Developing Health and Fitness App: Types & Features You Must Know

By Ronak Patel   |   18 July, 2019
Developing Health and Fitness App: Types & Features You Must Know

In the last few years, more number of people are seen making a move towards a healthy lifestyle. Today it is all about staying healthy and having a better lifestyle which can let to have a successful and happy life.

With more people dealing with sedentary work-life situation, obesity and increased vulnerability to diseases are making people more aware of living healthy.

Due to the increased use of smartphones and mobile applications, the modern trend is all about using fitness applications as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Technology is making things easier and better for people and the use of smartphones and apps have turned out to be a new fitness culture. As per the report of research2guidance, the market of mobile health applications is said to grow faster in the coming years and by 2020 it is expected to reach $31 billion with a CAGR of 15%. Even wearable’s are said to backing up this culture and making a significant impact on the sports and fitness arena.

So it is time you have some better idea about what fitness apps are, what are their types and what kind of features they should come up with. So whether you are just any app user looking for ways to stay healthy or a business organization trying to get ahead in this area, such knowledge can prove to be genuinely beneficial.

Health & Fitness App Trends at Glance

According to Statista Reports, here are some stats that revels the Health and Fitness Industry Trends.

37,143 healthcare

apps available on the play store, which is 12.61% higher than the previous quarter.

41% trillion

was the mobile health market compound growth rate projection during 2015-2020.

46 billion U.S. dollars

is the total revenue share expected to be generated by mobile health segment of the digital health market in 2020.

Why Fitness Apps?

Today people are more careful about fitness. They are ready to go the extra mile to stay fit and healthy and are ready to spend in this direction too. One of the newest solutions that you will find in this area is the introduction of fitness apps. Such apps can be easily installed on mobile devices and used directly.

Types of Fitness Apps

Activity Tracking App (Running and Calorie Tracking)

It is not at a new thing that you need to stay active to be healthy. This means you need to track your physical activities done in a day. For the same now you have activity tracking apps which track the user’s activity by collecting information on hours slept, steps covered in a day, calories burned in daily activities, heart rate, etc.

Such apps can be made available on smartphones and wearable’s alike. The information or data can be displayed on the screen just to keep the user informed. There is no virtual or real trainer to boost the user; rather; it is kind of an app which can be used by the user who wants to stay healthy on his or her own. The app also depicts charts to show the progress the user has made.

Running-and-Calorie-Tracking

Some of the basic functions of such an app are as mentioned:

Push Notifications

Whatever be the app is in question, the use of push notifications play a crucial role. In the case of activity apps, push notifications can be used to send reminders to the users to perform the activity if they missed for the day. Again push notifications with health benefits and tips will motivate the users to stay on the fitness track.

Geolocation Integration

Adding maps into your app has its own benefits. This will help you know the areas you covered while running, jogging or walking. This will offer you true motivation to set new milestones and achieve them later.

Tracking the activity

Such apps can be used to track the activity of the user simply by having sensors implemented from smartphones.

Social sharing

There come many situations when we may not feel motivated to go ahead and do the workout, rather take a day off and cheat. By connecting with people and getting social will ease this hindrance and get over with your laziness and reach your fitness goal. It is a fact that adding in social share feature simply makes the app successful. The users can share their achieved goals, completed tasks, etc. and become an encouragement for others.

Have a user account

Like any other app, you should have an account created here. This will help you to keep using the app on any device that you would prefer. This will ensure that the earlier data stays intact and the user can continue from where he or she stopped last time. Moreover, if the user has a personal account, it becomes possible for him or her to keep on tracking the personal goals with ease.

App integrated with the data on wearable devices

Today more number of wearable devices is available in the market and using them is more in trend. Today it is more about a lifestyle change rather than being a health-related option. This means the efficiency and success of a mobile application increases when it can easily integrate with such wearable devices.

As an app developer or a business which wants to gain from such apps, you should work towards extending its capabilities most cost-effectively through such integrations.

It is not possible to limit yourself to just using a smartphone for monitoring blood pressure, pulse and other health parameters and rather it should extend to the use of such devices which can be connected through Bluetooth.

Health Tracking Apps (For doctor-patient communication)

mHealth is a concept where applications are used in the healthcare industry through mobile phones and other wireless connected devices. Such an application lets to have uninterrupted communication between the doctor and the patient so as to deliver and receive better medical care, respectively.

doctor-patient-communication

Such an app can easily benefit patients who are living in remote locations to get quality medical facilities. Even such devices let the patients to continuously track their health without having to make frequent visits to the hospital. This app can be useful in tracking the health of elderly people, thus offering them better healthcare facilities. Whether it is about getting a prescription or getting a quick appointment for the doctor, such an app seems to be a boon.

