The Popularity of Fitness Apps

By Nijhum Rudra

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Daily routines and schedules have become extremely hectic and, hence, it is important to maintain proper diet and physical fitness. Perfect fitness can help people get rid of mental stress, but to maintain that by hitting the gym or yoga classes on a daily basis is a difficult task for many.

Cheaper Internet tariffs (mobile and broadband) and smartphones have made scores of impossible tasks possible. It has also given high-end fitness solutions in the form of apps—many of which also include live fitness training sessions with high-profile fitness gurus. Many fitness apps are available for free, while others are chargeable, and are available for both Android and iOS devices. However, having fitness apps on your device alone cannot make you lean and fit, but these can surely guide you on the best possible way to get back on the fitness track.

Fitness apps and gadgets have become extremely popular among sports persons. Their training sessions are also dependent on such apps and devices because these help them be more effective and physically fit, in addition to assisting them in identifying the amount of calories burned. For example, RunKeeper and Google Fitness apps are quite reliable options.

With the help of the free RunKeeper app, you can track your pace, measure workout distance, chart weight loss, crush training goals and more—it has also been awarded LifeHacker’s 2012 Best Running App. RunKeeper is a simple way to improve fitness, whether you are just deciding to get off the couch for a 5km run, biking every day or are deep into marathon training. You can also track your runs, walks, bike rides, training workouts and other fitness activities using the GPS in your Android phone.

Google’s own fitness app Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking has proved to be extremely popular among people of different ages. Obviously, the app has brand value, but its features have also proven to be extremely useful. According to Google’s PlayStore, Google Fit has worked with World Health Organization (WHO) and American Heart Association (AHA) to bring two new activity goals that can help improve health—Move Minutes and Heart Points. You can get instant insights when you exercise and see real-time stats for your runs, walks and bike rides.

Google Fit uses the Android phone’s sensors or Wear OS by Google smartwatch’s heart rate sensors to record speed, pace, route and more.

The growth of health apps

Other than travel and social networking apps, fitness apps have recorded a massive growth and huge revenues all over the world, including India. A year ago, India ranked 143rd in the world in terms of health indicators. Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and PwC’s compiled survey report stated that fitness and mobile apps have enhanced and revolutionised the diagnostics department in the country.

Health fitness apps (Credit: https://pumpsandiron.com)
Health fitness apps (Credit: https://pumpsandiron.com)

India also ranks second in the world in terms of fastest adaptation of mobile technologies. According to statista.com, in 2019, average revenue per user (ARPU) in apps segment is about US$ 1.52.

Also, revenue in the fitness apps division is set to reach US$ 1640 million by the end of 2019, and by 2023 the revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (2019-2023) of 6.6 per cent, resulting in a market volume of US$ 2118 million.

Netimperative, the digital marketing research firm, has mentioned that more than ten times a week, around 25 per cent people use their fitness apps and, almost twice a week, almost 75 per cent active app users open their fitness apps. However, nutrition apps are said to have declined by 26 per cent.

Pros and cons of fitness apps

Although a physical trainer is always helpful in training sessions and can guide appropriately on exercise moves and postures, sometimes, due to scarcity of time and resources to hit the gym, apps on iOS or Android devices can prove to be useful.

Pros

These apps are extremely helpful if you want to work out on your own as these can help save time and resources. Most importantly, you can work out from the comfort of your home, with your own private trainer online (chargeable). If you are not sure of any move, you can watch the same repeatedly on the app—there is often the option to read about it, too.

To get a decent fitness routine from an unhealthy lifestyle, you need to set some targets, which are realistic, because getting in proper shape quickly is not easy. For example, an app like Couch To 5k can help you set reasonable targets or goals to be achieved within a stipulated time frame.

Another positive is that loads of certified fitness and yoga apps are available for free on both iOS and Android, and the flagship version charge is also quite reasonable. Training sessions by top trainers are also available in such apps, and cost is lower than personal trainers.

Cons

Although fitness apps are helpful for those who want to save their time and money, there are some disadvantages, too. You will only be able to do the same exercise or workout as scores of other people. Also, you will not get ample motivation, knowledge, friendship, programming or research, which can be given face-to-face.

Sometimes, it could be dangerous. Working out alone could cause serious muscle injuries, which could be avoided with a physical trainer around—he or she can also ease your pain.

Physical trainers can guide you on muscle movements and postures. This is essential because if you are not sure about your injury, and if you continue to put pressure on the same muscle or bone, you might end up in serious trouble.

It has been proven that people who wish to exercise alone on the basis of apps do not continue for long and lose motivation easily. With a physical trainer, it is easier to keep up the momentum.


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