How to Create a Fitness App? Types of Fitness App, Features, and Cost Estimation

This pandemic has reinforced the importance of health and wellbeing in our lives. For many of us, fitness is something that is on our minds, yet we end up neglecting it. Call it the constant hustle of the modern-day or the time constraints imposed on us by our existing work cultures, we find it very difficult to devote time for ourselves.

In this regard, technology has made it much more convenient to indulge in fitness-related activities. The various applications that are now available help in our virtual assistance- from monitoring calories to cultivating exercise routines. Moreover, these applications are available right at our fingertips, thus bringing about a digital revolution in fitness.

With so many different applications to choose from, it gets difficult for the users to choose an app that has the best features and functionalities. If you are a fitness enthusiast or someone who is running a fitness startup, then this blog is for you. This blog covers everything like types of fitness apps, steps to create a fitness app, MVP features of such applications, advanced features, approximate cost to develop a fitness app, and more. So, let’s get started.

Fitness Application Market Overview

With fitness enthusiasts not being able to travel to actual gymnasiums due to the coronavirus pandemic, initially, the fitness industry took a hit. But now, fitness apps are becoming the go-to medium for guidance.

  • Valued at a global market cap of USD 4.4 billion in 2020, the fitness app market size is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6% from 2021 to 2028.
  • According to another report by Statista, the revenue in the fitness segment amounts to USD 17,963 million in the year 2020 and is expected to grow continually based on current trends.
  • Revenue from fitness apps is expected to show an annual growth rate from 2019-2023 CAGR at 5.0%, amounting to a market volume of about USD 20,499 million by the year 2023.
  • The spread of the pandemic which prompted Governments into nationwide lockdowns has sparked a transition into virtual fitness apps.
  • According to an article published in the World Economic Forum in September 2020, the global downloads of health apps have increased by 46%.

There is thus a growing awareness worldwide regarding health and wellbeing which has been further reinforced by the spread of the pandemic. This growth has created a demand for fitness apps in the booming fitness industry.

Types of fitness apps

Before you try and outline the fitness app features your app must include, you must first determine what niche of fitness you want to cater to.

Here are some fitness app ideas as most fitness apps fall under one of these broad categories:

  • Diet and Nutrition apps
  • Activity Tracking apps
  • Workout Logging apps
  • AI-Fitness Assistance apps
  1. Diet and Nutrition App

    The workout routine is only one aspect of good health. Adequate rest and proper nutrition also play a pivotal role in maintaining good health. Without a proper emphasis on a nutritious meal plan, all your physical efforts may be rendered useless.

    You can make a fitness app that aims to help the users keep track of caloric intake. These kinds of apps allow the users to log their daily calories in addition to the microelements and fiber that they consume.

    Diet and Nutrition App

    Nutrition apps help the user to monitor eating habits and daily water intake regularly to stay fit. Logging these data helps the user to determine whether they are in a state of caloric excess or deficit thus helping to establish their customized workout plans for weight loss/gain.

    It is therefore important to include these features in your diet apps-

    • Large food database: Nutrition apps must contain information about food/meal plans from different parts of the world. This helps users to easily track their product and understand its nutrient composition and caloric content.
    • Adding custom food: Make sure you provide a solution in case you cannot cover all food products. Adding custom food items with appropriate caloric contents should be considered in your fitness app.
    • Recommendations: Your diet app should provide the user with healthy recipes to complement their workout regimes. This feature can be monetized through app purchases.
    • Easy Navigation: Using the fitness/diet app should not feel cumbersome and overwhelming for the user. Your fitness app should provide visual cues to the user. Consider providing tutorials for first-time users.

  2. Activity Tracking App

    The name in itself is self-explanatory, these apps keep track of users’ activity. This pandemic has further highlighted the importance of outdoor physical activity. Users actively take part in outdoor activities like running, swimming, and cycling. And these apps help them to precisely record them and encourage others to join.

    Physical activity tracking apps use geolocational services to allow the user insight as to the steps traversed, kilometers completed while jogging, and calories burned.

    Activity Tracking App

    In-built fitness app features also provide further insightful data like the pulse rate, oxygen level, and heart rate during the activity. This helps fitness enthusiasts to gauge their performance to a benchmark and further try and improve their fitness.

