The global pandemic we are hopefully leaving behind has shown the vulnerability of different economic sectors. Especially those that depend on offline interactions and face-to-face communication. Even though restaurants, pubs, fitness centers, and other amenities are reopening, they will never feel as safe as before.

There is actually a lot of good in it. Many industries become more flexible and initiate digital transformation much sooner than they planned. They launch software solutions that allow customers to use the same services remotely and provide additional channels of communication. This enhances customer satisfaction and makes businesses more resistant to crises, lockdowns, economic fluctuations, and other challenges.

In our three-part series, we want to share the best application types to maintain business stability in any situation. We’ve already talked about video streaming and delivery applications in our two previous posts. This time, let’s consider fitness applications as another software development trend with great potential. Fitness apps, workout apps, nutrition, and diet apps are becoming increasingly popular today.

Discover more about fitness app development from the following subtopics:

Fitness Application Industry Perspectives: Market Size, Leaders, and Trends

We have told you that health and fitness apps are worth investing in, but numbers speak louder than words. The fitness app development market is projected to grow by $1.68 billion just in four years, from 2020 to 2024.

The US fitness app market size, 2015-2026Source: Grand View Research

Based on the predictions, exercise and weight loss fitness apps will continue to be the most popular application. The shares of other types of health and fitness apps will also increase. The research run by Polaris shows that the number of nutrition and disease management applications is steadily growing. Users like addressing mild health issues remotely without the need to commute to healthcare institutions and see a physician in person.

Polaris Market Research

Source: Polaris Market Research

The data on health and fitness apps confirms the increasing demand for fitness app development. The number of quarterly downloads of health fitness apps increased from 446 million downloads in the Q2 of 2019 to 656 million in the Q2 of 2020. Such changes reflect the impact of the pandemic on market trends.

Health and fitness app downloads worldwide

Health and fitness app downloads worldwide

Source: Statista

Currently, the fitness app development segment is more fragmented than video streaming or food delivery. Finding your business niche is easier. There are several market leaders with uneven popularity among iOS and Android platform users, such as Calm, MyFitnessPal, Headspace, and Weight Watchers. Such data on the interest towards different types of health and fitness apps is helpful to understand that kind of application is more likely to attract users.

Most popular health and fitness apps, February 2020Source: SensorTower

The economic decline and social distancing measures have sped up fitness app development growth. Since the beginning of the quarantine, the sales of fitness equipment, including yoga mats, dumbbells, and treadmills, increased by over 50%. With the closure of gyms, socially distant sports lovers have switched to alternative ways to stay physically active. They eagerly use fitness apps to organize their training routine at home. When we return to normal, many people who have gotten used to workout apps will continue using them.

Health and fitness apps offer software investors sustainable growth and many fitness app development options to choose from. Find the main fitness app ideas listed below.

Types of Fitness Apps

Before contacting an iOS or Android app development company, try to understand what type of fitness apps are the most demanded by your target audience. It’s crucial to run a business analysis, create a user persona, and pick the best fitness app fit for your requirements.

The majority of fitness services fall under three broad categories:

Activity tracking apps. This type of fitness application tracks the number of steps, calories burnt, favorite activities, exercise duration, distance (e.g., Google Fit). It’s an add-on to offline training that allows users to better monitor the effectiveness of exercises.

Nutrition and diet apps. They help to monitor food habits, automatically count calories, analyse the calories burned and consumed, control weight/water balance, cook healthy recipes, and more (e.g., MyFitnessPal). Users install nutrition and diet apps to get suggestions on healthier meals, stick to their diet and track their weight loss progress, and receive the useful nutrition tips.

Workout and exercise apps. Fitness guide apps provide selections of exercises for different activity types and groups of muscles (e.g., Sweat). Workout apps can either fully substitute training in a gym or make it more effective serving as a personal trainer.

Once you decide what kind of health and fitness app you want to launch, it’s time to select the right features. The functionality of the future solution will affect the complexity of the project, scope of work, and budget.

Basic Features of a Fitness Application

Even though the target audience differs for each app type, their features are intertwined. For example, a simple workout app can be enriched with activity tracking functionality or nutrition tips.

