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What Is Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch?

Exercise With Apple Watch

There are over 20 Apple Watch home workouts: strength training, indoor cycling, swimming, running, gymnastics, high-intensity interval training, core training, dance, yoga, pilates, and more.

Quick Answer

Apart from these workout types, there is also the mixed cardio workout. The diverse cardio option tracks exercise that involves more than one exercise regime in the exercise session.

This article will explain the Apple Watch mixed cardio option. Also, you will learn the differences between mixed cardio and HIIT options in an Apple Watch. Finally, you will see how and when to use the mixed cardio option in an Apple Watch.

What Is Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch?

A mixed cardio workout is a workout mode in the Apple Watch where one performs more than one type of workout exercise. It also uses more than one exercise equipment throughout the session.

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The exercise types performed in a mixed cardio workout are aerobic activities. They could involve a mixture of jogging, jumping, pushups, squats, and the like.

Because the mixed cardio workout involves aerobic exercises, it is similar to high-intensity interval exercises. However, they still have their apparent differences, as we see below.

Difference Between Mixed Cardio and HIIT

Mixed cardio and HIIT differ in the number of aerobic exercises. Mixed cardio involves a mixture of aerobic exercises throughout the exercise session. On the other hand, HIIT involves a single aerobic activity throughout the exercise session.

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Consequently, mixed cardio workout uses more than one piece of equipment, while HIIT uses a single piece of equipment during the exercise.

Quick Tip

To decide which workout mode to use, you should ask yourself how much equipment you will use throughout the exercise.

What Workouts Do You Use With Mixed Cardio?

You use mixed cardio for daily cross-fitness exercises such as moderate jogging, jumping, skipping, squatting, etc.

For exercises during self-isolation, a mixed cardio workout is beneficial. You will find many YouTube exercise videos suitable for a varied cardio workout.

You can also use mixed cardio to track everyday work at home, such as field lawns, gardening, or exercises that are not to be strictly followed.

Generally, if you use more than one piece of equipment, you should use the mixed cardio option.

What Workouts Do You Use With HIIT?

The HIIT option is for a single training exercise that is of high intensity. For example, an activity involving sprinting, jogging, or cycling. Other sports, such as swimming, racing, and more, fall under HIIT.

One thing to note about HIIT is that it involves medium to long-duration exercise. It also follows an interval rest for recovery before another session begins again.

Nevertheless, the Apple Watch heart rate measurement in HIIT is usually inaccurate. Hopefully, the heart monitor sensor will be innovated in the new Apple Watch series to cope with high-intensity exercises.

However, Apple Watch measures calories in HIIT exercises with great precision using the accelerometer sensor.

Quick Tip

Use a Bluetooth chest or heart strap for accurate heart rate monitoring and connect it with your Apple Watch.

How To Use the Apple Watch for Mixed Cardio Workouts

To use the mixed cardio workout in your Apple Watch, you have first to enlist it. Next, you will set your Apple Watch to track your exercise using the mixed cardio option.

Enlisting Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch

Here is how to enlist the mixed cardio option in your Apple Watch.

  1. Go to the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
  2. If the hybrid cardio option isn’t there, tap “Others” or “Add Workouts”.
  3. Tap “Mixed Cardio” to add it to the list.

Activating Mixed Cardio on Apple Watch

After enlisting it, here are the steps to activate the mixed cardio workout.

  1. Navigate to your Workout app home screen.
  2. Use the Digital Crown button to choose the activity that you want. In this case, you want the mixed cardio option. Therefore, click on it.
  3. To set a time duration for your training, tap the menu icon. Apart from time, you can set a “Distance” or “Open Goal”.
  4. Click “Start”. Your watch will count backward from three to begin your workout.
Keep in Mind

An open goal means you do not set a time or distance to end the workout. Once you set an open plan, your training will begin immediately. And your Apple Watch will track all your physical activities until you pause it in the watch.


Apple Watch’s mixed cardio option features different exercises users can perform with or without equipment. You can use the mixed cardio option to track your daily physical activities. This article explains how to set the mixed cardio option in an Apple Watch. Ultimately, you can use it to improve your performance.

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