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October 31, 2023

App-Solutely Fit: A Guide into Fitness App Development

October 31, 2023
Read 11 min

When someone mentions physical well-being, fitness apps might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it has become difficult to imagine today’s world without them. They promote a healthy lifestyle, help people reach their fitness goals, and provide new opportunities in businesses throughout the industry.

Fitness apps, in their essence, are designed to help people improve their physical condition. They may encompass a wide range of features—from monitoring exercise routines and dietary habits to providing motivational content and health-related insights. By harnessing the capabilities of smartphones and wearables, fitness apps transform the way we manage our overall well-being, making healthy lifestyle more convenient and accessible than ever before.

Given this, it’s not surprising that forward-thinking businesses are inclined to building fitness apps. Going to create your own fitness application? Read on to learn how to develop a fitness application and get an idea of the process with Itexus.

fitness app development

Overview of the fitness apps market

The landscape of fitness apps has undergone significant changes in recent years, reflecting the increasing focus on health and wellness in society. If you are considering health and fitness app development, start by exploring the current state and trends of the market.

  • Health and fitness apps made $4.12 billion in revenue in 2022, which accounted for about 15% of total health and fitness technology revenue.
  • The global fitness app market is projected to reach $120.37 billion by 2030.
  • As of March 2023, FitPro was the most downloaded fitness and sports app for global users worldwide, with over 3.43 million downloads.

Current trends in the fitness apps industry

Technology transform the world in numerous ways, and the fitness industry is no exception.

  • The integration with wearable devices has become inevitable in fitness apps. Smartwatches and bands are insanely popular, and they can provide useful data such as heart rate, activity intensity, calorie expenditure, and more.
  • Social networking and gamification. The strategy of the gamified process helps to actively involve users and makes it easier for them to achieve their well-being goals. Social networking features also allow users to share and discuss their progress, serving as an additional source of motivation.
  • More personalized experience. By integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) components, apps can now offer tailored fitness experiences. AI- and ML-powered applications provide users with personalized exercise routines and dietary schedules based on their characteristics, preferences, and schedules.
  • Remote workout sessions are in high demand these days, so fitness facilities are now actively collaborating with fitness apps to provide training sessions to individuals.

Types of fitness apps

The fitness app market is no longer limited to basic workout tracking. It now encompasses a diverse array of niches and specializations. From yoga and meditation apps to running and strength training platforms, there’s a fitness app for nearly every interest and fitness level.

Activity tracking apps

These apps help people live more active lives by keeping track of their physical activities. They gather and analyze data about users’ daily movements, workout details, calories burned, sleep patterns, and other information. Most activity tracking apps work with devices like the Apple Watch or Android Wear. These apps use the following options to track activity:

  • location services allow for measuring the distance covered, speed, and pace, while also monitoring the routes taken;
  • the accelerometer keeps track of the user’s steps and monitors the pace and rhythm of their walking or running.

Workout apps

Workout apps provide personalized exercise routines, instructional videos, and different workout options that can be accessed whenever needed. These apps can easily connect with trackers, smartwatches, scales, and other devices to give fitness enthusiasts a complete overview of their progress. If you’re planning to create a workout app, consider incorporating the following set of features:

  • gamification elements to motivate users to exercise;
  • calorie expenditure and water tracker;
  • personalized workouts tailored to specific fitness goals and experience levels;
  • social network feature to bring in competitive element and share progress.

Diet and nutrition apps

Weight loss apps is one of the most popular types of fitness solutions. They provide information about balanced diets, allow users to track the calories they consume, monitor their weight, and facilitate meal planning by providing recipe ideas. Diet and nutrition apps typically encompass the following features:

  • food database and food logger;
  • meal recipes;
  • meal planner and shopping lists;
  • calorie calculator;
  • water consumption tracker.

Meditation apps

Meditation apps help users relax and calm their minds. They offer guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, and other techniques. These solutions are often used as helpful additions to mindfulness exercises and can assist with managing anxiety and sleep issues. They also provide mood trackers, meditation timers, and sleep stories. Mindfulness app usually offer the following feature set:

  • wearable integration to gather sleep data;
  • gamification element to reward progress;
  • recommended practices based on users’ goals;
  • helpful content on mental well-being;
  • live streaming of meditation classes.

Smart coach apps

The smart coach fitness app uses advanced technology such as motion tracking, 3D pose estimation, and machine learning algorithms to help people exercise safely and avoid injuries. These apps analyze users’ movements in real time and provide feedback on exercise techniques. Some apps can even recognize equipment and suggest appropriate weights.

Yoga apps

These apps provide yoga sessions and practices that can be accessed whenever it’s convenient, whether users are beginners or experienced yogis. Yoga apps typically offer audio-guided sessions, organized training plans, and guides for different poses. The features in yoga apps are similar to those in meditation apps, such as live-streaming of classes, gamified process, and personalized training recommendations.

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5 steps to create a fitness app

Building a fitness app may not seem as complex as it sounds, but it still requires your fitness mobile app development team to strike a balance between comprehensive initial research, robust frameworks, and engaging user interfaces. This is essential for crafting a successful fitness application. In the following sections, we will explain the process of developing a fitness app with Itexus.

1. Ideation and market research

So, let’s get started on developing your fitness app, shall we? The first thing we need to do is lay a solid foundation. This means we have to clearly define your target audience by considering factors such as age, gender, fitness level, and health goals. Don’t worry, we’ll conduct some market research and competitor analysis to understand the current fitness app market, spot any gaps, and uncover exciting opportunities.