    You need to provide these functionalities within your fitness app to make it relevant for the user-

    • Geolocation Tracking: This is an absolute must. Your workout app should be able to monitor routes, display local maps, analyze the trip duration, and so forth. We’ve also written an in-depth guide that helps you to create a location-based app.
    • Trip metrics: Users are keen to analyze their activity based on the time taken to complete a certain distance, the calories spent, the elevation gained throughout the journey, and also a speed metric that gives insight as to the fastest kilometer traversed. Your workout app should make provisions for these metrics to make the fitness app more insightful for the user.
    • Accelerometer: This is an important indicator for tracking activity. Devices calculate a metric called cadence during cycling and running to optimize loadings and achieve better results.
  3. Workout Logging App

    You can make a fitness app that is one of the least resource-intensive typologies of fitness apps. With workout logging apps, users can create personalized workout plans. With a plethora of fitness app features, these apps include exercises and a workout plan and enable the users to gain more insights about their workout plan.

    Details like the number of calories burned via the exercise, the activated muscle group, the correct form in which the exercise is to be performed, and so forth, are also at the user’s disposal.

    Partnering up with third-party applications further allows the fitness app to provide more data to the user. Specifics like the pulse rate, oxygen saturation, core-strength, and muscle-to-fat ratios can be made accessible to the user. Wearables like smartwatches and fitness bands have incorporated this technology, making fitness an integral part of the user’s daily routine.

    These workout apps essentially guide the user through exercises, mimicking the role of a personal trainer. It is important to create help establish a relationship with the user to help your workout app add value to the user.

    • Notes: Users often like to take notes during workouts about form corrections, etc. Make sure to allow for such provisions.
    • Third-Party Integration: Provides users with data like pulse rate and heart rate that makes your workout app more meaningful for the user. Elevates the user experience.
    • Workout Database: Your workout app should provide users with a vast database of workout regimes. It should also recommend users as to what exercises are best aligned with their fitness goals. The more data you provide the user, the more relevant your workout app becomes.
  4. AI-Fitness Assistance App

    Drawing up a workout regime that caters to your personal goals can be quite cumbersome. Additionally, measuring fitness growth and trying to create a diet plan that complements your lifestyle is something that is curated by personal trainers.

    The fee that is charged by these personal coaches is relatively high and more often than not, is rendered useless. People take up going to the gymnasium due to peer pressure and end up quitting midway.

    Technology has addressed these nuances faced by users with the help of gathering data. AI-based algorithms sift through the data submitted by you and draw parallels from your daily routine.

    AI Fitness Assistance App

    After processing the data, these training apps come up with personalized diet and training plans. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that you can further customize this template as per your needs.
    Here are the features you must aim at –

    • Workout Libraries: Provisions should be made for users to indulge in workouts of varying difficulties. Workouts ranging from novices to experts should be included within the AI-gym app.
    • Live Progress Indicators: The progress of the user should be indicated during the workout. This helps users to gauge the duration of the workout left.
    • Tutorial Screens: Explanatory screens that help users to understand the form to be maintained during a particular exercise should be provided. This will prevent injuries and promote adopting fitness as a lifestyle.
Types of AppsDescriptionTop Apps
Diet and Nutrition AppsUsers monitor caloric intake regularly. The logging of this data helps the users to determine whether they are in a state of caloric excess or deficit.MyFitnessPal, Waterlogged, Lose It!
Activity Tracking AppsWith users preferring to indulge in outdoor activities like running, swimming, and cycling as opposed to gymnasiums, these apps use geolocation services to monitor data.Strava, Nike Run Club, RunKeeper
Workout Logging AppsSuch apps guide the users through exercises, miming the role of a personal trainer. It helps users to create a specific workout regime based on personal goals.Sworkit, Tone It Up, Freeletics
AI – Fitness Assistance AppsTechnology provides virtual assistance, addressing the nuances of actually going to a fitness instructor. AI-based algorithms sift through the data submitted by users and draw parallels from their daily routine.Aaptiv, Cure.Fit, FitnessAI
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How to Create a Fitness App? (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Create a Fitness App

Now that you have a better idea as to what are the various typologies of fitness apps, let us now talk about how you build a fitness app. If you have no prior experience in app development, then the best option is to outsource the fitness application development process. Despite that, we recommend you try and chalk out a business plan to create a fitness app so that it is ‘your’ app.

