Health and Fitness Mobile App Development

We already studied the case of medical applications, so it’s only fair that we proceed with another interesting and popular section – health and fitness digital products.

It’s safe to say, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and monitor your chronicle condition is a global trend right now. We love our bodies, yeah, but more than that we love simplicity and convenience in our everyday routine. Especially when it comes to training schedule or diet menu that we can manage with one handy mobile app.

That’s why I’d like to shout ‘cheers!’ to those who want to create a new health and fitness application. Are you one of them? Then let’s go for a run!

Why the Apps for Health and Fitness are Successful

We always choose something for a reason – it ain’t different with the fit applications. The modern rhythm of our lives and constantly increasing number of wearables and other gadgets pursue us to make our health a top priority.

According to the 2017 research, 56 percent of users already claimed using e-health applications and services because they allow taking a greater care of their own bodies. And Verto Analytics made an awesome thorough analysis of the existing apps in this industry and their popularity. There’re also some cool insights about current trends and future prospects.

Apps for Health & Fitness successful

Simply put, the health and fit app development has enormous potential for evolving into the must-have section for many people. The profit is hidden here:

  • An app provides the ability to store amounts of fitness data in one place and access it at any time. All prescriptions, diets, and individual workout plans are at our fingertips.
  • Monitoring of the physical state is faster and easier than ever. Nowadays, there is no need to visit a doctor if you have to check the temperature, blood pressure or a pulse.
  • All the obtained data could be easily transferred to a physician who will define the needed therapy or a prescription without actual physical examination.
  • Fit applications motivate lazy and busy people to get off the couch after the week of sitting in the office and have a nice run or do some exercises in the gym.
  • And sometimes, smart mobile devices (tonometers, glucometers, scales, etc.) or a regular health application could save one’s life.

Summing it up, we prefer the digital products because of their significant ability to organize and control every small detail of our health and fitness course. And that would never change – the demand for such application will only grow with each year.

Health and Fitness Apps Categorized

As with any application, first of all, you have to define the end goal: what it will measure, who will use it, and which functionality is required. Therefore, start with the type of the product you want to build.

There are pretty clear and well-known general categories in the industry that is being discussed: activity tracking and workout apps, nutrition and diet applications. But the field is bigger, so let’s take a closer look on the subject.

1) Physical activity trackers

This type provides the ability to control the vitals during the day while you’re running, exercising, walking, sleeping, or cycling. The tracker collects literally all the daily data: stairs climbed, steps and kilometers covered, liquid intake, calories burned, and hours slept. A developer can build a product for all-in-one purpose or an application for tracking a single activity.

Along with this, such an application could monitor your pulse, temperature, and many other parameters. Here you can set your own fitness goals or motion plans, then check your accomplishments in a percent of the fulfilled tasks. The app also has an archive for a history of user’s activity.

2) Workout (exercise) apps

Many of us don’t always have the luxury or time to regularly visit a gym. So this category is basically a personal workout trainer in one small smartphone or an iPhone. The user gets the info about the preset of the weight loss or muscle-building exercises and different kinds of visual demonstration how to do them.

The application provides a complex gym or home training plan for any demands a user may have. There is also a logbook subcategory which serves as a notebook. It allows scheduling and saving all personal workout sessions in order to control the progress. You put a desirable goal into the app, and it will constantly notify you about the time when you should move forward.

3) Personal coach providers

Slightly differs from the previous one in a form of an interactive gym coach whom you can choose based on the required level of training. That coach will provide you with a workout program and follow you every step of the way so you’d do everything right.

Here are also preset exercise plans included in various formats: simple text, pictures, video, 3D. You can pick a level of workout difficulty and train at home without paying for the real gym.

4) Yoga apps

It’s as simple as it's being said. Yoga is super popular these days, so the mobile app development is keeping up with trends. Some applications from this category are designed just for separate asanas or a full set of exercises, others teach different types of yoga.

5) Diet and nutrition planners

This category allows us to make personal nutrition plans and food journals, organize grocery lists, keep track of our calories and sugar level, water intakes, control the diet or food habits, and choose the appropriate recipes.

One can set personal diet tasks and calculate body weight or fat percentage, etc. An application will help you stick to the plan, motivate you with special rewards and recommendations if you’re successful, or send warnings if you’re on the wrong way.

How to Build Your Own Health and Fit App

How to Build Your Own Health and Fit App?

You could learn from the example of the most successful giants in this field – Apple’s apps, Google, and Nike, or other famous e-health and fit mobile products. Doesn’t matter, the point is, it’s always wise to do a market research to learn from advantages and mistakes of other competitors. Then, after gathering enough intel, you’ll be able to create a new revolutionizing health and fitness mobile product that would make the world a bit healthier.

However, your app has to be if not unique then definitely slightly different. It should offer new ways to solve the user’s problem or the coolest features which your opponents don’t implement in their products. But the beginning stage of every project is to define the direction. So let’s give you some tips on the development process.

#1 Technical luggage

To prepare for a coding stage, you should establish the next pillars:

1. Which mobile platform your app will support – iOS, Android, or both?

Note: your decision has to be based on the market you want to win (USA or Europe) and the project’s budget.  

2. Programming language for code writing  

Note: If you choose iOS, it could be Swift or Objective C. In the case of Android, it’s gonna be Java.

