How To Create Your Own Fitness App: Step-by-step Guide
Fitness and sports apps are designed to promote physical activity and encourage users into building training habits, and they have become incredibly popular in recent years. The main reason for this is that individuals are paying more attention to their health and well-being. Because of changes in lifestyle and increased demand for more convenient workout methods, the fitness sector has also turned to digital transformation to suit the needs of its clients.
However, in order to create your own fitness app, you must be familiar with both general and particular information, such as app kinds, monetization tactics, and, most significantly, the development process. This article will go through several aspects of fitness app development, such as industry insights, costs and features, and the comprehensive procedure.
Fitness App Market Overview
The fitness app industry had progressively increased, but with the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it received the greatest push since the digital transformation era started. With over 385 million users, over 400 million fitness app downloads were recorded in 2021, producing $5.35 billion in revenue (Business of Apps).
The fitness app industry is massive and continues to expand at an incredible rate. According to Statista, this industry is projected to reach US$19.33 billion by 2023. With a 14.34% annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027), the expected volume by 2027 is US$33.04 billion.
Below are some of the most downloaded fitness apps and their revenues in 2021:
- Fitbit: 111 million registered users – $1.21 billion
- MyFitnessPal: 200 million users – $171 million
- Strava: 76 million users – $167 million
- Peloton: 5.9 million users – $4.02 billion
- AllTrails: 30 million users – $3.8 million
- Sweatcoin: 120+ million users – $19.3 million
As can be seen, the fitness app business is quite promising. Those that enter the market with a well-thought-out plan are almost certain to succeed.
Types Of Fitness Apps
Looking at the leading fitness apps mentioned above, do you realize that they belong to specific categories of fitness applications? One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what type of fitness app you want to create. An app may provide specific benefits to its users depending on its category.
Activity tracking apps
This app is created to keep track of the activities or workouts that a user chooses to do. In order to estimate the calories burned during activities, they will frequently monitor the number of steps taken, pace, distance traveled, activity duration, and so on. Some apps can suit the needs of runners and cyclists who want more precise metrics measurements. E.g: Strava, Nike Run Club, RunKeeper
Diet & Nutrition apps
These apps are designed to assist users in tracking and creating a personal meal plan. They can calculate the calories consumed using a large database after the user logs the food and drinks they have consumed. Based on the particular information provided, the applications can also generate diet plans and recommend appropriate exercises for a person (such as gender, age, height, and weight). E.g: MyFitnessPal, Waterlogged, Lose It!
The third most common fitness app type is apps for workouts. They are like a mini personal fitness trainer on your phone that offers exercises, training plans, and workout guides. To personalize the user’s experience, there are usually options for levels of exercise, frequency, music, and notifications. Some apps also let users customize exercises in a training session or what body parts they wish to focus on. E.g: Sworkit, Tone It Up, Freeletics
A number of providers today have integrated all features from the three groups into one in order to deliver a comprehensive user experience and keep customers on the app for longer. Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, for example, track a user’s activity, provide training instructions, and measure dietary intake. More fitness applications are expected to join this trend in the future.
Essential Features In A Fitness App
Each fitness app serves a particular purpose and provides various benefits to its users. Nevertheless, the following are the indispensable key components that your custom workout app must have in order to be more user-friendly and accommodating.
Sign up/Log in
This feature lets a user create their personal account and log in with their app account or other social accounts like email, Facebook, or other platforms.
After creating their account, the person inputs their health information and fitness objectives. With this data, the app will be able to offer the most effective and relevant fitness program to them. The more details the app gets, the better suggestions it offers.
Third-Party Device Connectivity
Nowadays, the concept of a fitness app extends far beyond the confines of a mobile phone. With the introduction of smart wearables such as the Apple Watch, companies have learned that their applications must also advance, therefore connecting with third-party devices has become a critical component that a workout app must have. Wearable devices assist fitness apps in collecting data and extending their connection with their users.
Blog or diaries
Depending on the app type, this feature may work like a diary (for diet tracking) or blog (for workout and health improvement). Users who use health and fitness apps are probably concerned about their general health and lifestyle. A blog is a great way to help your users, grow your brand, and deliver necessary information while encouraging loyalty.
Social media sharing
Integrating social media with your app is a brilliant move that can help in various ways. By sharing their achievements with their family and friends, users feel more motivated and at the same time encourage others to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Thus, you can acquire new users through their recommendations.
Mobile devices like iPhones and Samsung have their own health app, so it’s best that your app can integrate with these apps for smooth data sharing.
