Cardio Recovery: What Is This Feature And How Do You Track It?

Apple‘s Cardio Recovery is one of the new features in watchOS 9 along with iOS 16. To learn more about this function, including what it is, how to track it with an Apple Watch, why it’s useful, what excellent Cardio Recovery statistics are, and suggestions for improvement, continue reading.

It turns out that this was previously accessible on the Apple Watch and was known as “heart rate recovery.” Apple changed the feature’s name to Cardio Recovery in watchOS 9 and iOS 16—possibly to match its Cardio Fitness (VO2 max) measure in the Health app. Notably, the function only appeared in the Fitness app until being extended to the Health app with iOS 16.

Like VO2 max, Cardio Recovery is a not so popular health metric that is calculated by Apple Watch every time you workout.

What Is Cardio Recovery And Do You Think It Is Important?

Your heart rate’s initial post-exercise decline is measured by cardio recovery (heart rate recovery). In a similar manner to heart rate variability, heart rate recovery (HRR) provides a snapshot of your heart’s health by measuring how quickly it reacts to the autonomic nervous system.
Your cardio recovery will be monitored automatically via Apple Watch (heart rate recovery). Make careful to keep your wearable on for three minutes after you finish recording your workout since this might happen (per Apple).
To access your data (cardio recovery in iOS 16/watchOS 9 and heart rate recovery in iOS 15/watchOS 8 and earlier):

-On Apple Watch, head to the Heart Rate app

-Swipe or scroll to the bottom

-As long as you have a workout recorded for the day, you should see a Recovery section in watchOS 8, labeled Post-Workout in watchOS 9

-Tap it to see details

-Cardio/heart rate recovery shows how much your heart rate decreased both 1 and 2 minutes after your workout

-Keep in mind you’ll need to leave your Apple Watch on after workouts for the HRR reading to be measured

There are multiple ways to improve Cardio Recovery (heart rate recovery). Wearable maker Whoop has shared this list of tips to improve the responsiveness between your heart and autonomic nervous system:

-Quality sleep

-Stay hydrated

-Eat a nutritious diet

-Practice meditation or breathwork

-Reduce stress

-Avoid alcohol