How to Create a Fitness App in 11 Steps

How to Create a Fitness App in 11 Steps

With a rise in people’s awareness of their health, a range of corresponding health-focused mobile applications has expanded. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people into nationwide isolation in which social distancing has become the norm. As the modern fitness industry has shifted from traditional gyms to virtual ones, the number of downloads of fitness apps has increased significantly. According to the World Economic Forum, the number of fitness, health, and workout app downloads increased by 46% in September 2020 alone. In that same year, the global fitness app market cap reached an eye-popping $ 4.4 billion and is predicted to grow at a 21.6% CAGR from 2021 to 2028. The graph below shows that exercise and weight loss apps are the most popular.

How to Create a Fitness App in 11 Steps
Source: grandviewresearch.com

Looking at these numbers, it becomes clear why many companies are now creating user-friendly apps aimed at health-conscious citizens. However, the possibility of the huge profit is not enough of a premise to start the creation of this kind of apps (just as any kind, really). When you create a fitness app that helps users improve their diet or exercise, you craft a crucial mobile solution that contributes to a healthier lifestyle. So it is a complex and significant task. 

But no worries. We have a step-by-step guide for you to help you navigate the waters of fitness application development. Read on!

Consider Basic Fitness App Features

The type of fitness app you want to create will define the ultimate set of features you need to include. There are diverse fitness apps on the market designed for activity tracking, home workout, healthy nutrition, etc. Choose one and then decide on the features. You can see in the graph above that the exercise and weight loss apps are the most popular, so you might want to consider developing this kind of app.

Key Features Of Fitness App

Now, let’s see what features you need to include in your application.

Creating an Account

Registration is the first step most users go through when starting to use the app. If you’re set to build a fitness app with simple step-tracking features, perhaps you can offer your users to skip this part, but for fully-fledged fitness apps that offer unique training or meal plans, this step is a must. Registration lets you collect more user data and offer a more personalized experience. You must provide different options for users, like registration with an email address or sign-up via Facebook or Twitter.

Creating an Account
Source: Sweat

Personal Account/User Profile

It is crucial to build a fitness app that works best and is convenient to use; it is also important to make sure you have all user account features in place. Fitness apps should allow users to collect insight into their progress and personal goals as part of their training and set up a schedule for workouts and exercise.

A list of features from a workout app is an excellent way to understand what functionality is essential for a fitness app.

Allow users to create personal accounts with add-ons such as the ability to use an app on more than one device and store data in the cloud. Furthermore, by adding the functionality to manage paid subscriptions and billing information with integrated payment systems, you can help users save time – the feature they will definitely be thankful for.

Those who use your new app will enjoy access to options such as adding personal photos, creating entirely personalized plans, and adjusting the interface preferences. If you are creating a workout app, allow users to create their own daily routine of exercises. 

Third-Party Device Connectivity

Synchronization is a crucial tactic when developing a fitness app. Make a fitness app easy to sync with a user’s other programs and wearable devices. That will help users track their metrics and progress more efficiently. You can add the ability to use your application on as many different devices as possible so that users don’t feel limited only to their smartwatches and smartphones. Advanced functionality will attract thousands of users to your app, increasing your income in the long run.

User Activity Tracking

With the help of Apple’s HealthKit and Google Fit APIs, you can connect your app to smartphone sensors and trigger the tracking function. This will provide you with access to the health and fitness data stored in their clouds. Remember to ask users for permission to access this data. This task can be tricky to accomplish as it concerns sensitive user data. If you can’t handle this job on your own, it is better to resort to professional mobile app development services for help.

Adding Personal Info

If you are willing to design an amazingly convenient app, you should add the features to it to make the user’s journey fully personalized. For instance, allow them to edit and manage personal data. Weight, height, age, and other metrics enable users to set customized workout routines and reach their goals quicker. Think about a rewarding program for those who showcase impressive results (this can be a part of gamification features you choose to include).

Notifications and Reminders

You need to remind users of your training sessions offered at discounted rates, offer seasonal discounts like when autumn rolls around, send notifications when other users comment on their posts, etc. Be aware that app users might be annoyed by your messages if they appear on their screens too frequently. They might even be tempted to turn them off, which may lead to a disconnection between you and your users. It’s one thing to send them bolstering notifications or inspiring quotes, it’s totally different to ask them to purchase or upgrade their plans for a certain amount of dollars. Be careful with your messaging strategy, put yourself in the users’ place, and figure out whether you would want to be distracted by pops-up daily.  Respect your users’ time. Let them decide what notifications they should or shouldn’t receive. 