Before you try and list down the features that will be present in your fitness app, take time to think about the larger picture. Who is the niche audience? How will you target your fitness app to this audience? Alongside, we take you through a top-down approach to building your fitness app.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

    There’s no shortcut to this step. You must conduct rigorous research to identify your target market. Why? When you serve everyone, you serve no one! You, thus, need to be specific in your approach and clearly define the audience whose problems you’re aiming to solve.

    • Thoroughly research the solution you’re willing to provide.
    • Conduct competitive research.
    • Define your target audience in detail.
    • Make an estimate of cost and resources.
    • And finally, set the benchmarks.
  2. Determine the features

    There are 14534632 apps and 435743875 features in the market. You don’t want to get lost. You, therefore, must begin with cherry-picking the best features that actually provide fitness solutions and then determining the features and functions you want to include in your app.

  3. Understand the creation process of your app

    More often than not, people are just not bothered about the development process as long as the final product is being made. However, it is important for you to better understand the process and the stages during which your inputs will be critical in adding individuality to the app.

    • Inception Phase: This is when you outline your requirements to the application development team while laying out a budget, project roadmap, and other timelines.
    • Documentation and Design: During this analysts will chalk out technical details of your app based on the platforms on which it will be hosted. Additional details like that of building wireframes and prototyping are during this stage.
    • Application Development: This stage sees developers work rigorously to develop your app based on which operating system it is being hosted on (Android or iOS)
    • Testing: During this phase, it is ensured that there are no bugs in the running of the fitness app, and testing is done on various devices.
    • Deployment: At this stage, the developed app that runs smoothly will be deployed on the server, making it available for app users.
  4. Approach Mobile App Development Company

    You need to then find yourself a team of professionals to create a fitness app. A quality product is often the genesis of a good team, which is why the people who you hire to create a fitness app should fully understand what the fitness app is all about. Intimate them with key details like what fitness means to you and what aspect of your personality is the fitness app reflective of.

    Prior customer feedback and recommendations often lead you to a team of quality app developers. Make sure to research more about the team you hire and whether or not they have expert fitness app developers in the team.

  5. Launch & Maintain

    We’ll be fair here. If you decide upon considering us your tech partner (which we’ll love, but no pressure, okay?), we’ll take care of this overwhelming process for you. For starters, we’ll understand your requirements and then help you with our expertise in app development best practices so that your app can stand out among the 273457834 apps in the market.

    But the story doesn’t end there! Once your app is launched, we also take care of all upgrades. Come, join us?

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Features for Fitness App Development

MVP Features for Fitness App Development

Every workout app is unique and hinges on its usability in one niche. To make the fitness app more accomodating and user-friendly, here are some basic features that you should consider providing to create a minimally viable product (MVP).

  • Sign In

    Regardless of whether your workout app is simply a step tracker, allowing users to create a profile on your app or to sign in via their social media networks helps to personalize recommendations.

  • Create Account

    Having a user profile helps in gathering specific information such as fitness goals, age, gender, weight, height amongst many other parameters. Based on the fitness levels and diet, a fitness program is made.

  • Workout Menus

    Workout menus that are easy to access and are easy to navigate are a must. After all, your product is a fitness app. Menus can be customized to have a short snippet explaining the exercise. This section of your app is where you can get creative.

  • Activity Statistics

    By storing data, your app must provide the user with detailed statistics. This helps the user in monitoring their progress while on their quest to their fitness goal. Based on the span of a period over which statistics are accumulated, they can be classified as:

    • Long-Term Progress: Helps the user track data over a considerable duration which may span for a couple of weeks or months. These stats are useful for users who have been into fitness for a considerable period.
    • Daily Progress: These stats encourage newly joined enthusiasts into developing fitness into a habit. Data is monitored from one training session to the next while stats like running pace, heart rate, and distance traveled are emphasized upon.
  • Integration With Third-Party Apps

    This helps to further elevate the user experience. Features like syncing the users’ data across various devices and health applications help in personalizing the fitness journey. Allowing access to platforms like Apple Health allows the user to further gain insights into calories burned, heart rate, and oxygen levels, regularly.

    Devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches further help in establishing fitness as an integral part of the user’s life.

  • Relevant Database

    Regardless of the typology of your app, make sure that you provide the user with sufficient options to choose from. For example, do consider the demographics of your niche audience while building your app. If users do not find any of their desired choices in your app, they are likely to abandon using it and will start looking for alternatives.

  • User Activity Tracking And Geolocation

    Make sure to provide this feature as this real-time data processing adds more value to your app. Allow users to monitor different routes for walking, running, and cycling while having access to the local map. This will encourage users not only to use your app but also to traverse longer distances.

  • Notifications and Reminders

    By providing reminders and notifications, you can encourage users to become more punctual in their workout routine. Make sure to let the user adjust the frequency of these notifications as you do not want it to become a nuisance.

Advance Features for Fitness App Development

Advance Features of Fitness App Development

Now that we’ve covered all the basic features of your fitness app, it is now time to add some flair and individuality to it. These features will help in establishing and retaining your target audience.

  • Goal Setting

    One of the integral parts of a fitness app is goal setting. Being able to allow users to set objectives and goals is motivational as this also translates into a goal tracker to assist the person in achieving the fitness goals without fail.

  • Workout Tips and Video Tutorials

    Educational content that tells users how to perform a particular exercise, tips on how to stay healthy, and meditation sessions, will add benefit to them than simply being a data monitoring application.

  • Rewards

    By creating a sense of competition amongst users, you will get them hooked to your app. Weekly leaderboards, rewards, badges, and other scores will further motivate users into incorporating fitness into their lifestyle.

  • Social Media Integration

    Humans are social beings and there’s better than engaging on social media with your friends and family. Make sure to allow users to connect social media accounts with their accounts on your app. Run relevant hashtags and encourage users to post pictures on your app’s social media pages.

  • Live Streaming

    To encourage users, try roping in professional trainers and coaches to conduct live interactive workout sessions. Users start their workout simultaneously and post it, they can ask any questions they may have. This will help establish a routine and will also be something that users will look forward to! We have developed a live video streaming app for the global cannabis community.

  • Coach-on-Demand

    Make sure to include features by which users can schedule personal sessions with professional coaches depending on availability. These training sessions will be useful for users who have certain queries that could not be cleared during the group sessions. This workout feature is very popular in Uber like apps to hire professionals on-demand.

  • AI algorithms

    Use technology in your favor to create features like an instant barcode scanner that displays the calorie breakdown to the user in an instant. Food items that do not have a barcode can be identified with the help of AI-backed algorithms. Incorporating these features into your app may be expensive but is recommended.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, it is an outline along which you can work and create your own fitness app.

Technology Use to Build a Fitness App

Tech Stack
Programming Languages
  • Kotlin
  • Swift
  • PHP
  • Node js
IDE
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
Cloud Storage
  • Amazon S3
Database
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
Utilities
  • Google Analytics
  • Mixpanel
  • VIsual Website Optimizer
Payment Gateways
  • Braintree
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
Messaging Platform
  • Twilio
  • Nexmo
  • Sinch
  • RestComm
Libraries
  • Google Map
  • Socket
Deployment platforms
  • Cloud
  • iOS
  • Android
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Integrate the latest technology like AI, ML, and IoT in your app to make it successful. Connect with us today.

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Estimate Cost to Make a Fitness App

Application development services vary greatly from country to country. Many countries provide their app development services at a significantly lower rate as compared to developers in countries like the USA or Australia.

The development cost also varies greatly depending on these 4 factors- the app development company, the complexity of the features included, the time in which it has to be delivered, and if it has a cross-platform feature or not.

To get the exact cost of the fitness app, you can get in touch with us and share your requirements. To give the basic idea, we have provided the approximate hours to develop the major features of the fitness app. So, you can calculate the total hours with the per-hour rate of any developer to get the approximate cost.

