Samsung S Health: The ultimate guide

Tips and tricks for your Samsung fitness tracking app
Samsung S Health: The ultimate guide

Samsung S Health hasn't always played nice with other wearables – in fact it was only last year that the platform was made available outside Samsung phones (still Android only, no iOS) and it's only this year that support has been added for third-party activity tracking apps from Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, Microsoft Health, Runkeeper and Strava.

That doesn't mean it's got everything down to a science though. Fitbit integration will only share sleep data with S Health while Strava will only let you share exercise data.

Next read: Essential guide to Samsung Gear IconX

S Health is compatible with all Samsung devices where connected wearables will automatically sync data. While there's no online platform like other fitness apps, it still offers a decent selection of features for planning, tracking and reviewing your workouts. If you're a beginner runner prepping for a marathon, weight lifter or yoga enthusiast, chances are S Health has a tool for you along with helpful tips to stay active.

For Gear S2 or Gear Fit2 users, here are some of the best tricks we've discovered that can help you utilise the full potential of Samsung S Health.

Measure your vitals

You usually have to stick in your gender, age, weight, height and exercise levels when first starting most fitness apps, and S Health is no different.

Just as we recommend with Garmin Connect and Polar Flow, customising your info plus heart rate zones will help get you the most accurate training data.

S Health isn't as comprehensive as the other two platforms but it does let you enter heart rate from your wearable or mobile device. There's also an oxygen saturation monitor which it measures by taking heart rate to determine the concentration of oxygen in your blood. Stress, blood pressure and blood glucose are also other data points you can manually enter or use heart rate tracking to glean information.

Create training plans

Under manage items, you'll find a huge list of activities that you can add to your main dashboard. On the top, selecting 'Programs' will take you to four different training plans for running.

You'll get an overview of the amount of workouts and duration laid out for you. Choose the one that fits you, enter a start date and customise what days you're able to work out. You can also view the workout schedule to see what each week will entail. S Health will also detail the weeks, showing you when you'll need to push harder and increasing the running time.

It's not the most intensive set of plans but it'll do the job for those who want to stick with stock S Health features. For other options, see the 'Connect apps' section.

Set goals for basic workouts

The app lets you set a lot of goals – so make use of each one. It can be a little overwhelming but the specificity can help make your training go smoother.

Running, for instance, lets you choose between 10 paces and five other targets. Pacing is divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Choosing one basically sets a timer for how long you'll be running and what kind of coach S Health will employ. The levels are also split between walking, light jogging/running, calorie burning, speed increasing and endurance.

Then head to the targets. From here, you can customise the distance, duration, burned calories, training effect or select a basic workout.

In manage items, you can also customise three goals simultaneously so you can exercise, eat and sleep better.

For all the other exercises, you can customise duration and burned calorie targets or others depending on the activity. This should help you ease into working out for beginners or up the ante for those more experienced.

Set sleep targets

The internal gyroscope inside Samsung's wearables is capable of detecting any kind of movement, including each time you move in your sleep. If you haven't already, before sleeping put on your Gear Fit2 and connect it to your smartphone (Gear S2 doesn't track sleep).

From the apps screen, you can tap S Health and select sleep. Tap record sleep. In the morning, tap 'I'm Awake.' To review your sleep patterns for the last 30 days, open the S Health app on your smartphone.

You can also manually input your sleep hours and rate how well you've slept for a generalised picture.

The Fit2 app can help give a better idea of your sleep quality in the night by monitoring your tossing and turning automatically.

Monitor food

Like most other fitness apps, S Health will let you manually input food. It's not MyFitnessPal but it's the same idea. The app will also let you know what a good target is based on your personal stats and how much you exercise, or you can set your own.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks are all options you can input. After you specify what kind of food and the portion you had, S Health automatically adds these calories to your day's consumption. If you forgot to add something, edit at any time by changing the date and time to when you had the meal – or add on the meal itself.

All of this will help ensure you don't overdo it, which is especially helpful if you're trying to lose weight, or on a diet plan for marathon training and trying to reach a caloric intake goal.

Get social

It's great motivation and more fun knowing you're not alone in trying to stay active, so it's no surprise Samsung has added a little friendly competition to S Health. Fitbit, Jawbone and others have seen great success with the addition of communities and communal challenges.

With S Health, you can use 'Together' to set targets with friends, check their statuses and compete.

To do so, find your friends and add the step challenges feature through manage items, then accept or send out invites to begin the competition. There are also leaderboards you can check.

Connect apps

It's already been mentioned that S Health can connect to more apps than ever before. 'Partner apps' can be downloaded and installed to use with S Health. Afterwards, you can add the various apps to your dashboard (S Health even gives you a little prompt).

