watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3 Add Cardio Fitness Notifications

Today's watchOS 7.2 and iOS 14.3 updates introduce a new cardio fitness feature that's designed to let users determine their cardio fitness level and receive notifications on the Apple Watch if it falls into a low range.

watchos 7 cardio fitness 1
Apple says that "breakthrough technology" in watchOS 7 lets the Apple Watch determine cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by VO2 max. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that the body is able to use during exercise, and it can be improved through physical activity.

Prior to now the Apple Watch was already able to estimate higher levels of VO2 max during outdoor walks, runs, or hikes, but by taking advantage of all of the sensors in the Apple Watch, in watchOS 7.2 it's now possible for the watch to take cardio fitness measurements as users walk throughout the day, regardless of whether they're tracking a workout.

"Cardio fitness is increasingly recognized as a powerful predictor of overall health, and with today's update to watchOS 7, we are making it even more accessible to more people," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "Using its advanced sensors, Apple Watch now brings estimation of low cardio fitness levels from clinics directly to a user's wrist, so people have more insight into how they can improve their long-term health through daily activity."

This functionality lets Apple Watch better measure VO2 Max for users who don't often do high-intensity workouts. In a press release announcing the new feature, Apple says that a 2016 study from the American Heart Association recognized a link between low cardio fitness and higher risk of significant health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure later in life.

watchos 7 cardio fitness 2
Cardio Fitness is available as a new category in the Health app on iPhone, and fitness level is classified as high, above average, below average, or low relative to people in your same age group and of the same sex. Users can also track how their cardio fitness levels have changed over the past week, month, or year, and if fitness levels fall into the low range, they can get a notification on Apple Watch that includes guidance on improving it.

Related Roundup: watchOS 9

Top Rated Comments

ArtOfWarfare Avatar
24 months ago
Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
24 months ago

Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
my assumption is for all watchOS 7 watches - have not seen/read anything to the contrary ...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StuBeck Avatar
24 months ago
Does this improve from earlier versions of watch os 7? I ran the beta OS all summer and went from barely being able to run for 5 minutes to running a 10k in November. It said there was zero change in my vo2 max. I'm sure something changed durng that time period.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JM Avatar
24 months ago
Yo, if this works as advertised, then this is awesome for people who work all day and want to make sure they're being active enough to be "healthy"!

That's me. I work all day and worry if I'm being active enough. Me. I want to be healthy.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imola.zhp Avatar
24 months ago

Is this for all Apple Watches that can run watchOS 7, or is it only for some of them?
In the notes for the update on my Apple Watch Series 4 it notes this as an added feature. I figured it would only be for Series 6, crossing fingers it is true.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yellowbean12 Avatar
24 months ago
This will be interesting for me as a cyclist. I do a lot of cardio exercise with my watch but because almost none of it is walking or running, my VO2 readings are very few and far between.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Apple fitness plus winter update collections yoga

Apple Announces Fitness+ Workout Collections and Time to Run [Updated]

Friday January 7, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced Collections and Time to Run for Apple Fitness+, as well as expanded Time to Walk and Artist Spotlight suites. Collections are curated series of workouts and meditations from the Fitness+ library, providing users with a new way to get motivated, remain consistent, and make progress with their sessions. Fitness+ Collections include a suggested plan to help users make...
apple watch abc action news

Apple Watch Saves Woman's Life With Feature She'd Never Heard Of

Wednesday March 23, 2022 1:59 am PDT by
An Apple Watch has been credited with saving a woman's life after it contacted emergency services when she fell, leading to a lung cancer diagnosis, ABC Action News reports. 71-year-old grandmother Raylene Hackenwerth, from Saint Petersburg, Florida, fell in early March, triggering her Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature. The Apple Watch's Fall Detection feature can tell when a wearer has...
apple fitness workout

Apple Fitness+ Turns One Year Old

Wednesday December 15, 2021 9:48 am PST by
Apple Fitness+, Apple's paid fitness subscription service, officially turned one year old this week. The service was announced in September 2020 and launched on December 14, 2020. Fitness+ was initially only available to customers in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US, but last month Apple expanded the service to many more countries. Apple Fitness+ is centered...
apple watch womens day

Apple Planning Apple Watch Activity Challenge for International Women's Day in March

Tuesday March 1, 2022 11:25 am PST by
Apple's next Apple Watch activity challenge is set to take place on International Women's Day, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 8. The Activity Challenge will show up on the Apple Watch as a notification in the days leading up to the event. To win the International Women's Day award, Apple Watch users will need to complete a workout of any kind with a length of at least 20 minutes.M...
fitness plus

UnitedHealthcare Offering Insured Members Free Year of Apple Fitness+

Friday September 24, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Health insurance provider UnitedHealthcare has announced that a 12-month subscription to Apple Fitness+ will be provided to its fully insured members at no extra cost. Starting November 1, members who already own an Apple Watch will be able to sign up for a yearlong Apple Fitness+ subscription for free. According to UnitedHealthcare, this covers about 3 million of its members across most...
image 40

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 Allow You to Restore an Apple Watch Using an iPhone

Monday March 14, 2022 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple today published a new support document indicating that iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 allow an Apple Watch to be restored with a nearby iPhone. The support document states that if an Apple Watch running watchOS 8.5 or later displays an animation showing an Apple Watch and iPhone being brought close together, customers can follow the steps below to initiate the restore process:1. Make sure...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.4.1 With Bug Fixes for Apple Watch Series 4 and Later

Tuesday February 1, 2022 1:18 pm PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.4.1, a minor update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.4.1 comes a week after the release of watchOS 8.4, an update that added a fix for an ongoing charging issue. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.4.1 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.5 With Support for Apple TV Purchase Authorization, Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification Improvements and More

Monday March 14, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 8.5, the fourth major update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.5 comes two months after the launch of watchOS 8.4, which fixed a charging bug. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.5 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
zuckerberg metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is'

Friday September 30, 2022 12:51 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook's discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News. "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook said, echoing comments from...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...