Maps and Routes

For fitness applications to be of good use for activities such as running, cycling, and other dynamic exercises, they need to have a map showing a route or a series of routes. Users may not look for this feature during the training, but there is a good chance they will review it after they’re done with the exercise.

It would be ideal if you could add the following feature to your app:

  • auto setup of goal reach markers on the map (the user can simply put a mark out the endpoint of the route and your app can notify them when they reach it);
  • identification of parts of the route where users weren’t as active (for instance, if the velocity of running or cycling slowed down);
  • a brief display of general vital statistics such as speed and pace.

Look at how beautifully and vividly maps and routes can be seen in this app. MapMyRun has excellent runs for both newbies and experienced runners.

Maps and Routes
Source: MapMyRun

Integration with Audio Streaming Apps

Switching between workouts and a music player can be a mess. Most of us love running while listening to our favorite music tracks, and with many fitness apps, it can be a problem to synchronize with the player. So, if you decide to create a workout app, it is vital that you enable integration with the most popular audio streaming services.

A few tips for implementing music integrations:

  • compose ready-to-hit lists and allow users to create their own ones;
  • select energetic music tracks that fit workouts and exercise tempo;
  • point out which audios got users to do their best.

Fitness App Trainer Panel

The main functionality of fitness apps is to track physical activity, so activity screens are imperative. The menus of the different app types may vary in some ways, but they still work similarly. For instance, the fitness coaching app usually contains a menu with workout options and detailed instructions on them, along with a video showcasing the correct performance of the exercise. Also, the app trainer panel should contain a time-tracker to give users more valuable insights on their workout sessions.

User or Customer Panel

To create a workout plan app and make it more user-friendly, allow your users to customize the interface (ability to choose a theme), let them set up notifications, and other parameters.

Setting Fitness Goals

The most crucial feature of any fitness app is to let users set goals and display their progress towards reaching them. The major part of those who download workout apps have particular objectives regarding their physical activity, and they should be able to set them and track them. Whether those are losing weight, gaining more muscles, diet tracking, and choosing a better-fit nutrition – your app should be utilized according to your target users’ goals.

Let your users quickly pick the objectives, enter the desired results and follow the progress. This is a good place to include a feature with global statistics: how much time a user spends on workout daily, calories burned, running distances, etc. There are no limits to customizing a user panel, so you’re free to be creative. Include motivational examples, researches, and facts that will inspire users to move forward and ultimately achieve what they’ve set out to.

Gamification

How to build a fitness app that maintains its user base? A solution is at hand through Gamification. A helpful feature of this implementation is that it gives users a sense of motivation and encourages user interaction. For instance, you can provide an opportunity for your users to compete with friends, offering badges as a reward. If you’re thinking of adding more entertainment to your app, look into solutions like RunKeeper and Nike+. Give users with received points in your app special powers or in-store discounts. For instance, enable points exchange for in-app purchases. Super active users can also gain access to unique content from your app. Take it one step further and allow users to collaborate with select sportswear to trade points for clothing, etc. Again, the extent of this feature is only limited to your imagination.

Educational Content or Video Tutorials

Contributing to staying motivated and achieving fitness goals becomes difficult at times. But content is king. Create unique and useful tips for your users on eating healthily, maintaining a strong body, exercising correctly, etc. Add video tutorials. Such educational material boosts user experience and engagement with your app.

Social Media Integration

Needless to say how important social media is in people’s lives. They love sharing the results of their workout with their followers and friends. Fitness app developers can utilize social media integration to enable sharing within the app to report engagement progress instantly. Thus, users will be able to post text on any social platform with an appealing picture for their profile. What’s more, this can bring more organic traffic to your app. Adding the app name and a link to it will enable users to share their results directly from your app and actually promote it for free.

Create a Fitness App Step by Step

Now, let’s move on to the actual process of app creation. Major stages in fitness app development include finding a team, creating an MVP, development, testing, etc. Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

Market Research

This is one of the most crucial steps for anyone who decides to create a workout app. You need to have a deep understanding of what’s currently popular on the market and what you can improve with your solution. Knowing who your target audience might be and the devices that your customers are likely to use is key to only developing the product that solves certain problems but also marketing it once it’s ready to go public. Learn about who your competitors are, what their strong and weak points are, how they solve user concerns, and how you can do that better. Being original is key: you should come up with a unique solution that can be easily distinguished on the market so that you can protect your app idea from being copied. 

