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How to track a workout with the Microsoft Band

One of the main features of the Microsoft Band is workout tracking. Any physical activity such as playing basketball, your favorite workout routine, or just walking the dog can be recorded. You can view your stats so you can see if there needs to be changes in your routine. Check out our hands-on video to see how it works.

Follow these steps when you're ready to start your workout or other physical activity:

  1. Press the power button on your Microsoft Band
  2. Swipe left, and tap the Exercise Tile
  3. Press the action button to begin your exercise routine.
  4. When you're done or want to take a break, press the action button again.

During the activity, the Microsoft Band stays on. It displays the timer with the duration, current heart rate, and calories burned.

Microsoft Band workout lede

Viewing stats

On your Band, you can see the stats of your most recent activity. It shows your workout duration, calories burned, and max and average heart rate. There's more data available though the Microsoft Health app on your phone. You'll see a chart of the changes in your heart rate throughout the workout, as well as:

  • Workout Duration and recovery time
  • Calories burned with detail on fats and carbs burned
  • Maximum, average, and ending heart rate with high and low

Microsoft Band Workout

It's recommended that you name your activity so that it's better to identify when checking your history. After a workout, head to your most recent activity in the Microsoft Health app and tap 'name' all the way at the bottom. Enter a name for your workout, and tap Accept.

The workout tracker on the Microsoft Band provides a quick and simple way to record your physical activities, whether it is walking the dog or lifting weights at the gym. Is tracking your workout an important feature for you? Will you be using this a lot on the Microsoft Band? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

44 Comments
  • How does it track calories burned?
  • Just like all other devices: steps + HR + age + weight + height = activity level/algorithms
  • So if I'm cycling for example and I increase the resistance, how does in know how much more calories I burn? Just by looking at the increase in hearrate? That doesn't seem accurate. Then again, I never trust the machines in the gym either since different machines give widely varying results.
  • Your weight and heart rate combine to give an accurate picture of calories burned.   It tracks both in the app.
  • Is the glass scratched?
  • Looked like the plastic was scratched. I'm thinking this is going to be something to improve in the next build...
  • Yeah, I've got a few hairline scratches on it already. The store didn't have the free screen protector in stock when I was there.
  • What's the best way to keep it clean without water damage after a heavy workout. First time owning a fitness band
  • It is dust and splash-resistant -- just use it and wipe it down after your workout with clean microfider towel.  
  • Why the long recovery times?  Hours... ?   Also, liked the little show off of the 830 at the end ;)
  • That's an Icon/930.
  • Wow this looks great!
  • How accurate is the heart rate monitoring? I'm really looking forward to getting one of these, but I'm curious about the accuracy of some of these sensors.
  • I need one!
  • That really work whole playing basketball?? Sold if so.
  • Fortunately it's not recommended playing basketball while wearing something on your hand or something like this fitness band.
  • Would be but too scared to accidentally break though
  • This is awesome. I have a fitbit flex but the band is definitely better...heck i believe it's as good as the Surge
  • I got one and I'm impressed... GPS works great and ran it side by side with Runtastic tracking on the trail, better than wearing a heart rate chest strap, even used it at Starbucks. I've had it for two days and now my gal wants one... Great motivational and progress tracking tool - My Band, My Life, LOL....
  • How does it know how many carbs vs fat calories burned? It isn't a heart rate zone thing is it? I hope not.
  • Yes, the proportion of carbs vs fat burned depends on heart rate. Higher heart rates burn carbs, because those release energy faster than fat, which is why you can't sprint for a long period of time.
  • Are there any plans to add a cycling activity option?
  • I would also be all over that. I am not a runner. I have tried, and I'm just not cut out for it.
  • I can't run either, bad for my knees and lower back.  Yesterday I used the Band for cycling and the GPS worked fine but it destroyed my battery life (ate about 40% in 1.5 hours). IT "worked" but I would like to get speed and other cycling related statistics. 
  • Yep, this is exactly what I want when they finally get around to selling them in the UK. Really just a case of adding GPS to the plots above ... seems a no brainer.
  • Here is a real head scratcher for ya. You could use Xbox Fitness while wearing the Band and have your data tracked in two separate apps that do not talk to each other let alone with the existing MSN Health and Fitness app that incidentally does not talk to the Health Vault. Microsoft has four (or five if you count the 360) health and fitness apps/platforms that use the same Microsoft ID to login but do not share the data. Makes no sense at all.
  • Yeah, they really need to consolidate things.
  • I agree as well. Also I thought the MSN Heath and Fitness app integrates with HealthVault?  I had the two linked together with the Windows 8 app.
  • It did but now it will link with Microsoft Health, they didn't call it that when the dropped the Health Vault linking though
  • How does the ms band work along side a set of Bluetooth headphones ie the bh111 from nokia??
  • Yes, it would be even better to sync the exercise routine in the MSN Heath & Fitness app. I follow many of the circuit training routines in MSN Health & Fitness and having the Band track theses routines would be a major plus. Then in version 2 of the Band add a barcode scanner to log our food intake.
  • 930 green back on your Verizon Icon!? Want! Oh and my band arrives Wednesday!
  • In the next video I'd like to see how well the Band works on it's own (without a phone nearby) while running/walking. GPS tracking, distance, etc.
  • For me the GPS has worked 2 out of 4 runs. Both times it didn't work it said searching and appeared to drain the battery quicker then when it said locked for GPS. I live in Orange County CA and have an open sky so it shouldn't be a problem.
  • I started playing racquetball after putting the bad into workout mode.  After a while, I wanted to check what time it is, but unfortunately the band doesn't display time unless I quit the workout mode.  Is there a way to check current time (not elapsed time) while I am in the workout or sleep modes?
  • Same problem when I'm running. I was thinking of turning on watch mode next run to see if that works as I turn off the screen to save battery.
  • I'd be too scared of breaking the band to workout out with one on. Barbells and wearable tech don't mix.
  • Does it create exercise entries in Health Vault? (For that matter, does it record steps taken and any other data in Health Vault?)
  • As far as I know/heard HealthVault integration is coming soon but not yet implemented.  I too am waiting for this.
  • I'm thinking version 2 will be released June next year worldwide and it wil be 100% sick
  • Is there an advantage to using run mode for walks? I was hoping workout mode would give a distance stat also, but it doesn't.
  • they should give away a band for a ms flagship phone, a perfect combo, smartphone and a smart health device work together.
  • I'm struggling with understanding whether to use the Run tile or Workout tile for my elliptical workout. On Monday and then again today, when I used the Run tile, I found that my Band grossly underreported my distance (for instance, 0.55 mi when the elliptical reported 3 mi). But it did a pretty good job of calculating calories burned and heartrate. And a run doesn't seem to track actual steps - I'm guessing because the stride is optimized for running. I'm going to try to use the general Workout tile tomorrow and see if I get better results, but my understanding is that it doesn't track steps either. Presumably, the Band is tracking steps all day anyway. Are these steps/distance separate from those recorded during a run or workout? Should I avoid workout tracking altogether and just let it tally my steps? It's a little confusing.
  • Why no ending heart rate? I just got my new Microsoft Band and completed my first workout. However, when I looked at the results on my 1520 the "Ending HR" had no numbers just this:  - - Did I miss something or do I have a problem?