a specific threshold to determine whether an activity qualifies as exercise. This threshold is often linked to your heart rate and movement intensity. If your cycling pace or heart rate does not meet the required threshold, Apple Watch may not count it as exercise. It’s possible that your cycling intensity needs to be adjusted to meet the criteria for exercise credit.

4. Third-Party Apps or Settings: If you are using a third-party workout app to track your cycling, it’s possible that the app’s settings are not properly integrated with Apple Health. Ensure that the app is authorized to write data to Apple Health and that the necessary permissions are granted. Additionally, check if any custom settings within the app may affect exercise tracking.

5. Software or Firmware Issues: Occasionally, software or firmware bugs can cause issues with exercise tracking on Apple Watch. Ensure that both your iPhone and Apple Watch are running the latest software updates. If any known issues are reported by Apple, they may release updates or fixes to address them.

6. Wrist Placement: Apple recommends wearing the Apple Watch on the wrist that corresponds to the hand you write with. This is because the motion sensors and heart rate sensor are optimized for that wrist placement. If you wear the watch on the non-dominant hand or in a different position, it may affect the accuracy of exercise tracking.

It’s worth noting that Apple Watch uses a combination of sensors and algorithms to determine exercise credit, and it may not always be perfect. If you have tried the above suggestions and are still experiencing issues, reaching out to Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store can provide further assistance and troubleshooting.