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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build a Fitness App

Victoria Puzhevich
Published: September 6, 2022

Healthy lifestyle and fitness have always been a popular hobby. However, the market share of fitness apps was slowly and steadily growing until 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. In that period, the fitness app market rocketed and experienced the biggest boom in demand for a variety of fitness solutions from workout to well-being tracking apps and it doesn’t seem to stop.

More and more investors are seeking ways to develop their fitness solutions and gain extensive revenues from them. Meanwhile, the fitness app market is highly competitive and businesses have to put much effort into developing robust and attractive solutions. In this article, we’ll explain what fitness app types are popular today and how to create a successful fitness app.

Explore the Fitness Apps Market

In 2020, fitness apps became a saving alternative for many due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. While the social gathering restrictions were becoming tougher and doctors less available, many people found a way to monitor their state of health as well as keep up with their daily fitness routine by using fitness apps. As a result, in the US alone the revenue generated by mobile health and fitness apps grew by 41% from $592 mln in 2019 to $837 in 2020.

The reasons that ensure stable industry development are:

  • Lower costs – fitness apps require a small subscription fee while offering combined services. For example, by using one app, an end-user receives access to workouts, diet and nutrition control, well-being tracking, and other services which are usually provided by several specialists.
  • Accessibility – more and more fitness lovers start realizing how convenient and simple fitness apps are in comparison to brick-and-mortar gyms. Fitness apps basically perform the same functions as offline gyms, providing access to online gym communities, personalized workouts, and more. Meanwhile, users don’t have to adjust to the fitness center and coach schedules and they don’t depend on other members’ attendance rates in case they work out in groups.
  • Personalization – fitness apps are usually highly-customizable. Users can choose the workouts depending on their physical condition or create their own workouts, choose diets for various purposes, e.g. gaining muscle or losing weight, create their own menus, calculate calories, and much more.

Types of Fitness Apps

A well-thought-out fitness app is more than just a piece of software with a pack of workout videos. Fitness apps can offer far more features. These can be smart coaches, integration with wearables and activity tracking, habit-building, meditation techniques, and more.

When considering which fitness app to develop, the most popular categories companies choose from are Workout Apps, Diet and Nutrition Apps, and Activity Tracking Apps. However, the fitness app list isn’t limited to only these three types. Let’s have a closer look at fitness apps that can be realized as a standalone solution or combined together into an all-inclusive application.

Workout Apps With a Smart Coach

Workout apps with a smart fitness coach allow gym goers to maintain a healthy routine. Powered by Artificial Intelligence technology, a Smart Coach tracks app user workout performance and diet. Based on the gathered data, the Smart Coach can adjust the current working plan, suggest ways to improve exercise techniques, create well-balanced meal plans, and more.

This way, with a Smart Coach, users don’t need to spend time searching for a personal coach and can simply adapt to a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, apps with Smart Coaches are an effective opportunity for many to save up on their gym expenses.

Workout Logging Apps

Workout logging apps are simple and useful software for workout tracking. Users log their workout data in the app to track their calorie intake, groups of muscles they’ve worked on during the workout, their overall health condition, and more. These apps often include integrations with wearables so that the data gets logged into the app automatically.

Diet and Nutrition Apps

This type of fitness app helps people who lead a healthy lifestyle to maintain proper eating habits. Users can log what they eat, monitor their eating tendencies, and calculate the calories they intake daily. Moreover, diet and nutrition apps offer users ready-made programs adjusted for particular purposes such as losing weight, monitoring carbs for drying and gaining muscle mass, ensuring that users have balanced diets, and more.

Activity Apps

Activity apps are designed for people who do certain types of activities or exercises. These can be runners, cyclists, weightlifters, and others. These apps are similar to workout logging apps as they also calculate the number of steps made, the speed of running or climbing, calories burnt, weights lifted, and more. The main difference is that activity apps are aimed at a particular exercise type.

Lifestyle Fitness Apps

Lifestyle apps are focused on their users’ well-being. It monitors their sleeping, helps build certain habits, offers meditation or yoga practices, and can include many other features. It’s not necessary to be an athlete to have lifestyle fitness apps.

Fitness Studio Apps

These are the apps that include a sports shop to sell branded equipment. Fitness studio apps are developed under brands like Nike or Adidas and combine some features of the apps listed above + some marketing options.

Fitness App Features

Fitness app owners strive to make their solutions different from those found in the market. Therefore, they integrate various features into their apps, often making them a hybrid version of several fitness app types.

Although the feature sets can vary, there are some basic core functionalities that are a must-have in any app which make it simple to navigate and effective.

