WatchOS 7.2 is out: Apple Watch adds cardio fitness tracking alongside launch of Fitness Plus

The subscription workout service rolls out, while the Apple Watch continues to gain important health features through routine software updates.

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Image: Apple

Apple on Monday released iOS 14.3 along with WatchOS 7.2, both of which include support for the company's new subscription workout service Fitness Plus.

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The workout service was first announced alongside the new iPhone 12 lineup and the Apple Watch Series 6 in September. At the time, Apple said the feature uses the watch's fitness features along with an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV to stream video workouts lead by professional trainers.

The service runs $9.99 a month, $79.99 a year, or is included in the Apple One Premium subscription bundle for $29.95 a month. In addition to Fitness Plus, the Premier bundle includes Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, 2TB of iCloud storage, and Apple News Plus.

Because the workout program leverages the Apple Watch, it makes sense that Apple is also including a way for users to check their cardio fitness levels

Cardiorespiratory fitness uses your V02 max levels to determine how much oxygen your body consumes during a workout. Prior to Monday's update, the Apple Watch could measure V02 levels, but only average to higher levels, and only during an outdoor walk, run or hike. Now, the Apple Watch will be able to measure low cardio fitness levels whenever you walk throughout the day.

The biggest difference here is that the Apple Watch no longer requires an intense workout to measure V02 max and your cardio fitness levels. Users with low readings will receive an alert from the Health app that will provide information about improving their fitness level.

Just like the rest of the Apple Watch health features, you'll need to use the Health app on your iPhone to turn on the new cardio feature.