Some of the basic functions of such an app are as mentioned:

Create an account

Here the users which mean the doctors and patients will have to create their own accounts. The account of the doctor will include important information about him or her like contact information (phone numbers and email address), the information about the hospital where he or she is practicing, field, degrees, the field of specialty, etc.

In the same way, an account has to be created by the patients. This will include personal information like age, weight, height, history of illness, family history, etc. This will also include some emergency contact numbers, doctor prescriptions, etc.

Book appointment

By using this app, it will be possible for the patients to book for an appointment quickly without having to make a call to the hospital. Here doctors can also let the patients know about their schedule so that they can make the booking accordingly.

Get prescriptions

If the patient is located in remote locations, then in case of emergencies, medicine prescriptions can be received using the application. Based on the symptoms the doctors can prescribe medicines enough for the patients to have time to get to the hospital.

Nutrition Apps (Diet and Food suggestion & Tracking App)

Diet and food suggestion helps the users to get the count of calories taken or burned, build healthy food habits, track the intake of water, track body weight and so on.

Such kinds of diet applications can help the users to come up with effective grocery list, set personal health goals, and even collect healthy recipes. Such kind of apps also comes with some gamification features or some other which can engage users like weight loss competition, scoreboards, etc.

Nutrition-Apps

Even though you can call them as activity tracking apps they are more focused on the nutritional aspect of the user and ensure to work in that specific area. Today many users are going for such apps with the sole purpose of tracking calories, maintain a diet plan and control caffeine intake and water consumption. Such an app turns out to be an easy solution to track health amidst fast-moving lifestyle. To push the limits of the users such an app should offer detailed statistics on daily nutrition consumption. What was right and what went wrong is explained well in the app.

Some of the basic functions of such an app are as mentioned:

Account creation

The diet and nutrition based apps ask users to create an account by using personal data. Such an app will include personal information like age, height, weight, food allergies, chronic or acute diseases, etc. Such information will help the dietician chart a personalized plan so as to help the user loss or gain weight as needed.

Get social

The socialization feature will let the users connect with others using the app. Share information about the pros and cons of different food items, share healthy recipes as well as the experiences.

Push notifications

The main aim of such notifications is to encourage the users to eat healthily and stay healthy by using the app in an optimum way and reach their objectives.

Creating the shopping list

Watching what you eat plays a key role in achieving healthy nutrition level. Based on the healthy recipes available on the app, you can easily create a shopping list. This will save you from eating wrong and not forgetting to buy the essentials. Adding a database of the food items within the app can help the user to come up with the shopping list quickly.

Logging food

The app should come up with the feature to help the user log the food. Here the user can keep track of the amount of water drunk in a day and calories consumed easily. The app should make use of standard measuring systems so as to ease the food logging process for the users.

Workout apps (Meditation, Yoga and Exercise Training app)

workout-app
The workout is in trend today and whether you want to lose weight or build muscles. For this to happen, you need the right fitness trainer who can help you with your workout regime. When we talk about workout and fitness, it includes many aspects like yoga, meditation, and exercises. For all this to happen, you need the right trainer who helps you with the right solution and motivates you constantly. This is where workout apps come in. You can find a number of such apps for iOS and Android.

The workout application plans out a workout session for the users and each one is demonstrated in the app. The users just have to follow the app and start doing the exercises on their own.

We can say that such an app comes with a fitness trainer who helps you dedicatedly. Such a service will be paid and here you will get to choose the coach all on your own. With the use of such an app, you can exercise or meditate anywhere and everywhere just by carrying your smartphone.
Some of the basic functions of such an app are as mentioned:

Create an account

Such an app asks the user to create a personal profile based on age, height, and weight. It also asks for any health-related issues, ailments, injuries, etc. so as to plan a customized workout plan for the user.

Send push notifications

Many a time, the user may not be in a mood to do exercises or maybe demotivated. Push notifications work as a constant reminder motivating the user to carry out the workout regime.

Set goals

There is a global standard of fitness defined for men and women based on age, weight, and height. Based on this, standards like BMI, subcutaneous fat, visceral fat, bone weight, age of the body in the present condition, etc. are calculated. After going through the numbers, a goal is set by the fitness trainer which includes a number of intermittent goals. He or she boosts the user to go ahead and achieve it at every step.

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Features of Fitness Apps

When we say fitness apps, it can be separated into activity tracking apps, mHealth apps, workout apps, and nutrition apps – as seen above. Such apps cover different aspects in order to improve lifestyle and promote good health. Such apps help to set a routine to your life, push to eat well in right proportions, exercise, and stay fit.

Here we have covered overall features which have to be included in the apps that boost fitness.

Personalization

When it comes to developing fitness apps, personalization plays a key role. Like any other apps that you are using, you will definitely like to have your fitness app personalized too. If the app supports personalization, then it will be capable to attract more audience.