Global research can be extremely helpful when analyzing the market. For instance, Grand View Research provides data insights on devices and smartphones that account for the largest revenue share of 67.6% in 2020. 

Market Research
Source: www.grandviewresearch.com

Find a Dedicated Development Team

When looking for an app development team, consider the following deciding factors:

  • experience: how many years the company has been supplying products for mobile applications – this is the central question you need to answer;
  • customer feedback: even if a company has been on the market for more than ten years, this does not mean that they create quality solutions. You need to carefully study the customer reviews for each firm you have your eye on;
  • senior developers on board: a firm with experienced senior developers on its team is much easier to work with as you will partner with these programmers and often communicate directly with them.

Long story short, your best choice is a company with an experienced mobile app development team that has received positive reviews from previous clients.

Analysis and Planning

During the Discovery stage, UI/UX designers, business analysts, software architects, and product owners work together to create the best possible solution. This is a stage when you analyze the market, find the best approaches for app development, and create an app architecture before designing the prototype for your app.

Choose a Monetization Model for Your Fitness App

An important consideration is to ensure that the fitness app you choose to create will provide you with worthwhile rewards. There are, in fact, many ways in which you can monetize your fitness application. Consider the most popular ones:

  • In-app Purchase: you can release the app allowing free downloads, and then offer to buy various add-ons in your application.  Thus you can earn by charging for extra features, content, or diet plans, for instance;
  • Paid Apps: fitness app development costs are enormous, and the process itself is time-consuming, so don’t hesitate to put a price on it. You can offer a free trial (a widespread practice) for a time you consider is enough o fall in love with your app so that after they’re done with the trial, they can’t help but purchase it;
  • Advertisements: once you launch your app, be ready for dozens of businesses asking you to promote their service/product in the app. This is an excellent opportunity to make extra from your app, especially if it’s free to use;
  • Free Apps: with this strategy, the users can have the app free but limited to basic fitness features. Give them the option to pay for premium content.

The best way to survive in this complex and cutthroat industry is to regularly review your monetization strategies so you can take in more capital to achieve your desired results.

Choose the Tech Stack

Once you’ve built a prototype, you’re ready to move on. It can be easy to get lost in the vast mobile app development glossary, especially when it comes to selecting the tech stack. But we are going to make it much easier for you. Remember the following two mantras when deciding which platform to choose for developing your fitness app:

  • different platforms have different development costs, so check your budget before choosing one
  • the technology stack imposes some restrictions on the capabilities of your application.

Whether you choose native, cross-platform, or no-code development, study all technologies carefully and pick one that best fits your future app needs.

Technical Documentation

The company’s business analysts and designers should be preparing the technical specification of the product basing on the business requirements and extensive market research. The specs should include use cases, platforms, wireframes, basic design, and the app prototype.

Design

Designers primarily work with creating user flows and defining the best ways to interact with your app during this stage. They also work on the app’s UI and design brand-related elements.

Fitness Application Development

This is the stage of the actual development process. Developers are working on implementing the final planned features and software architecture, focusing on completing the project.

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance refers to the process of testing the app by using various devices and fixing any bugs that may arise. Through testing, you can see how your application is performing and whether the features are working as you intended.  You can fine-tune them if they’re not functioning as intended.

Continue working on your application after a list of improvements has been created. Provide your users with solutions to their pain, enhance your app’s usability, add new features for expanded functionality, and listen to customer feedback.

Consider Basic Fitness App Types

To help fitness app creators get ahead in discovering the most popular fitness solution types, we’ve created a brief overview of each.

Activities Tracking Apps

This type of app is suitable even for non-participants in sports, but people who do want to be able to track their movement while additionally receiving some guidance like heart rate, steps count or calories consumed. But, such programs have other cool functions, such as sleep tracking and sleep quality evaluation and a smart alarm to wake you up on time. 

There are certain features this type of app should definitely include. For instance, they should be easily integrated and synchronized with wearable devices and device functions. 

Diet and Nutrition Apps

Exercising won’t do much good if you’re mostly eating fast food. It’s a good thing there’s a raised awareness about the importance of eating healthy, which in turn increased the demand Diet and nutrition apps allow users to keep track of consumed calories and check the general nutritional value of food. If you’re building a fitness app, you can add these kinds of functions for user convenience. Allow users to enter the food items into the app and provide info on microelements it contains.