From here, you can download many more apps to make your S Health dashboard into a unified hub.

Leave your phone at home

Chances are your Gear S2 or Gear Fit2 will be able to handle the heavy duty tracking meaning you can leave your phone at home. The latter wearable is able to do a bit more in terms of fitness tracking, with GPS and more workout options available. However the 3G version of the S2 also has GPS. All three devices have music storage as well so you can listen to music without your phone nearby. Once home though, your tracker will sync up all your data to the S Health app after you open it (auto-syncing would just suck the battery from all your devices faster so it's best to leave that off).


  • LusWeraska says:

    This is very cool. I use it and my Fitatu calorie counter.

  • patchmonkey says:

    Latest update to the Gear S2 added Automatic Sleep Tracking, I believe. I've got a Gear Fit2, waiting for a refurbished S2 to arrive so I can check. If so, Fit2 is being returned (I like it, and wholeheartedly recommend it, but like the watch "look" more.

  • Voodoogirl says:

    Does anyone know how to get the fitbit to show sleep data in S Health? I'm using a 3rd party app to move my step count in from the fitbit app, but that app charges $4.99 each to add on other options like syncing the sleep info. As you stated above, that's the only thing that is really available with the fitbit integration. But how do I get this? I'm opening the S Health app with Bluetooth on and it still only shows "record manually", and fitbit is not listed as one of the wearable devices in the drop down list under More > Accessories. I just bought a fitbit Charge HR that I received today and setting it all up now.

    • JustMe says:

      Instead of connecting it as an accessory (unfortunately it's not that easy), try 'connecting' the apps together (S-Health and the Fitbit app).

      -open S-Health

      -press 'more'

      -press 'settings'

      -press 'connected services'

      -Choose the Fitbit app from the list, and follow the bouncing ball :)

      In my opinion, S-Health is the best featured health app, at least for me. It has all the foods I eat in it, and it's easy to add anything I can't find. It tracks my steps and automatically logs walks and runs, it's easy to log workouts that can't be auto-detected, it tracks sleep... it's just too damn hard to find an accessory that'll work with it. I'm using a Jawbone Up3 when I saw that S-Health finally integrates with other services - just to find that the Jawbone step data doens't integrate with S-Health. And unrelated to S Health but the Up3 seems to be absolutely terrible at tracking steps... basically drops 100-300 steps for every 1000 steps taken.

  • IreneWong says:

    I have a Samsung gear S2 classic. Currently, on the  watch S health, it has limited workout selections. How do I customize eq. yoga or weight training into the watch?

    • Scottjesq says:

      I have the same question. I added exercises on my phone, but they show on my Gear S2 under Exercise.

      Johnnie S.

  • IreneWong says:

    How do you customize other types of workouts into the Samsung S2 Gear Classic watch? Currently it only shows limited workouts ie running, walking , elliptical, biking , etc. BUT no yoga, or dance or cross training, or weight lifting...

  • BlahSaamsung says:

    S Health on a Samsung Galaxy S5 no longer counted steps correctly. Comparison with 2 pedometers show that 10,000 steps on them registers as 2,500 on the S5. The app is updated, and re-set but still undercounts. Prior to the latest update it worked perfectly.

  • bolti says:

    Why is space to add food only for 50 species, while other applications offer opportunities for more than 1000?

  • jomama33 says:

    how does S health count my steps ? I keep my phone in my back pocket .

  • epannie says:

    I upgraded from a Samsung Gear Fit to the Gear Fit2, and cannot locate the sleep tracker function on it, as it existed on the Gear Fit. When I went in to SHealth, I had to manually enter my sleep info. Is this an application that needs to be downloaded separately or something?

  • Miraclesdohappn says:

    are there any forums to find friends for s health? None of my friends use it but id like to set up challenges with people

  • matteastnz says:

    From the article, 'Once home though, your tracker will sync up all your data to the S Health app after you open it (auto-syncing would just suck the battery from all your devices faster so it's best to leave that off).'

    How do I turn auto-syncing off? Have a Nexus 6P and a Gear Fit 2, but can't see that option anywhere under the settings in S Health or Samsung Gear app? Both phone and tracker suffering from battery drain so ideally I'd just like them to sync when I open the app

    Thanks in advance!

  • Heinz says:

    does anyone know why I only can export walking and running to GPX, but not cycling?
    I just bought a Garmin bike computer and want to export several years of training to my Garmin.
    Does anyone know how I can rename activities from cycling to walking or running if I can not export?
    Thanks in advance

  • RGK says:

    How can I get meals input for the day before if I try to enter them after midnight? Can you back track and make corrections or new entries?

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