Applications already cover almost all areas of human life, and the fitness industry is no exception. Due to the fashion for a healthy lifestyle and sports, you can find a lot of software in the app stores to help reduce the dose of nicotine consumption, monitor body hydration level, develop a training program, etc. The healthy lifestyle app market is on the upswing, with an estimated cost of $14 billion by 2026, according to Polaris Market Research.
The growing market is a time of new opportunities, so healthy lifestyle applications creators have a special chance for the financial success of their company. Let's take a closer look at what a healthy lifestyle app is and what you should know to conquer the market.
What are healthy lifestyle apps?
A healthy lifestyle app is a software product that allows users to form healthy habits and assists them with sports one way or another. The apps offer both a complete course and programs designed to achieve specific goals, such as weight loss or sleep improvement.
This software can also generate complexes of classes in a variety of directions (stretching, yoga, strength exercises) and monitor the progress of their implementation to achieve the desired result. Healthy lifestyle apps may differ by categories (sports goals, weight loss, others), functionality, tracking activity (permanent and periodic), type of monetization, etc.
Features are usually determined by the category of an app. For example, applications for running require speed and distance tracking, heart rate control, fixing records, and so on. Slimming program - accurate calorie count and control of weight changes dynamics. Utilities can contain a huge number of exercises with the ability to download videos to clearly demonstrate their correct performance. Let's take a closer look at what types of healthy lifestyle applications are there on the market.
What types of healthy lifestyle apps are there?
Healthy lifestyle apps are divided into groups based on different parameters:
By number of sports
There are specific applications, such as Runtastic, which tracks only cardiac activity (running, walking, cycling). For other sports you will need a separate product. All-in-one applications allow you to choose from a wide range of sports.
By type of activity tracking
An app can track your activity all the time or just while training. For example, an all-day training in the background captures activity, but there is also a special training mode with selectable parameters. Special running and sports applications are only active during training periods.
By selecting the main goal
The most important thing for sports achievements is to set records and motivating decisions. For slimming is required accurate calorie count based on age, gender, weight, height dynamics. Recreational activity after an illness requires constant monitoring during the day.
There is also an alternative classification. In particular, there are 6 main areas in fitness, in which the developers create their applications:
Training and Exercises
This segment of healthy lifestyle applications contains training plans, video clips of exercises, and descriptions of correct exercise techniques with explanatory comments. A good app in this category should be able to adapt to the user. For example, it has to create an individual training plan depending on the goals and starting data, and it should also be easy and comprehensive to track the progress of the athlete.
Diet and proper nutrition
Just like the previous type of healthy lifestyle applications, a diet application should be able to customize itself to its user and contain a universal set of mandatory tools such as: calorie counter, a collection of video recipes, tips on additives and sports nutrition, progress tracker and ability to easily share achievements in the main social networks.
Personal coach/Fitness club
Fitness clubs and gyms often need their own branded applications to interact better and more productively with their visitors and customers. Such applications should include the ability to view streaming from workouts or seminars, a convenient way to pay for season tickets and personal training, exercise encyclopedia, useful articles and video tutorials, and, of course, trackers of individual progress.
For fitness-celebrities and fitness-influencers, their own mobile application should perform the same functions. It is highly valued if it contains as many photos and video materials as possible with the participation of the celebrity.
This category contains applications with the purely utilitarian "read" function. Most often, using a mobile device accelerometer, you can count calories spent, heart rate, number of steps, distance traveled, exercise time, etc.
A category with very conditional boundaries. It includes both meditation and yoga applications, as well as applications for exercises from non-standard spiritual practices. Most often they contain video and photo materials with the correct exercise technique, motivational content, and various timers.
A type of application that functions as a Swiss army knife and can combine the functions of several types of healthy lifestyle applications at once. It's easy to imagine a personal app from a famous athlete that reveals the correct exercise technique, the secrets of nutrition, and the entire toolbox from the previous item.
The more functions an application has, the more convenient it is to monetize, so you can enable each function for a fee. Also, it's much more convenient to have one universal application instead of three. However, you should keep in mind that creating and maintaining such applications is much more expensive.
