How to build a productive functional fitness app?

The Essential Guide on How to Create a Fitness App That Will Stand Out

It is an excellent idea to create a fitness app that will occupy a firm position among top fitness trends. Why so? A healthy lifestyle has long become a trend, which is about to expand and strengthen its position in the near future. More and more people choose wellness, thus turning to the fitness industry, while businesses consider how to make a fitness app that will stand out. In the first two quarters of 2020 more than one billion users downloaded fitness apps. The mobile market supports the general trend of healthy living offering diverse solutions that suit any situation. Thus, fitness app development opens bright perspectives inside the healthcare industry.

In this post, OpenGeeksLab will dwell on fitness app development, highlight points of interest concerning modern fitness activity tracking solutions, and single out its must-have features. You will also read about how to make a fitness app social network we created to combine all-in-one fitness experiences.

Choose Fitness Application Category

One of the vital steps in how to create a fitness app successful is finding a category that suits your desired target audience.

We will consider three main types of fitness applications that exist today. Therefore fitness app developers can merge different types and features for attracting users, but generally, every application can be defined into one of these categories. You will see their difference in the way they keep and process information. Also, below we will tell you about the subcategories of each type in fitness application development.

Sports Activities Tracking Application

These apps gained popularity since they have a widespread audience. Every person can use fitness tracking app development products whether they go to the gym or not. Thus users can make sure they have enough movement in their lives.

Such applications are usually paired with wearables or smartphone sensors for monitoring all physical activities. Devices rely on GPS and share information about steps, walking distance, running speed, and more since this analysis is the primary purpose of fitness tracker app development projects.

This category of apps is highly popular amongst US citizens, and 15% of the country’s population practice jogging or running, which makes fitness app development attractive for businesses.

Also, developing a fitness app for tracking can include such a popular tool as sleep tracking. This feature estimates the quality of users’ sleep and wakes them up during the proper sleep phase, so people wake up easier.

Moreover, some sports applications make an exciting mix of features making their project stand out. A successful example of such is Strava that is a tracking activity solution and social media for sportspeople. Users can share their achievements with the community of friends and motivate each other. Consider such possibilities when you think of how to make a fitness app successful.

There are several different subcategories in the tracking activities applications:

  • Running apps analyze routes, differentiate activities such as running or walking, provide coaching, and send safety alerts. Examples of such apps are Pacer, Runcoach.
  • Cycling trackers such as Strava, MyWindsock, and Komoot provide users with information about free roads, allowing them to record rides or create routes.
  • Gym tracking apps like Fit Notes or Strong help users analyze their workout progress. Apps pull data from wearables, timers, GPS, and other sensors.
  • Yoga trackers help analyze the progress through achieved goals, completed training sessions, and more. Popular representatives of these fitness app development products are Glo, Track Yoga, and Asana Rebel.

Nutritional Fitness Apps

These apps are also called diet apps as they help users in meal planning, counting calories that users eat or burn, check water balance or coffee consumption, control body weight, and more features that help follow healthy diets or lose weight. When you create a fitness app of this type, it may include elements from activity tracking apps, but diet apps must have specific functionality and analyze dietary factors.

Such apps aim to help set and achieve goals connected to weight loss or making people’s diet more healthy. Also, diet apps may include recipes collections and shopping lists, allowing users to make more sensible decisions in the supermarket.

Additionally, to create a fitness app that will be engaging, it is good to think of scoreboard or slimming competition, together with gamification of these processes.

Even though nutritional apps have similar ideas, there are two main subcategories of them:

  • Muscle-building apps help users concentrate on muscle growth by merging targeted workouts with a special diet. MyFitnessPal and Dr. Muscle are famous examples of such apps.
  • Weight-losing apps help users count calories they burn or take and collect healthy balanced recipes and grocery lists. For instance, 8fit and My Net Diary are well-known apps for losing weight.