3. Development Approach – native or hybrid?

Note: it’s usually up to the app’s complexity, but in the field of health and fit mobile development it’s recommended going native. Since these apps would have to access a camera, WiFi, GPS, microphone, Bluetooth, and other features like a music player or a calendar, the connections and communications must be smooth and flawless, the user experience should be marvelous. The native approach would be the wisest choice here.

4. Backend connection

Note: You’ll have to choose an appropriate API service which you can entrust users’ fitness data storing. The connection has to be trustworthy and reliable because your app will collect personal info and this is a big deal. Protection means everything!

Tech Aspects Health and Fitness Apps

#2 HealthKit and Google Fit

Speaking about trusted APIs, there are awesome software tools for both iOS and Android developers. Apple’s HealthKit and cloud-based Google Fit provide the entrepreneurs with everything they need to build and manage high-quality healthcare and fit apps.

Both these open source frameworks store collected information in the encrypted database repositories, thus ensuring the needed level of privacy and security measures. Thankfully to these kits, users can also access their data from any desirable device.

Information that healthcare and fitness applications save in their API storages includes:
  • Distance (steps) covered
  • Calories
  • Heartbeat rate
  • Body parameters
  • Chosen activities (sports)
  • Exercise sessions
  • Quality of sleep (for HealthKit).

#3 UI/UX Design. First impression matters

Important stop here! People process the information from the visual point first. We like to look at nice and visually pleasant things, right? This plays a huge part in the fit apps that should motivate us to change our lifestyle.  

This means the visual side of your product has to be uncomplicated and contain only the necessary parts. There should be comprehensive but simple and friendly user interface with an informative original icon and catchy app’s name. Bear in mind that UI, in general, must show customers their results and push them towards to other goals.

Don’t neglect to include the high-quality widgets and animated infographics mixed with a few gamification tactics. It’s always a more attractive way of training when you can have fun during the practice (check out Zombies, Run!). We like the competition and trophies, so it’s just another way for developers to win over a larger audience by providing reliable and interesting user experience.

#4 Must-have features package

It’s one of the most difficult stages of the development process – choosing the right functionality. And it’s easy to get lost in the midst of all that variety. In this industry, you must be careful to avoid overstuffing your application with the secondary features.  

What is absolutely necessary for the health and fitness apps?
  •  Registration / Logging in
  •  Editable user’s profile with personal info
  •  Social integration with other platforms (like Facebook or Twitter)
  •  Multi-device synchronization
  •  The ability to measure the vitals   
  •  Trackers for chosen fit activities
  •  Option to set various tasks
  •  Customer’s statistics for a given period of time
  •  Preset exercise (workout) plans in various formats
  •  Logbook / Food journal
  •  Geolocation integration    
  •  Grocery list and barcode / QR scanner (in case of a Diet app)
  •  Native push notifications for warnings and results display
  •  History archive
  •  Menu of settings  

It’s the basics and you could fill the list with your own chosen option. Keeping in mind that the application should stand out among its competitors, we have a couple other tricks for you.

What else can you add to enhance your product and make it more commercially viable?

  1.  Live streaming feature for a real-time communication directly with coaches and private practice.
  2.  E-commerce options to make some purchases for a workout process or other activities.
  3.  Music playlist is a super add-on to any workout app because no one likes jogging or exercising in silence.
  4.  Healthy recipes with diet suggestions and voice directions how to cook meals step by step.
  5.  Gamification element will be always appreciated by users as we discussed in the Tip #3.

#5 How much does it cost?

Now, let’s try to explore how big your budget has to be to cover the expenses. However, we must warn you that it’s impossible to give an exact price of the health and fit mobile product without knowing the level of project complexity, set of desirable features, chosen platform, and the type of an application.

And if you have no coding skills, you’ll need to hire a team of professional app developers (taking into consideration their hourly rates). On average, such a team consists of an iOS / Android developer, 2-3 backend developers, one QA engineer, and a project manager. This would greatly influence the final cost.

How much does it cost Health and Fitness App

The development process for one mobile platform will be divided into the following stages:

  • Technical documentation writing (may take up to 40 hours of work)
  • UI/UX design (usually takes around 45-70 hours)
  • Front-end and Back-end development (the longest parts, takes up to 200 hours each)
  • MVP testing (around 80-100 hours)
  • Polishing and bug fixing (30-50 hours at best)

So, we have approximately 2–4 months. Hence, with $40-50 developers’ hourly rate, the overall price of the fit app could be around $20,000 for the simplest application and up to $65,000 for a more sophisticated one. But keep in mind that the cost may jump up according to your requirements and other force majeure factors.

And as for the earnings, you could learn how to make money with your application from our previous post called ‘Best Pricing Models: How to Monetize a Mobile App’.


According to any statistics, the future of health and fitness mobile app development is more than promising and bright. We like to simplify things and use our smartphones for daily activities, therefore, to organize the workout routines in the easiest ways. Even if we’re too busy to take care of our bodies, with one small application this problem could be solved.  

That’s why your idea to become a fit app developer is destined to end up with successfulness. But only if you do everything right, of course. So, in case you have no knowledge of coding, it’s better to ask for help some professionals or mobile development companies.

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