How Google Got Us Hooked to Fitness Again!
The day is not too far when you will wake up to ask your smartphone to open the main door for you or ask your car to drive itself out of the garage to come fetch you at your doorstep. Until then, having a virtual fitness trainer instructing you to diligently finish a set of thirty crunches every morning through your fitness apps is also not too bad for a start.
As hand-held devices are becoming more deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, an increasing number of millennials are looking to hire personal virtual fitness trainers for a daily dose of workouts. Thanks to a deluge of Android fitness apps in the market today (a majority of which are available for free), traditional gyms stand to lose a chuck of their customers.
Today, developers have gone a step ahead and have extended the Android OS to wearables; this innovation has put app developers into a greater frenzy to customize services that will now have to fit those coveted little spaces on our wrists, besides palms. With as many as 21 smartwatch brands bursting onto the scene today, from Casio to Tag Heuer clamoring over each other to take a shot at this future, a lot of us may soon be ditching our smartphones for those snazzy watches to accompany us on our daily workouts. Let’s face it, exercising with a phone in our pockets or those fixed to our arms does not make for the most comfortable experience.
Whether you decide to use your smartphones or smartwatches for those daily round of push-ups, there is absolutely no denying that you will need a smart fitness app to make it happen all tick. Read further through this blog post to choose from a list of some of the best fitness apps designed to work on your smartphones and wearables alike.
Top 7 Fitness Apps of 2016
Google Fit (Free)
This is Google’s first attempt at a fitness app that has been steadily gaining popularity ever since its launch last year. It is slowly emerging as a worthwhile download with its new, improved features that support tracking for over 100 activities and the ability to share and collate your workout data collected across devices. It also has the ability to dish out performance-based recommendations on reachable goals, besides providing to you timely real-time check-ups and an ability to augment your daily workout sessions.
Fitstar (Free; $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year for premium)
A brainchild of Former NFL player Tony Gonzalez, this fitness app dynamic helps you cut that extra flab by adjusting to your feedback, goals, and capabilities. Fitstar is as rewarding as hiring a personal fitness trainer who practically stays with you round the clock! It helps you achieve targets by offering hand-crafted and intensive training programs. Workout sessions can last from 6 to 60 minutes at a go. Another reason to try this app before other fitness apps is that it also lets you sync workout data from other fitness wearables and applications, like Google Fit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Strava. Till date, there have been more than 500,000 downloads.
Endomondo (Free; $5.99 per month or $29.99 per year for Premium)
With its cross-device accessibility, stay on top of your game by leveraging Endomondo’s multi-activity tracking abilities. The app offers its users detailed recommendations and analysis of your activity at the end of every session. Besides, be assured to get pushed to your limits using the feature of “public challenges,” wherein you get to compete real-time with other users, a unique feature that gives it an edge over the other fitness apps in the market today. More than 300,000 users were reported to have participated in one of its challenges in the recent past!
Endomondo was acquired by athletic apparel maker, Under Armour, for $85 million, which till date has reported over 50,000,000 downloads!
Runtastic (Free; Pro, $6.61)
An Austrian multi-device activity-tracker app, initially born as a project to track sailboat races, now provides a plethora of features, like presenting online training logs, work activity data analysis, user workout statistics comparison, data collection in combination with Runtastic hardware, a 12-week customizable bodyweight training program, among other indoor and outdoor workout regimes.
Its multi-functional features that include services, like GPS-tracking, audio and video recording and playback, web-syncing, social sharing, etc. makes it a must-have app for all of you fitness junkies out there. What’s more, the app is also available in 18 other languages and has features that allows users to receive timely applause and even an encouraging “go! go! go!” prompt! This makes it a cut above the rest of the fitness apps out there!
Runtastic burst out onto the scene when it was bought for US $240 million in 2015 and has already surpassed 150 million downloads.
Strava (Free; Pro, $5.3 per month)
The San Francisco-based app is a social network for a global fraternity of athletes and workout enthusiasts that provides them a platform to share workout activities and compare performances on, which all goes into pumping in that extra energy when training alone. The app tracks over 16 physical activities, even your ice-skating efforts something, a feature that is giving the other fitness apps a run for their money!
Strava, or “strive” in Swedish, stands out because of “Route,” a stroke of genius that lets you save your current running or cycling route for a later date, or sync a new one from another Strava user. Be assured, this feature will give you a taste of something that you have always marveled at—the feeling of being inside a multiplayer game. But, only this time you will actually be out of breath for a change after all that running around trying to outrun your neighbor, or simply trying to best your own time!
Strava, helps bring a sense of healthy competition to its users by allowing them to leverage the power of a rewarding sporting comradery. The app till date has over 1 million active users, with over 200,000 premium users.
Zombies, Run! (Free; in-app purchases)
Barely 200 yards into the open space, a guttural and a rattling growl pierces the silence; you take this as a cue to run!
Rejoice all of you doomsday enthusiasts out there, this “gamified” fitness training app will thrill you to your very cores. Tie your shoelaces, plug into your devices, and voila! Get ready to be dropped right into a world swarming with zombies. Many lives depend on your ability to salvage a civilization ruined with time.
A gem of a gaming app, it involves flesh-hungry dead people chasing you around your neighborhood. The rules are simple: Run for your lives, and collect enough supplies to rebuild the world. The more runs a user accomplishes, the more supplies they can collect.
By “gamifying” workout, the creators of this app have given exercises a fresh breath of life by presenting to its users a chance to be a part of its “augmented reality.”
The app was co-developed and published by Six to Start in collaboration with Naomi Alderman and several other award-winning novelists. This highest grossing health and fitness gaming app was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than five times of what was expected. Currently, there are more than a million players and growing.
Sworkit (free; $4.07)
The app, developed by former U.S. Air Force officer and fitness experts, works as a substitute for fitness trainers on the lines of a “video fitness app.” It gives you the opportunity to view demonstration videos featuring more than 160 different exercising forms and also allows you to precisely set the duration of the time you want to workout on a stretch for. After you set the “time,” the app fixes a “playlist” of exercise videos that play for that duration.
Sworkit saw the light of the day, after Mark Cuban of “Shark Tank” decided to invest a whopping US $1.5 million to turn this brilliant idea into a successful reality.
The apps featured in this post were cherry-picked because of two simple reasons: A great idea to start with and flawless coding. So, if you find yourself sitting on a great idea for an app but do not have the required programming chops, work on it this very instant by choosing to learn Android development with Acadgild—one of the top 10 coding bootcamps in the world today.
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