To develop a good fitness app, we should aim to tackle a real issue or meet a specific need in the fitness and health field. User personas and stories will help us to shape the users experience and interactions within the app. We’ll also validate the app concept with potential users or a focus group to gather valuable feedback and ensure it meets their expectations. In short, at this stage, we’ll lay the groundwork for an outstanding fitness app that will perfectly cater to the requirements of your target audience.

2. Planning and strategy

During the planning and strategy phase, we’ll set the direction for your fitness application development journey. The first step is to create a comprehensive business plan that outlines the vision, goals, specific KPIs, revenue model, and other important information for your app. This document will serve as our roadmap.

Next, our team will define the core features and functionalities that your app will offer. Here is a list of features that will be sufficient for the first version of the app:

  • Sign up & sign in. Your applications should offer multiple sign-up and log-in methods, including social sign-up, email, and phone registration.
  • User profile. Users can create profiles in the fitness app, inputting data on age, height, weight, fitness level, and other details, which are then used to generate personalized workout plans, track progress, and view exercise history.
  • Workout plans & demonstration. This feature can be implemented via pictures, 3D animated models, or videos to emphasize proper techniques.
  • Notifications and reminders. These can be used to remind users about upcoming training sessions or notify them of reactions from other community members.
  • User activity tracking & statistics. Visualize users’ fitness goals and achieve milestones through charts, diagrams, progress bars, animated statistics, and other visual elements.
  • Wearables integration. Connecting third-party devices enhances the application’s understanding of the user’s lifestyle, eating habits, and activity levels. By using third-party APIs, your application can connect to various trackers, smartwatches, smart scales, and other devices to collect different activity and body data.
  • Social sharing. Sharing workout progress with friends is a great way to keep motivation high. This feature also helps promote your app by automatically including the app’s link in shared posts.
  • Educational content. Your app can offer fitness and health tips and personalized educational material based on user goals and achievements, in various formats such as podcasts, videos, and blogs.

To enable the planned functionality, we’ll choose the platform and technology stack. This will include the programming languages, frameworks, and tools that align with your app’s technical requirements. The tech stack will have a significant impact on the development process and performance of your app, so we’ll make sure it’s chosen wisely.

3. UI/UX design

The success of your app depends on the experience it provides to users – it’s as simple as that. Therefore, it is extremely important to design the UI and UX of your solution properly. First, our UI/UX designers will create an intuitive and visually appealing interface that aligns with your brand and target audience, keeping seamless navigation and accessibility in mind. Then, they’ll gather feedback and make necessary adjustments before development.

4. Development and testing

The development phase is when your fitness app actually comes to life. Our backend developers will build the infrastructure of your app, including servers, databases, and APIs, and frontend developers will take care of the user interface and interactions. If needed, Itexus fitness app developers will integrate your app with third-party services like payment gateways, geolocation services, and others. And last but not least is testing and quality assurance. To ensure that your app functions properly, performs efficiently, and is secure, our QA specialists will conduct thorough testing. They will identify any bugs and issues and make sure they are fixed before releasing the app.

5. Launch, maintenance, and support

Launching a fitness app is just the beginning of the journey. Once the app is released, we’ll focus on maintaining and supporting the app, as well as continuously improving and expanding its features to meet the evolving needs and expectations of your users. By regularly updating the app with innovative features, we can not only enhance the user experience but also attract new users and retain existing ones.

How much does fitness app development cost?

The cost of fitness app development varies based on factors such as the app’s complexity, the number of features, design complexity, and others. On average, it will take your development team around 1300 hours to develop a fitness app with basic features. Assuming an average hourly rate of $50, we can estimate the cost of fitness app development to be around $65,000.

Please note that our estimation only covers the costs associated with the development stage. The estimation does not include the work of business analysts, Q&A specialists, designers, or other experts.

Fitness app monetization models

Here are the most popular monetization strategies for your fitness app:

  • Paid apps. With this model, users pay to download and install your app. However, providers strive to avoid this option, resulting in a decrease in the share of paid apps in app stores.
  • In-app purchases. This strategy involves selling goods within your app, such as gym gear, sports nutrition, and more. Users can also unlock additional training plans or nutrition tips for a fee.
  • Advertisements. In this case, you get paid to show ads in your app. These can be banners, out-stream ads, and native ads that should blend in with the user’s experience. However, video ads can have a negative effect on user experience, especially in meditation or yoga apps where interruptions should be avoided.
  • Freemium model. The freemium model lets users download and use your app for free, but some features (like advanced fitness plans or ad-free content) are locked. Users can unlock features by paying a recurring subscription fee.
  • Sponsored content. This monetization model involves partnering with sports brands, nutrition brands, gyms, or influencers. The brand’s promotional content is placed on your app and an advertiser pays for it.

Summary

The increasing popularity of home workouts and healthier lifestyles has created exciting opportunities for businesses in the health and fitness industries. To take advantage of the global trend towards better physical fitness, you may consider developing a fitness app.

And here you have two options: you can assemble an in-house development team, or you can approach a reputable fitness app development company to handle the whole project for you—from ideation and planning to design, development, testing, and post-release support. We recommend that you carefully consider pros and cons of in-house development and outsourcing options to make an informed decision.If you have already determined that outsourcing is the best option for you, contact us to learn how we can contribute to your project. At Itexus, we help businesses in various industries, including health and fitness, in transforming their ideas into user-friendly, reliable, and innovative apps. And we’re excited to do it for you.

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