How To Use Apple Fitness App Without An Apple Watch For Daily Workouts

If you are not an Apple Watch user, you may have noticed a new app on your iPhone after upgrading to iOS 16. In addition to editing and undoing text messages and personalizing your lock screen, the new software update brings everyone the Apple Fitness app. For beginners, that means access to an activity ring and tracking workouts from your phone – no watch required. To start, here’s what you need to know about using the Apple Fitness app without an Apple Watch for your daily workout.

After months of waiting, the highly anticipated iOS 16 update finally arrived on September 12th. Along with changes to Messages and the lock screen, iOS 16 also includes new Security Check, Accessibility, and Live Text features, as well as improvements to Mail, Wallet, and access to the Fitness app. IYDK, the fitness app, used to be exclusive to Apple Watch, but with the new update you can keep track of all types of workouts right from your phone and track your daily activity with an activity ring that tracks how much you’re working out throughout the day move throughout the day. Plus, Apple Fitness+ even gives you access to 11 different workouts like yoga, Pilates, strength and cycling from some of the world’s best trainers when an iOS 16 update arrives later this year.

If you’re new to the fitness app, you’re probably wondering how it works. Here’s the rundown of how to track your workout stats with the new app on iOS 16.

How to use the Apple Fitness app on iPhone

To access the fitness app, you must first install the iOS 16 update. In addition:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Navigate to the “General” tab and then tap on the “Software Update” option.
  • If your phone is eligible for the update, you’ll see an option that says “Upgrade to iOS 16.”
  • Tap the iOS 16 button, then tap the Install button and accept the terms of the privacy agreement.
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Once your phone finishes downloading iOS 16, the software will be installed automatically.


Once you update your phone, you can start exercising with the fitness app. To start, open the app and tap the Next button at the bottom of the screen. The app will ask you to provide your date of birth, height, weight, etc., but it is not mandatory to fill out this section. Next, you’ll be asked to set a daily exercise goal, which is the number of calories burned. You can set a light, medium, or high goal depending on how active you are or how active you want to be – and the app will assign you a movement goal. Now your app is officially ready to use.

Track activity in the iPhone Fitness app

Every time you open the app you can see a summary of your activity, trends and awards. The Activity section shows how much progress you have left to meet your move goal for the day, as well as how many steps you’ve taken, how far you’ve traveled, and how many flights you’ve climbed.

As you get closer to your goal, the red activity ring will become more complete. Once the circle is complete, you know you’ve reached your goal. Your trends and awards will fill in as you use the app more.

Can You Add Exercise Rings and Stand Rings in the iPhone Fitness App?

According to MyHealthyApple, the iPhone version of the fitness app doesn’t include an exercise or stand ring unless you’ve linked an Apple Watch to your account. Too bad I know.

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However, you can add more workout rings to your activity ring by downloading the Nike Run Club: Running Coach app, Runkeeper Distance Run Tracker app, or Zones For Training app directly from your fitness app. Sure, it’s not the same as having an Apple Watch, but hey – at least it is something.


Workouts on the iPhone Fitness App

The only way to track a workout with your iPhone (without an Apple Watch) is to download a compatible third-party app to add to your activity rings and perform the workout with your phone on you. If you don’t do this, the Workouts section won’t appear on your fitness app’s main page.

Once you’ve downloaded a third-party training app like Nike Run Club or Runkeeper, you can track your workouts that way – and your rings should fill up once your workout information has been recorded.

Work out with Apple Fitness+ on iPhone

When Apple’s Fitness+ workout subscription program launches on iPhone later in fall 2022, you’ll have access to thousands of audio and video workouts, as well as guided meditations and dance classes, anytime. Fitness+ subscriptions are $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year and can be shared with up to five family members.

The Fitness+ tab will be in the middle section of the Fitness app later this year.

Share activities with friends in iPhone Fitness App

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a Share tab where you can share your workouts, send messages and receive progress notifications with your friends to support, challenge and cheer you on.

To share your information, tap the Get Started button at the bottom of the Share page, then tap the profile icon in the right corner. Next, tap the plus sign icon in the right corner and start typing your friends’ names as if you’re about to send a new text message. Select the names you want to share your data with, then tap Send in the top right.

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How to change your fitness goal

To change your move target, all you have to do is tap on the profile icon in the top right corner of the screen and then select “Change move target”. From there, you can increase or decrease your goal by tapping the plus or minus sign on the screen. When you’re done, tap the Change Move Goal button at the bottom of the screen to solidify your goal.

You can also change your preferred unit of measure by tapping the profile icon and selecting the Units of Measure option under the Change Move Target button. You can measure your energy in calories, kilocalories, or kilojules, and measure distance in yards, meters, or kilometers.


More features of the iPhone Fitness App

The Trends section tracks your activity and training rings data over time, and you can access your trends after 180 days of activity. To access a previous day’s data, tap the calendar icon in the top-right corner and select the day you want to revisit.

Last but not least, you can stock up on honors like New Move Record, Longest Move Streak, Perfect Week Award and Perfect Month Award in the Awards section. You get the awards as you tick off milestones with your activity and workout rings.

The new Apple Fitness app for non-Watch users has a few differences, but there’s plenty to keep you going – just make sure you keep your phone with you to close your activity ring.

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