Diet and Nutrition Apps
Source: MyFitnessPal

What else should you add to your diet or nutrition app? Consider the following features:

  • Extensive information on foods: there are different kinds of foods in all sorts of different parts of the world that should be included in your apps. It’s important to specify a manufacturer. For instance, different compositions and caloric content can be different in similar packets of rice milk from different producers.
  • Food list customization: in case you haven’t included all the food that’s out there in the world (which is of course difficult to do) let your users do that themselves. 
  • Recipes recommendation: this feature is handy for nutrition and diet applications. You can enable access to healthy recipes for premium subscribers or generate full meal programs for individual users.
  • Barcode scanner: integrate a grocery barcode scanner into your app so users can quickly and easily discover ingredients, ingredients lists, and nutrition information without having to look it up on the Internet and scroll through long pages of info.

Workout Apps

Workout apps have become especially popular in 2021. They managed to successfully replace gyms while Covid locked down the world. When developing this kind of application, remember that your target audience sets very distinct goals. For instance, a specific workout routine or exercise can be provided for users that aim to grow muscles or lose weight. Develop routines for all body types and allow full customization of workouts.

Personal Trainer Apps

This kind of app has one major goal: create an individual workout routine. The app offers exercises tailored to each person by choosing the option of how difficult an exercise will be and further saving the favorite workout routine for the future.

Personal Trainer Apps
Source: TrueCoach

Such apps also show you which exercises to do, how to perform them thoroughly, and how to avoid the most common mistakes that can lead to serious injuries.

It seems that gyms are a thing of the past. Personal trainer apps all have the tools and helpful guidelines for the best personal training programs.

Final Thoughts

It can be pretty challenging to make your own workout app. We’ve listed basic and advanced features you need to include in it, but an essential part is to combine them all naturally and in a high-quality manner. For this, you will need to hire top-tier developers who have vast experience in the field. 

Summarizing the above, let us highlight several outlines:

  • your app should contain basic features and features that fit the app type;
  • customization goes a long way, so be sure to allow it;
  • allow synchronization with most popular devices;
  • integrate your app with social media;
  • include gamification for a better user experience. 

We hope that our piece of advice was helpful, but if you feel you have questions left, don’t hesitate to contact us. It is better to answer all questions clearly before starting your fitness & workout app development.

Mini-FAQ

The topic of fitness app development is so huge we could dwell on it forever. Instead, let us provide you with answers to the most common questions that beginners agonize over when entering the industry. 

Why Create Fitness App in the First Place?

As we’ve already stated above, the mobile app market is continuously growing. Fitness app developers and platforms for fitness and health mobile and web creation are gaining much traction as more and more companies make investments in these areas. Thus, the means for app development are becoming cheaper and more accessible. Companies can benefit from Building an app that gives them a strong competitive edge as with its help, you can stay closer to the users and encourage customers to remain brand loyal.

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Fitness App?

It is difficult to determine an accurate cost to develop a fitness app. The final budget depends on the complexity and number of features you want your apps to have, and the tech stack you choose for your app development. Taking into account fitness app development company costs, design of prototypes, development, QA, and ongoing support, the approximate estimate will be around $25,000. For cross-platform development, this sum can double up.

How to Ensure Fitness App Security?

To remain innovative and ahead of the curve, your security solutions need to be flexible and grow alongside your business as needs change. Users’ needs change. People using your app want security to be seamless. This is especially relevant for fitness app users as they are always moving and don’t want to be distracted by regular security checks. If you’re willing to create a fitness app, that will be well received by users, consider implementing the most advanced, reliable, and fast security solutions available on the market. If you want to improve your app’s user experience by focusing more on customers, build your workout app with streamlined security measures.

What Are The Biggest Trends In Fitness Apps?

The covid pandemic has forced us all to stay home for far too long. Global lockdowns affected all markets and industries, including the health and fitness ones. Hence generated the most demanded new trend – virtual trainers. With this lack of physical access to the gym, virtual trainers worldwide are now teaching people how to exercise online or via apps. The virtual assistant can either be a live person or an AI program that effectively monitors and organizes users’ exercise routines and helps them reach their workout goals.

What Are The Most Popular Fitness Applications?

Below we listed some of the most popular fitness apps on the market.

  • Pear. The apps provide users with a wide range of workouts with instructions for different fitness levels and intensities that modify based on your performance. Users can choose from a variety of workout and trainer packages, and the app works well with multiple devices.
  • Sweat. This workout app has a well-structured program for every woman, from a young mom taking her first steps in fitness after childbirth to a girl who wants to gain more confidence in the gym. 
  • Seven. Seven is one of the best fitness apps for taking time out of the busy days and working out for a few minutes. Stick to the steps provided, and you should unlock new goals that give the opportunity to complete new activities.