Leobit’s mobile app development services recommend starting with an MVP to test the core functionality and then expand it with additional capabilities. Here are the basic features of a fitness app:

  • User login allows users to complete a quick registration through social media or opt for email sign up.
  • User profile provides a dashboard where app users can set parameters, such as sex, age, weight, or exercise preferences, and see their training progress.
  • Workout programs enable people to choose among numerous training plans and different types of activities.
  • Activity tracking to track steps, training duration, calories burnt, distance, and other relevant indicators.
  • Pop-up recommendations. Implement AI-powered tips to guide users in their future efforts based on their previous achievements.
  • Wearable device integrations. Integrate with popular wearables to collect more reliable data and enhance the training experience.
  • Social features. Enable users to share their progress on social media, including Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter.

Launching a fitness app, it’s also necessary to select the right monetization. Paid ads, sponsored content, paid features, or monthly subscriptions are the most commonly used approaches. Ideally, you should combine a few to maximize the profit from fitness app development.

How to Build a Fitness App (SDLC, Time Estimations, and Cost)

If you wonder how to create an app step by step, there should be no surprises here. Fitness app developers will follow the standard software development life cycle consisting of the next stages:

  1. Requirement discovery. Before fitness app developers can get down to work, market research is essential. Thus, you must ask business analysts to analyze the target niche, outline business requirements, and make sure all stakeholders share the same vision of the project. Your team will also choose the most appropriate working model, outline the roadmap, and estimate the budget.
  2. Design and Prototyping. After you set the goals, know the tech stack, and recruit the necessary specialists, they will work on the MVP or prototype. The team will create a basic design that showcases the functionality of the solution. This version is necessary to validate the idea before the development and launch the promotion of the fitness application.
  3. Development and testing. Once the MVP of the product is approved, fitness app developers can code. This stage is quite time-consuming and requires a lot of effort and investment. To develop a fitness app that runs smoothly and doesn’t have bugs, the fitness app developers involve QA specialists. Through automated and manual checks, QA experts test the software and request the development team to fix any detected issues.
  4. Application deployment and maintenance. The fitness app developers release the app and process the feedback received from users. With software development, some changes are made after the app is launched. Any software also requires continuous maintenance and updates. Therefore, a part of the team usually keeps working on the product.

For determining the timeframes, you have to consider many factors, such as the resources you have access to, the application scope, app complexity, functionality, etc. In the table below, we listed the main tasks required for fitness application development and provided an average number of hours they take.

Functionality Estimated Hours
User registration 32+
User profile 30+
Push notifications 24+
Workout tools 120+
Activity tracking 135+
Wearables Integration 60+
Social media shares 30+
Design 100+
Total 531+

Now, when you know an average timeline of fitness app development, let’s calculate how much it would cost to build such an application. Clutch, a B2B market research firm, shows that the hourly rate of US software development companies fluctuates from $100 to $149. It means that the cost of a fitness application starts at $53,100–$79,119 plus the additional budget allocated for risks, fixes, tests, and unplanned additions. Hence, the total price of a delivered application will range from $106,200 to $158,238. Note you can save about 50% of this amount by outsourcing your software development to Lviv, Ukraine.

Useful Tech and Business Tips on Fitness App Development

  • Use Auth0 to implement out-of-the-box authorization functionality
  • Integrate with Google Fit and Apple’s HealthKit APIs to access user information from wearable devices. No need to build complex direct integrations with wearable sensors
  • Invest in building apps for simple home workouts to meet the current pandemic development trends
  • Focus on a specific market segment and end-users while building your marketing strategy (e.g. Sweat is promoted as a fitness app for a female community)
  • Engage professionals in the workout planning and warn users when some exercises may be too difficult for them

Final Thoughts

Leobit’s developers have created a lot of mobile fitness applications. Fitness solution with gamification elements for a Norwegian company Sportif AS is one of them. Our experts successfully delivered a complex project aimed to encourage people to do sports.

You won’t miscalculate if you build a video streaming, delivery, or fitness app. These applications are highly demanded by the users globally even during the economic fallout.

Contact Leobit’s experts with great experience in developing the best web & mobile applications and let them help your business flourish.