In a short span of 10 years, fitness apps came a long way from simple “games” for runners. Today, apps provide a proper tool for fitness enthusiasts, no matter if they run, lift or do HIIT. To be properly familiar with the route fitness apps took to get here, here’s a brief history of how fitness apps came to life, how they developed and how they revolutionized fitness.
How it all began
To get to know the history of workout apps, we first need to take a look at the history of the apps themselves. What is an app? An application or an app is a piece of software created to fulfill a purpose. Apps are downloaded on your handheld devices, mostly on smartphones. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that you can use to play games, read the news, organize your day, navigate through life and improve your fitness. No matter if you’re an iOS user or an Android user, you can enjoy a ton of useful apps every day.
First fitness apps
The App Store saw the light of day in 2008 and just two years later, we got the first fitness apps on the market, ready to download. One of the first fitness apps (if not the first one) was “Fit Phone”, but it’s now long gone from the store. In the beginning, fitness apps were very simple and crude, but as smartphones developed and started offering new possibilities, fitness apps followed and grew. In no time, a person could have their personal fitness trainer right in their pocket no matter if they went running, cycling or lifting! Thanks to GPS tracking and motion sensors, today we can trace our routes, measure our runs and enjoy other features.
At the start, most apps were only available for purchase if you wanted to use them on your phone. However, users didn’t want to spend money, so to drive downloads, developers offered apps free in the store every now and then. Users quickly figured out that if they wait, they can get their apps for free all the time. And of course, developers started losing money so they had to come up with something new.
The evolution of fitness apps
Fitness app developers came up with different ways to earn money and keep their apps running. For instance, some offered training equipment that was supposed to be used with the app—this is more or less how fitness headbands, bracelets and smartwatches came to be. And since mobile commerce was still new, this idea worked okay but not great.
Next, developers started focusing on in-app advertising, but this soon brought a flood of ads that made using the app practically impossible. This was followed by a reduction of free functions. Certain app functions that used to be available for free now required premium membership. This is a great model that allows everyone to win. Now we have amazing apps like the expert Humango sports training app that offers a bunch of free content like activity log, social features and group training. However, they also offer paid packages (very affordable) that include extra features like session planning, custom training plans, workout library, personalized feedback, etc.
The community factor
One of the most useful aspects of fitness apps is the ability to upload your progress, share information with other people, compare progress, invite people to work out with you and share your progress on social media. These social features are what attracts a lot of people to fitness apps. The newer feature of fitness apps is push notifications that remind you to workout out or give motivational messages. For instance, you can get messages like “Did you work out today?” or “Try out our new workout” or “It’s time to weigh yourself and note down your progress”.
Fitness apps for everyone
Just ten years ago, most apps contained nothing but training plans, but today, fitness apps are complicated health tools that combine fitness, wellness and lifestyle. Modern apps offer everything from training plans to stretching, meditation, nutrition and mindfulness exercises. They also cover all sports imaginable! People who love HIIT are especially favored by the developers, but soon we can expect more apps for even more users.
Fitness apps are an amazing achievement in the world of technology. By mixing tech and fitness, we can get the entire world in shape.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.