What features should you have in your healthy lifestyle app?
The key to healthy lifestyle application success is to have features that are relevant to the target audience. Here’s a list of the most popular features that healthy lifestyle app users need:
Simple registration and login to the application
Users should not experience any negative emotions when signing up in the application. It means that the registration should be as "seamless" and concise as possible, and there should be minimum mandatory fields when registering a new profile. In addition, be sure to provide the possibility of authorization through third-party services and the most popular social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
In the era of social networks, it is extremely short-sighted to deprive a healthy lifestyle app of its social component. People love to communicate and like to boast about their achievements and it would be wise to use these human weaknesses for your own benefit.
Sharing, communicating with friends, the ability to interact with other users of the application will allow users to spend more time in the app, which will certainly have a positive impact on all key performance indicators.
Access from any device
Users of a healthy lifestyle app must have access to their profile, training programs, and other application functionality not only on their smartphone or tablet but even on a desktop PC or laptop. And it means that part of the data should be stored in the cloud data storages, which will require the participation of highly qualified developers who will be able to set up a fast, uninterrupted data exchange with the "cloud", as well as protect users’ personal data properly.
Push notifications have long been an integral part of successful applications. Skillful use of push notifications helps to increase the involvement along with the average time spent in the application by users. For healthy lifestyle apps, push notifications can remind users of the start of a workout, the next mealtime, and other important events.
Cool design and usability
Ease of use and comfortability is often a deciding factor in terms of healthy lifestyle app development. That's why you need a skillful designer and an even better UX-specialist to develop a user-friendly application. A designer will be able to pick up colors, backgrounds, buttons, fonts, and other kernels so that the user's eye won’t get tired. For the very same reason, competent UX-specialist will make use of the application convenient in all its aspects.
The goal setting
The main purpose of most healthy lifestyle applications is to help users to lead their body to results that are easy to measure and digitize. The desired results are set by the users themselves, so the process of setting goals should be very simple and unambiguous.
Any sport focuses on numbers. Repeats, approaches, calories, meters, kilometers, kilograms - everything can be counted and all this is the subject of increased interest from the fitness enthusiast. It is necessary to define the metrics that the application should and can monitor, and be sure to add such functionality to it.
It is often important for such applications to have access to the phone's low-level APIs that are restricted from WEB applications such as background processes, Bluetooth access, etc. Therefore, it is important to select the right technology that will allow you to implement the optimal application. Also, some of these applications will be used by users during long training sessions, and in such cases, it is very important that the application isn’t very resource-intensive. If users don’t have enough battery power for all of the training duration, they won’t use the application. Therefore, you should consider this in your software requirements. — Roman Slobodzian, CTO in MassMedia Group
Key trends in healthy lifestyle application development
.1 Wearable technology for fitness
Wearable technology is trend number 1 in 2020. Have you ever tried to keep your phone with you during a workout? It's not very convenient, isn’t it? And it's even harder, or even impossible, to swim with it, no matter how waterproof your device is. Of course, smartphones can track steps and locations, but they lack some useful features. While wearable items such as smartwatches or fitness trackers sit comfortably on your wrist and don’t conflict with your activities. They also make it easy to check the information you need without your phone. With the launch of Apple Watch in 2015, interest in wearable technology has grown. Wearables can track your steps, training duration, calories burned. They also offer new goals and remind you to get up and walk if you've stayed without movement for too long.
The wearable device market is gaining momentum. According to Gartner, the number of portable devices in the world will double between 2020 and 2022. Smartwatches are especially popular. It is estimated that it will increase to 115 million devices per year in 2022. This is more than a PC or even a smartphone.
Smartwatches are becoming an important part of modern sports and health industry. Whether it's the Apple Watch or the Samsung Watch series, there are many healthy lifestyle applications out there. And if you want to be part of a growing market and develop a great app, you should consider their main features:
- Connection to wearable devices
Providing you with tracking information such as weight, activity, sleep, heart rate, and more.
- Ability to be used as a standalone tracking program
Your application should work well and be compatible with as many portable devices as possible. Even leading manufacturers of wearable devices make them compatible with competitors' trackers.