Workout Fitness Apps

If users are looking for exercises, workout plans, or guides, they need workout applications. It is a great idea to create a fitness app with audio and video instructions so consumers can see the plan of exercises, complete them more manageably, and keep track of their sports routine. The first idea that comes to mind when we think of fitness app development is usually connected to workout or exercise apps since this solution has become very popular amongst users.

If users connect these apps to sports wearables, they work as custom solutions giving recommendations based on collected activity data, helping reach desired goals. They are personal trainers that users can take with them everywhere and exercise anytime they need.

For this matter, let’s look at one exciting example of how to make a fitness app for workouts called Sworkit. It has different programs for different body parts, and users can manage which they want to train first. Its options include exercises for the lower body, upper body, core strength, full-body, or users can use a random mix by clicking “Anything Goes.” Also, consumers can set personalized workout choosing exercises by themselves.

Besides, workout apps have several following subcategories:

  • Workout planning apps help users elaborate on setting goals and tracking improvement. For example, you can find how the My Workout Plan application allows sports professionals to create custom workouts to manage their gym routine.
  • Exercise apps allow users to complete their goals by using guides, videos, or personalized training. Usually, these apps provide consumers with AI-based workout and nutrition recommendations based on the user’s age, weight, height, fitness goals, and others. Freeletics and Fitbit Coach are great examples of fitness app development.
  • Gym and yoga apps mix these two activities providing customized training. An excellent example of such an application is Alo Moves.
  • On-demand personal trainer apps give users the possibility to train one-on-one with sports experts. Based on the user’s health, physical strength, and other parameters, coaches create customized exercise programs to help consumers reach their goals. For instance, users of MyKanthaka can choose an instructor and personal schedules for training to achieve their sports goals step by step.

Before starting your own fitness app development, choose the preferable fitness application category from this variety. Sometimes, mobile fitness app developers mix multiple features from different application types, thus allowing to create mind-blowing ideas.


Our Projects: SolidFit

Key Issues to Consider While Functional Fitness App Development

Learn some tips on how to make a fitness app with extra tools that will attract more users to your product.

The worldwide fitness application market attracts more clients every year: in 2020 total value was 3.28 billion USD with expected growth of 21.8% in 2021.

Actually, there exist two opposite directions inside the fitness app development sphere: specification and unification. The first one tackles small mobile market segments, paying attention to details and loyalty. Here belong mobile yoga classes (Daily Yoga), exercise apps for kids (Sworkit Kids), cardio exercises solution (Daily Cardio Workout), outdoor workout application (Runtastic), and so on. Unification is when you create a fitness app uniting diverse application types into an all-in-one project to satisfy clients’ needs in various functionality.

Another trend in sport is wearables integration so developers often apply them to create a fitness app. Small handy devices grow in popularity expanding the market. Wearable software has brought about six times more revenue in the past few years, thus making bets on it represent far-reaching promising investments.

Other famous examples of how to make a fitness app include Nike Training Club, MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, 7 Minute Workout.

Fundamental Fitness App Features

Developers thoroughly choose essential fitness application elements so users can enjoy the simplicity and high functionality of your solution.

Usually, health and workout applications have limited functionality. Users need to download more stuff to meet their specific needs – activity tracking, workout, nutrition apps. Functional health solutions work as lifesavers if developers aim to create a fitness app serving clients everything at their fingertips.

Basic functional scope while adaptive fitness application development includes:

1. Profile and Personalization

Profile info and customization opportunities stand among must-have features for fitness app development. Personal data as well as user preferences or personalized settings improve user experience and increase services efficiency.

If you want to create a fitness app with paid subscriptions or on-demand content, you need to integrate at least one payment system, and consumers’ profiles need to store billing data.

When you think of how to make a fitness app more user-friendly, it is a good idea to provide clients with registration options via the most popular social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or others.