If the app collects the information of the user like age, gender, height, and weight, then the insights obtained from the data will be better. This way, users will be able to get precise information about their health and set fitness goals. Thereby the users will be able to set personalized goals, compare their performances based on the saved data as well as have statistics to be used when needed.

Geolocation

Any fitness app which involves some physical activities should have geolocation feature included. The maps can be from Google, Apple or other sources which can be used to plan the routes, track the current location and report it once the workout is done. The user can even have his or her location shared on social media accounts.

Activity Tracking

Whether you are walking or hiking or running, an activity tracker will make a point to register that. It will let you know the number of calories you have burned, your heartbeat, etc. Based on your daily calorie count to be burned, it will let you know whether you have done well or you need to push yourself more.

Goal Setup

When it comes to getting back in shape and staying healthy, it is important to set goals. By using such an application, it will become possible for the users to set objectives for their goals. With this feature, the users can keep an eye on their activity by calculating parameters like distance, speed, time as well as others. You can have the application paired with a number of devices in order to get the data made available for getting insights. Setting goals will let the fitness experts encourage you whenever progress is made and push you towards achieving your goal.

Different Reminders setup

Whether it is about keeping the users to continue with their workout regime or make them eat healthy, there need to be reminders in work. This can be made possible through reminders and push notifications. Still, it has to be taken care that too much of push notifications can annoy the users and they may be pushed away from using your app.

Pre-set Routines

When we talk about workout apps in specific, this feature comes in. A good number of workout apps in the market do not come with the feature to let the users have customized routines. If the routines are customized, it will ease the things for the users.

Diet Tracker

By adding this feature, it will become possible for the users to log in their food and water consumption. This way, it will become possible for the user to track calories in real-time as well as see the amount of water consumed. This will ensure the user will not go out of their planned limit of calorie count.

Multi-device synchronization

Offering the service to synchronize your app, along with other devices, is a good idea. So the users who want to work by having the application synchronized with other tools will be able to gain from this arrangement.

Online consultation and chatting

In the absence of a trainer or a dietician, it can be challenging to exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. Again, the user may be having a number of doubts regarding what to do and how to do. At such situation, having an online consultation service can prove to be a dependable option to stay connected with the goals.

Sleep Tracking

When considering fitness apps, sleep tracking feature plays a crucial role. It tracked the hours when the user had a sound sleep and when not. This will let to know the hours when the user was active; when the user laid awake, when the user had a light sleep and when he or she had a sound sleep.

Wearable Device Integration

If you want your fitness app to be a hit in the market, then it has to be ready for the trends in the market. Today fitness and wearables go hand in hand. This means that if you want your app to be successful, you need to be sure that it offers support for a maximum number of wearable devices that are available in the market. The more the number of devices you are connected with, the more number of wearable users will use your application.

Barcode scanner

We have seen that logging food in the app is a very important process to know what you are offering your body and whether it is good or not. Sometimes people get bored or tired of logging food every day. This is where the barcode scanner comes in. You can use your smartphone to scan the barcode so as to get in all the information which is necessary for you. This can be like knowing the calories consumed as well as the ingredients involved in the meals.

Community or Social Sharing feature

Having the feature of integrating the fitness app with social media accounts has its set of benefits. The users will be encouraged to share their achieved milestones on the platforms, which will encourage and motivate others to use the app for achieving better health. Today a number of apps let the users to share their achievements on Facebook and Twitter –which are two of the most commonly used social media platforms.

Top Health & Fitness Apps with some Outstanding Features

Sworkit

It comes with the feature of the customized workout plan, as recommended by the trainer based on your daily schedule. So whether it is about building a full workout plan or have one which may last 5 minutes, it can get it done for you.

Aaptiv

Using this app, it is possible for the users to take up on-demand workouts. This app is all about hearing and the users can learn exercises from hearing.

MyFitnessPal

This app takes care of workout and diet for the users. This is famous for its calorie counting feature. Recipe importer and barcode scanner are two of the features which make it stand out.

Nike+ Run Club

It comes with customized plans for trained racers while offers audio-guided runs for the people who are new to running and racing.

8fit

This is an overall health and fitness app which brings in customized meal plans and exercises for the users. The exercises are planned to be performed at home and it even offers nutritious recipes for the users to follow.

Samsung Health

This application does not need the support of wearable. This can work on its own using the built-in sensors to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose level, stress, etc.

Fitbit

This application is said to work with Fitbit activity trackers. This can be used to track calories and steps or distance covered. It offers weekly challenges where you can compete with fellow users.

Conclusion

Staying healthy and fit is the new motto today. With an increased sedentary lifestyle and stress, achieving a healthy lifestyle is not an easy task. People are easily prone to eat unhealthy and are tired all day to hit the gym. With the right fitness apps in the hands, this situation can be changed gradually, leading to a better life and better tomorrow.

Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client's success is company's success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client's business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.

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