FeaturesEstimated Man hours
iOSAndroid
Sign In77
Create Account1111
Workout Menus2324
Activiy Status1516
Integration with Third-party Apps1515
Relevant Database1920
User Activity Tracking and Geolocation2020
Notifications and Reminders1212
Goal Setting77
Workout Tips and Video Tutorials1010
Rewards99
Social Media Integration88
Live Streaming2424
Coach on-demand1313
AI Algorithm4038

Fitness App Monetization Strategies

Fitness App Monetization Strategies

With your app established, it is also important to visualize a monetization model for further enhancing the features you provide your app users. Here are some of the most common avenues you can explore to monetize your fitness app.

  1. Paid Apps

    If you are providing the user with above-average features than what is being provided by others, do charge a premium for the usage of your app. You can provide the user with a trial experience of the app on downloading. If your app is what it claims to be, users will buy a subscription to your app.

  2. In-App Purchases

    You can monetize your app by allowing access to certain features after payment for its services by the user. This helps users to further customize and personalize their fitness apps and align them with their personal fitness goals.

  3. Advertisements

    It is a very effective way to monetize your app. These ads need not necessarily be Google-run ads, you can consider partnering up with other fitness apps and can charge a commission for the same.

  4. Membership Model

    You can monetize your app by allowing access to certain features for only ‘premium’ users who have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. These premium users will be provided with additional discounts and benefits, in the long run, to enhance their health and fitness experience on the app.

  5. Affiliate Sales

    By partnering with reputed fitness brands, you can help sell your health and fitness application on their platform and vice versa. It is important to align with brands that are in sync with your fitness ideology.

Fitness is a broad-avenue topic and people often have a lot of queries when it comes to a health and fitness application. Below, we have put together some FAQs that will be helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do fitness apps do?

    These workout apps enable the user to train more effectively by monitoring data such as the running speed, distance, heart rate, and so forth. AI-backed algorithms help in data storage and processing, thus personalizing workout recommendations for the user.

  2. How much does it cost to develop a fitness app?

    $50,000 to $10,0000 (subject to change). The cost varies greatly depending on 4 major factors- the app development company, the complexity of the features included, the time in which it has to be delivered, and if it has a cross-platform feature or not.

  3. How do I create a fitness app?

    Here’s a quick step-by-step guide-

    • Conduct fitness market research to identify what types of fitness applications (activity tracking, workout logging, etc) you want to hinge on.
    • Then draw out a list of Basic Features (Sign In, Account Creation, etc).
    • Once you’re done with that, list out some Additional Features (Video Tutorials, etc) you would like to add to the app.
    • Lastly, chalk out the monetization strategy (In-App Purchases, etc) for your app.
    • With all this thought out, you can now approach an app developers team that will create the app for you.
  4. How do fitness apps make money?

    The most common monetization models (ways that fitness applications make money) include features like in-app purchases, advertisements, and subscription-based app downloads.

  5. How long does it take to make a fitness app?

    Basic fitness apps that have minimal functionalities (only activity tracking), can take 600 to 700 hours of development time. More complicated projects that have additional features like AI-powered algorithms can take up to 1200 to 1800 hours, depending on the complexity.

  6. What are the must-have features in a fitness app?

    • Sign up / Sign in
    • Workout Menus
    • Integration through social networks
    • Push notifications
    • Geolocation(for running and other outdoor applications)
    • Goal Setting
    • Activity tracking
    • Food logging (for diet applications)
    • Payment integration
    • Online consultation and chat option

Conclusion

Fitness is a lifestyle change, which is why it is considered a challenge. The fitness apps go a long way in helping users to make this lifestyle change. However, with numerous fitness applications out there, you need to make sure your app is not only functional but also reflects your passion for fitness and individuality.

Make sure to keep this in mind while creating your business model/fitness application:

  • Keep your app flexible in terms of exercise variations and techniques. Be open to critique and responsive to user needs.
  • Collaborate with third-party applications to allow for wearable fitness devices. This allows the user to be truly invested in the process rather than it being a fleeting thought.

Users will never refrain from using types of fitness apps that add value to their lives and help them stay fit. So, if you have the best app idea specifically fitness, do share it with us. We are a leading mobile app development agency in Canada, having a team of expert developers, designers, and quality analysts. So, what are you waiting for? Just fill our contact us form.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.