For example, Strava, RunKeeper, Jawbone Up and MyFitnessPal can handle most trackers. When designing, make sure that it integrates seamlessly with the media. There are many special tools that developers use to integrate with portable devices. Garmin, Fitbit provide tools to integrate with their products. Apple and Google also provide their SDKs for portable devices.
.2 Fitness Coaching
Today there are coaching programs that can replace hiring a personal fitness trainer. They can be made fully online or through an application. Users are excited about them because they are better suited to their schedule, and they never have to worry about meeting with a coach at an unsuitable time. Moreover, they can measure their progress with trackers. There is no doubt that digital training cannot be fully compared to gyms. You cannot rely on a coach to revise your program, so this can create some problems for beginners. Another problem is the lack of equipment. However, most sport coaches offer videos both with and without equipment. There are also available options that do not require any equipment at all, like yoga. By the way, yoga is also among the top ten trends in 2020.
For example, Peloton offers live lessons daily. They also sell Peloton bikes and treadmills with a subscription.
.3 Artificial intelligence
But what if won't have human trainers at all? Artificial intelligence is no longer science fiction. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and other virtual assistants help us with tasks ranging from finding something online to sending commands to other applications. Artificial Intelligence is great for integration in sports. It can act as a virtual personal coach to help keep you healthy and fit. For a long time, sports enthusiasts have had to rely on personal coaches. But such coaches are expensive. That's why more and more companies are using artificial intelligence to offer individual and relatively inexpensive coaching at home.
A great example is Aaptiv, which decided to introduce its new Artificial Intelligence coach. It is an AI assistant who adjusts individual plans based on goals, current fitness levels, eating habits using data from portable devices. Users can sort out the recommended exercises or choose a lesson according to their mood at the moment. Boltt Sports Technologies, Hacarus, Ensa, Robotbase and others develop personal assistants based on artificial intelligence as well. They aim to bring the best experience for sports enthusiasts.
It’s also worth mentioning virtual reality technologies. Running with VR technology is lot’s of fun. Video games enhance your reflexes and improve your dexterity but how about playing a game and giving yourself a full-body workout? There are many VR technologies that can make you move and give you a great workout. Runtastic uses an Oculus Rift headset to create virtual environments where coaches perform each exercise and participants repeat after them. The YUR allows you to track calories when using specific games or training devices. The YUR for Oculus Quest can turn any video game into a sport by tracking calories. Gamification makes sports more fun and effective. VRFocus from YUR has already raised $1 million for its business projects.
Top 5 healthy lifestyle applications
Meditation and awareness are made easier by Headspace, an application that Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Watson consider to be fans of. Literally giving users brain training - led by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe - the application should take ten minutes a day to listen and clear your mind. So what are the benefits? Users report more concentration, vigilance, and instant peace of mind.
Fitbit is an activity tracker for monitoring training; sleep; heart rate; and other functions. With the mobile app, Fitbit can track your steps; distance; time; and pace during your workout. Other functions include tracking food and calories; setting and managing goals, and recording daily water consumption. The Fitbit application can also be used with a range of peripheral activity trackers.
.3 Home workout - no equipment
Home workout - no equipment - is a workout application that offers users a range of workouts. All exercises are accompanied by animations and videos to help the user. The app also has nutrition plans; warm-up and stretching exercises; workout reminders; training tracking; and integration with social media.
.4 Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club application for iOS and Android is positioned as a training program for women. For example, to lose extra weight or strengthen muscles. Detailed instructions and an audio course are available in the app. By the way, there are also training courses from celebrities and yoga instructors.
The popular Runkeeper app for iOS and Android will track your movements on GPS, then analyze your progress and records. You can compete, track the progress of your friends, and look for like-minded people to run together. You can also save your routes and share news with friends in social networks.
Wow, that was quite a lot of information, wasn't it? And we've only barely scratched the surface of the healthy lifestyle applications world. There are still many other aspects left to consider, such as monetization models, platform selection, technology selection, and much more. In the future, we will certainly reveal these aspects of healthy lifestyle app development in other articles, but if you don't want to wait, you can always contact us and our specialists will be glad to tell you about it in person.