How to get your winter Apple Watch workouts to count!

I've been doing "outdoor walk" workouts with my Apple Watch since Series 2 launched in September. I'm well on my way three perfect months — filling the stand, move, and exercise rings each and every day — and I don't want to mess that up. So, the other day, when I walked for an hour and barely scored ten minutes of exercise credit, I panicked. I walked for half an hour more and barely got another few minutes. More panic. What was happening?

I was exhausted, my leg muscles were sore, and my Watch was basically laughing at me.

So I stopped. I checked to make sure my Watch was on properly. I checked to make sure the update I'd begun in the morning but couldn't finish before I left — no time to put it back on the charger! — hadn't caused any problems. And then I remembered horse, not zebra. And I checked the workout.

It had snowed the night before, which meant instead of walking on a gravel path like usual, I was walking on fresh powder. It was a much harder workout, but it was also a slower one as I had to fight for every step, especially uphill. As a result, my muscular exertion was higher but my cardio was lower. And that's not good for "outdoor walk", which factors pace into its calculations.

So, today, I stuck to the same hike but instead of "outdoor walk" I chose "other workout". It's partially a cop-out but also partially a genius work around. Since it's not specific to walking, it's not pace-based. And that means, when I walked for 45 minutes, I got 45 minutes of credit.

I was still exhausted, my leg muscles were still sore, but now my Watch was laughing with me, not at me.

While I was out, I saw several people walking with snow shoes and several more using cross-country skies. I live near a huge nature preserve, so there are a lot of options. I'd love to try out both. Apple Watch doesn't (yet!) have any winter-based workouts, but I figure I can use "other workout" for all of that, at least for now. Downhill as well, which I'll be starting up again soon.

It's smart that Apple included "other workout" for just that reason. Given how arduous it is to measure and optimize every type of workout, it'll take a while for them to really round out the offerings — where's skating on the list, both ice and roller?

This way, I can hit the snow and still have my exercise show. And that means I can hopefully nail at least a few more perfect months.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.