2. Push Notifications & Reminders

Push notifications are of vital importance in apps for sports competition development. When you consider how to make a fitness app, you see a wide range of notifications on a proper workout time or mealtime. Also, reminders help users to know when to switch on another exercise or stop their activity. You can also create a fitness app sending notifications to wearables as Shock application does.

However, allowing users to set their reminders frequency is essential when thinking about how to make a fitness app easy to use.

3. Goal Setting

Motivation is a strong factor in building a healthy lifestyle, thus creating landmarks becomes useful for people in defining their way toward desired results.

4. Healthy Eating and Calorie Control

The correct nutrition plan is of no less importance while cool fitness app development. The healthy eating feature comprises calorie trackers or calculators, eating programs, suggested recipes, food checkers, and so on.

Any workouts or exercises give fewer results if the person’s diet is unhealthy. So when you create a fitness app, you can implement tools that provide users with lists of food to avoid or eat. These grocery lists are based on users’ tastes and goals, whether they want to lose weight or gain muscles.

8fit is a popular example of how to make a fitness app shopping lists and dietary plans.

5. Workout Plan

Whether you create a fitness app specifically for workouts or for tracking purposes, users need different workout programs designed by professional trainers. This feature offers diverse options ranging between various difficulty levels or aiming at different activities. Workout programs usually depend on user objectives and their current progress.

6. Journal Record

While following any workout program it is important to know where you are on your way towards your dream, so journal records help track results thoroughly turning into a sports diary application created by useful stats or pics.

7. Wearables Support

Wearables support is essential for Android or iOS workout tracker apps, as it increases engagement level. With workout tracking apps for Apple Watch customers are more likely to see notifications in time or quickly interact with the application in inconvenient situations.

Also, when you create a fitness app, it is good to consider the ability to connect the application with such devices as TV so users can watch and follow downloaded workouts on a big screen.

For example, Yoga Studio is a bright use case of how to make a fitness app that easily synchronizes with a TV by Chromecast, AirPlay, or Apple TV.

8. Payment Gateway

Payment solutions are essential to choose while thinking of how to develop a fitness app since it increases application profit as clients can easily order premium services, make in-built purchases, subscribe, or other.


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Additional Features to Create a Fitness App that Will Stand Out

How to make a fitness app outstanding? The first that comes to mind is adding extra features to your product. The necessary part of it is analyzing your audience or making surveys which can help decide on how to make a fitness app more exciting and engaging.

While developing a fitness app, you can mind some advanced features that can usually raise the extra interest of the audience. Read more below.

1. Various Social Media Features

When it comes to fitness app development, creating an engaging user experience is crucial. If you’re looking to learn how to create a fitness app that will keep users motivated, incorporating social sharing features might be a great option. Some sports apps like Strava became famous thanks to their idea to create a fitness app that will be social media for sportspeople itself.

Also, it is crucial to implement tools for sharing results or other data on users’ pages on Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media.

2. Educational Content Features

When you think of how to make a fitness app encouraging and educational, you can provide users with video or audio exercise tutorials, tips on a healthy lifestyle, or a positive mindset. Also, teaching users diet basics is a popular element when you create a fitness app product.

Let’s look at educational elements tips:

  • To successfully create a fitness app educational tools, connect tutorials or other materials to users’ achievements in the application.
  • Provide consumers with various bite-sized tips using blogs, video, audio, or pictures.
  • Create a fitness app teaching tools according to your target audience.

3. Gamification

To encourage the audience, developers may create a fitness app motivation game that becomes a part of daily consumers’ lives. This feature can include competitions, rewards for achieving goals, status badges, or other fun and inspiring tools.

4. Symbiosis With Other Apps

Fitness app development services providers may underestimate this element, but it doesn’t make it less valuable. Such symbiosis lets users see the progress based on multiple wellness, health, or workout apps. If you want to satisfy your consumers, create a fitness app that connects healthcare services that feed on data from applications and devices that your clients use.

