What Is Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch?

The fitness game has gone to a whole new level in the Apple Watch era. With a myriad of fitness features, it is now a lot more convenient to track your physical activities than ever before. Different fitness options are suitable for specific exercises. However, the mixed cardio option might seem a bit mysterious to many users. So, what is mixed cardio on Apple Watch actually?

The mixed cardio feature is helpful when you are doing multiple workouts at the same time and want to keep track of all of them. In this guide, we will take you through the nuances of mixed cardio on Apple Watch. Let’s get started.

What Is Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch: A Brief Explanation

Mixed cardio refers to performing multiple aerobic exercises simultaneously. For example, if you do aerobic workouts, such as jumping, squatting, and other workouts at the same time, this will be mixed cardio. The Apple Watch can track all your physical activities during these workouts. 

This form of workout is completely different from HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training. In HIIT workouts, you perform only one aerobic exercise at a time. For example, if you are swimming or running, HIIT is the right option for you.

What Are Different Workouts on Apple Watch?

Different Workouts on Apple Watch

Under the Workout app on your Apple Watch, you will find many different exercises. Here is a quick overview of them.

  • Walk: Whether you walk outdoors or on the treadmill, you can use this option to track your activity. For indoor walks, you need to select the Indoor Walk option. And for outdoor walks, select the Outdoor Walk option.
  • Run: Depending on whether you are running indoors or outdoors, you can select the desired option to track various metrics.
  • Cycling: This option can measure both indoor cycling and outdoor cycling activities.
  • HIIT: If you do intense exercises in cycles, including rest periods, this option is more suitable. 
  • Hiking: While hiking outdoors, you can measure the pace, elevation, distance, and other metrics using this option. 
  • Swimming: It tracks your activity while swimming in pools or open water.

More workout options are available on your Apple Watch to use when necessary. For now, we will focus on the mixed cardio part of the Workout app.

How to Use Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch?

Using mixed cardio on your Apple Watch is pretty simple. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can activate the option.

Step 1: Go to the Workout app on the Apple Watch. You will see all the workout icons on the display.

Step 2: From there, you need to select Mixed Cardio. But it might not be in the menu by default. You need to add it manually.

Scroll through the options and check if the Mixed Cardio option is there.

Tap on the Mixed Cardio workout if you find it.

If it is in the menu, tap on the option to launch it and skip to Step 5. Otherwise, move on to the next step.

Step 3: Scroll all the way to the bottom and you will find the Add Workouts option. Tap the option to add mixed cardio.

Scroll down at the bottom & press Add Workout button

Step 4: Find the Mixed Cardio option from there and tap on it. The option will be added to the menu.

Select mixed cardio from the menu

Step 5: After opening the Mixed Cardio option, you can select your preferred workout and start working out without setting any goals.

But if you want to set goals for multiple workouts, follow the next step.

Step 6: There are three vertical dots at the top right corner of the display. Tap it and set the Time.

If the exercise is cardio-based, only the Time option will be available to set. For other activities, you will get Time and Distance options.

Step 7: If you don’t have any goals in mind but want to track the activities, you can choose the Open Goal option. In this case, you don’t need to set any time or distance and the workout will start right away.

Step 8: When you set your goals you can tap “Start”. There will be a countdown of three seconds and the app will start tracking your activities.

From there, it will continuously monitor multiple metrics to give you a complete overview of your exercise performance.

Pros and Cons of Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch

Though it is challenging to give a concrete verdict, mixed cardio has some distinct benefits. Take a look.


  • In mixed cardio exercises, you need to work out for a longer period, which is helpful for overall improvement.
  • If you continue mixed cardio workouts for a long time, the metabolism increases drastically. 
  • Aerobic fitness improves over time due to mixed cardio workouts.
  • Mixed cardio doesn’t need frequent intervals for recovery.


  • As mixed cardio reduces muscle mass, it is also not a sustainable way to lose weight.
  • Anaerobic improvement is less prominent in mixed cardio.


Even though various workout options are available on your Apple Watch, the mixed cardio feature is of immense help when you want to combine aerobic exercises and track your activity with or without any goals.

Many people ask, what is mixed cardio on Apple Watch. We talked about mixed cardio in detail here so that you understand the concept and can activate the option easily.

From the Workout app on your Apple Watch, you can choose the mixed cardio option. Then, set goals or skip that part to start your exercise and Apple Watch will track your activity accurately.

Our author Rik Sarkar writes an article on the difference Between Apple Watch GPS and Cellular. If you are planning to upgrade/Buy a new Apple Watch, this might help you.

Leave a Comment