User Profile

This feature helps fitness app owners make their solutions more personalized. User profiles include personal user information such as weight, activity level, fitness level, height, goals (e.g. losing weight, improving well-being, etc.), and many others. Using this data, app algorithms can better choose activities and suggest them to the user.

Also, it’s simple to track achievements in the user profile. It’s a good idea to visualize them in the form of graphs and bars on the main dashboard so that users can quickly check their accomplishments there.

Workout Planner

A workout planner is the core feature of most fitness apps. It helps users to get into shape by offering sets of various exercises. Usually, fitness app owners choose to provide exercises in the form of videos, though using voice prompts with image instructions also works great.

A well-established workout planner includes a set of exercises for different fitness levels, a workout schedule and calendar, the possibility to develop your own workout plan, and workout instructions in several languages.

Meals Planner and Calorie Calculator

For a person who leads a healthy lifestyle monitoring what they eat is as important as exercising. Therefore, meal planning is the second most significant feature after workout planner which is commonly included in fitness apps.

Fitness meal planner apps usually include detailed information on ingredients and a wide range of recipes for every taste, eating habit, and fitness goal. Some fitness app owners also prefer to include water intake trackers with timely notifications when users should drink more water.

Notifications

Having a reminder that notifies you about the next training session, water intake, meals, and more can be a useful feature for anyone with a hectic lifestyle. This way, users don’t have to remember what they need to do next to keep up with their healthy lifestyle routine.

Fitness app developers can take one step further and include inspiring quotes in their notifications, motivating app users to put more effort into their fitness commitment.

Integration With Other Services and Gadgets

Integration with wearable devices or other services alleviates data input into the fitness app, making this process automatic. This way, users don’t need to spend time before and after their workouts logging in their body metrics in the app. Instead, a smartwatch such as Fitbit or Apple Watch can automatically collect and fill in the data gaps. Moreover, in case a user tracks their metrics in several apps, they don’t have to enter this data twice as it can be shared between several apps.

Educational Content

To motivate their users to keep up with their healthy lifestyles, many fitness app developers include educational content in their solutions. When reading articles on dieting and exercising, users learn new techniques and approaches that they want to try in practice.

Moreover, some fitness app developers allow commenting on the content they provide. In doing so, they create a fitness community around their app, allowing people to share their emotions about their fitness routine.

How to Build a Fitness App: Step-By-Step Guide

To develop an effective, performant, and engaging for many users fitness solution, businesses should follow certain software development steps.

Step 1: Outline Your Fitness Solution

First, this involves investigating the market to find out which apps are the most popular and what makes them in demand by many users. The second is to consider how to develop a mobile app for fitness that would be unique and engaging. Here are the points to consider:

  • What is the main objective of the developed app?
  • Which features to include in the fitness solution?
  • What makes the developed app different from other offerings in the market?
  • Who is the target audience of the app?
  • Which platform to develop the fitness solution for?

With a ready-made fitness app draft, it’s much easier to gather the team that would fit the project, explain the product requirements to them, and select the tech stack.

Step 2: Gather Your Team and Select the Tech Stack

If a business doesn’t have its own IT department, finding the software development team can be a real challenge. High development rates, lack of specialists in the local IT market, necessity to equip the team with hardware and software – all this can turn into a real problem. Many companies find a simple solution to all these issues – hiring outsourcing software development teams.

Choosing a tech stack for a software development project can be also complicated. Though, once a business has a software development team, the specialists can help select the right tech stack, based on the features and technologies used in the project.

Step 3: Create an MVP

Building an MVP is a strategic approach utilized by many software developers that allows effectively adapting the product to the user requirements. MVP (minimum viable product) is a product with the most essential features required for meeting primary user needs.

The MVP solution is quickly developed and released to the market for gathering user feedback. Software developers continue to build the product in line with the requirements extracted from the feedback. This way, they ensure that the developed solution matches customer demands 100%.

Step 4: Develop and Release

At this stage, software developers build the final product, test its functionality to make sure that it doesn’t have any major errors or blocks, and deploy it for mass use.

To minimize the number of code errors and speed up the development process, software developers opt for using software development frameworks, ready-made libraries, and reusable pre-set components. This allows for reducing the number of mistakes, cutting down the development costs, and releasing the final product much faster.

Conclusion

The popularity of fitness apps was slowly but steadily growing over the past several years. However, in 2020 the situation changed dramatically and the demand for fitness apps sharply increased. This happened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By 2022 people have understood the advantages of fitness apps and today their market share keeps on actively growing. As a result, many investors started developing their own fitness apps.

If you’re also considering building your own fitness app then you need a team of professional developers with much experience in building apps for healthcare. We’re ready to provide you with teams of software development experts who have created effective and successful healthcare solutions, including fitness apps. Check out our fitness app here and don’t hesitate to contact us.

Source: scand.com