Such customization became the central element of the RockMyRun application which provides clients with playlists that automatically adjust the music with workout intensity. It can be an excellent example of how to make a fitness app user engaged since this solution can integrate with Strava, Nike+, Apple Health, and other popular solutions.

These additional features can become the primary reasons for users to create a fitness app profile in your project and use it as a part of their routine. So it is great if you think of how to develop a fitness app with a balance between essential and additional features.

Main Monetization Strategies to Make Your Fitness Project Successful

Knowing monetization strategies and choosing the proper one for your product is a significant part of how to develop a fitness app.

To convert simple workout tracker applications into successful commercial projects, the business owner should take care of applying an appropriate monetization strategy. Basic models that have proved efficiency on the modern market comprise paid apps, in-app purchases, freemium, subscription, ads, and sponsored content.

1. Paid Apps

The paid application model is the simplest one – users should pay before using your product. The price is set judging upon the functional fitness app’s type, feature set, mobile platforms supported, the content offered, and so on. The greatest advantage attracting customers is that the product becomes completely free-to-use for an unlimited time period after buying it.

2. In-App Purchases

In-built purchases represent another popular monetization strategy. It becomes useful in cases where a business owner wants to attract clients by free version, getting profit vicariously. In terms of developing a fitness app, in-app purchases may vary from ordering substantial professionally designed healthy life programs to buying small items like equipment or meal recipes.

3. Freemium

Freemium type is good while covering diverse audience segments as it offers solutions both for modest and sophisticated sports enthusiasts. A free downloadable application usually possesses basic functional scope suitable for beginners. Advanced features (for example, personal coach, highly personalized workouts and nutrition, or others.) become available only after buying a premium account.

4. Subscription

A subscription model is similar to the first one, though there is a slight difference between them. Unlike fitness apps without subscriptions, this strategy implies annual payments. The nominal price can be split into several parts so customers who cannot afford paying the whole sum at once choose a subscription as a convenient substitute.

5. Advertisements

Ads appear among the most popular monetization types, as it allows attracting clients and cooperating with other agencies simultaneously. A business runner can present a product of fitness software development as a completely free one, placing partner-company’s advertisements within the project and receiving money for clicks or conversions.

6. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content strategy is close to ads, though it is more partnership-oriented. Business runners make contracts with certain gyms, coaches, or nutritionists who distribute unique content among users. This model helps not only in partnership building but also in creating new activities.

There is no universal solution while considering monetization in fitness software development, as all the models listed above have their own benefits and drawbacks. It depends on the business runner which strategy to choose for getting maximum profit out of fitness app development.


Our Experience in Development Fitness Social Network Application

Check out Solid Fit, a fitness social network developed by OpenGeeksLab.

Knowing all the processes of development, in theory, may not be enough. Usually, it is more exciting to read about a particular project and how it was created. So we will dwell on that now.

How Was Solid Fit Started?

Three separate application types usually represent the mobile fitness market: workout or exercise programs, activity tracking, dieting, and nutrition plan building. As far as each category has a strictly specified aim and target audience, the functional scope when you create a fitness app is usually limited and cannot meet all user expectations.

Our client intended to cover several market segments by enlarging available features and expanding the target audience. Therefore, he came up with the idea to create a fitness app uniting three basic fitness application categories into a single custom fitness solution. Solid Fit had to function as a fitness social network providing users with activity tracking, exercise programs, and nutrition plans created by professional nutritionists, dieticians, and coaches.

Challenges to Overcome

Our main objective lay in how to develop a fitness app with a completely new fitness-oriented ecosystem that would satisfy customers’ needs and provide efficient functionality. Apart from profound personal data storage with info available in a few taps, our developers wanted to create a fitness app ensuring such features as personal online specialists, planners, progress tracking services, reports, and others. Besides, applications had to be easily customized and have an intuitive user-friendly interface design.

Applied Solutions

When you know how to make a fitness app, it is time for springing into action and turning your idea to life.

The digital landscape is full of various apps creating high competitiveness, so business owners carefully think through their platform’s functional scope. To complete a first-class application, we implemented carefully designed solutions to attract users and make them feel satisfied with the experience they get.

1. High-Level Customization

As our application combines several objectives, it has a user-friendly design and managing system. The client defines priorities based on which individual eating or workout plans are created. Besides, all the data is stored within the application, so customers can always have it at hand and change the settings as they prefer.

2. Easy Communication

Within our fitness social network solution, users can easily communicate with one another or subscribe to preferred gyms, coaches, or nutritionists. Client-specialist direct intercourse improves fitness plan’s efficiency due to individual approach. In case a customer does not want to contact experts directly, they have plenty of ready-made solutions to suit their needs.

3. Goals Tracking

Being a weight and fitness tracker application at the same time, we had to create a fitness app that helps in creating daily and monthly sports loads (repetitions, sets, frequency, and so on), calculating meals, and calories for tracking progress while reaching goals set before.

4. Photo Reports

There is nothing more illustrative than photos if you want to watch your progress, so our fitness app developers have implemented it into functional scope. Users can make or download pictures for observing and comparing their results.

5. Progress Statistics

As well as photos, statistics always create a positive impact on motivation, as it visualizes progress and makes the tracking process easy and pleasant. Stats and photos can go together highlighting current results.

6. Daily Activities Tracking

This solution is an excellent example of how to make a fitness app that helps in controlling everyday activities, such as eating, drinking, sleeping. It becomes a real fitness diary application, taking care of the user’s water intake, calorie intake, or burning, building a healthy sleeping schedule based on objectives set.


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7. Smart Eating

As our project serves as a fitness and calorie tracker app, it is responsible for building individual healthy meals. Like other dieting or nutrition-oriented programs, it has a profound base of foods and ingredients accompanied by visuals. The meals recommendation engine selects the most suitable ingredients and provides recipes for users so they can cook healthy dishes. Like other features, it can be customized via adding dishes and/or ingredients which will be included in final menu calculations and stored together with the original meals set.

8. In-Built Payments

Payment gateway integration is useful while customers make a deal with a preferred expert/organization and get desired services without hesitation or delay.

9. Recommendations

The recommendation engine suggests ready-made solutions for customers while meals or exercises plan creating, objectives adjusting, activity choosing. It usually sorts info chronologically so users can easily navigate within suggested options.

10. Reminders and Notifications

Our team carefully planned how to make a fitness app notification system that helps customers stay involved and fulfill workout plans in time. Besides, our developers implemented a motivation feature keeping users enthusiastic about the next workout session or tasty meal to be prepared for lunch or supper.

11. Results Storage and Sharing

Customers can improve results using this fitness application with videos, photos, and so on. They can create media reports or save efficient exercise sessions to illustrate their results. Shared media reports also contribute to profound fitness app development as coaches can observe the training process/results and adjust activities to boost the progress.

Technologies and Development Team

Creating a brand-new fitness social network application required several technological solutions to be applied during the fitness app development process. The basic set included Firebase, React, Redux, Rest API, Algolia. The stack implemented allowed us to create a fitness app compatible both with Android and iOS platforms.

For rolling out the final product in time three team members were engaged in the fitness application development process: two developers and one project manager for running the workflow.

As you see, a custom software solution can bring a lot of benefits to your business: better user engagement, personalization, improved accessibility to workout/nutrition materials. But before deciding on jumping into the creation process, make sure to choose a highly-qualified software development partner that can bring your ideas to life in the best possible way.

Discover the Field by Yourself!

Understanding the market and basic principles of functional fitness app development is the first step towards becoming a successful part of the fitness industry. Consider our experience and do not hesitate! Hit the niche with your unique fitness application idea! Contact us right now to create a fitness app that will take off together.

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