Notifications & reminder
Want users to keep coming back to your app? Then this feature is the best way to do so. By sending them notifications and reminders (for exercises, data input, etc), you pursue them to open and interact with your app again.
To enhance the user experience for your app and set you apart from competitors, consider adding these extra features:
- Heart-part tools integration
- Motivational goal tree
- Game elements
- App community
- Competition or practice-together mode
Learn More On: A Complete Guide On Women’s Health App Development 2022
Monetization Strategies For Fitness Apps
Figures indicate that the fitness app market is a promising land, and there is a list of apps with high revenue in recent years. Want to follow their path? Then you need to understand how a fitness app makes money.
Users must purchase your fitness app to reap its benefits. An approach you may use is to give a free trial, and if people see the value of your app, there’s a good chance they’ll pay for it or subscribe to keep using it.
Provide your users with basic features in the free mode, and advanced ones in the premium version like access to more training programs, or talks to experts.
When using this method, you integrate ads in your fitness app and create an income stream. Yet, always consider the ads’ quantity, placement, and duration to avoid annoying users.
This strategy entails associating your fitness app with online fitness coaches. Users accessing a training program on your platform will be charged a fee.
6 Steps To Create Your Own Fitness App
Step 1. Research your market
During this step, you must research the targeted fitness app market and pick which fitness app to develop. Before you begin the development process, you must first identify your rivals, their strengths and limitations, and how they address user concerns. Use the acquired data to conduct a thorough analysis and pick which type to construct.
Step 2. Decide on the app’s monetization model, platform, and features
With the gained market insights, you can verify which platform your app will be on – iOS or Android. If your target market is Android-centric, focus on releasing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first and thinking about iOS later. It is best practice to have your app available on both platforms. Despite that the cost doubles when having your app on both platforms, it helps reach twice the number of users. So your investment will be worth it.
The next thing to do is consider how you will make a profit from this app. You may choose among the discussed strategies or combine them if appropriate.
You already know the key features a fitness app must have. However, based on the nature of your app and the expectations of your target audience, do more research and test some additional features. They can be the ones that help you win over users.
Step 3. Prototype and user testing
To testify whether your app idea will work or not, the best way is to create an MVP first. Since it is an MVP, only essential features are required.
Then, have a group of people you considered in your target segment interact with the MVP. Collect feedback from them and define changes to be made. An MVP allows you to understand the user-app interaction and avoid expensive adjustments during the development process.
Step 4. Choose your tech stack
After the solution is approved, time to decide on your workout app’s tech stack. Your decision will have an impact on the budget for custom health and fitness app development. Not only that but your app’s capabilities may also be expanded or limited by the chosen tech stack.
So, what technologies you can choose to build your own fitness app?
Native apps are developed with Swift (iOS) or Java/Kotlin (Android). Since these programming languages are used for a particular platform, the created app can gain access to all device’s features, resulting in the best app performance.
Native apps provide a top experience, but developing an app with them is time-consuming and expensive. To allow businesses to build an app that works on multiple platforms simultaneously, React Native, Flutter, Kotlin Multiplatform and other app frameworks are the solution.
Progressive web app (PWA)
Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a type of web app that can function on any device as both a web page and a mobile app. This tech stack is an alternative option when you want to start small and don’t need to connect to any external or platform hardware.
There are solutions on the market that allow you to create fitness apps without having any app development skills. The downside is that the app created with these technologies only has minimal features and can’t provide a complete user experience.
Step 5. Develop, test and repeat
In this step, the app is built according to the specifications that have been approved. This includes frontend and backend development. In short, the frontend is the interface that a user interacts with, and the backend takes care of data processing, storage, and security.
Another significant part of development time is spent on testing and bug fixes. Quality assurance engineers assess the whole user experience of the project and whether the features perform as planned, in addition to inspecting the code for bugs.
Step 6. Launch and maintain your app
As you near the end of the process, your custom fitness app is ready to be released on app marketplaces.
However, your responsibilities do not end there. Unexpected problems may occur during operation. In such cases, always monitor the app’s performance and resolve any issues as soon as possible. Analytics tools that you can use are Google Analytics, Mixpanel, etc.
Another consideration is that a robust marketing strategy and support services must be developed in order for your app to be popular and profitable. Promote your software through different media, keep training sessions up to date, and listen to feedback.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Fitness App?
The answer to this varies regarding several factors, including the app’s platforms, tech stack, complexity, and the location of your development team.
Your app development team calculates the required working hours, thus estimating the total cost. 4-6 months is the average time to build a custom fitness app with medium complexity.
If the hourly rate is $50, then the development costs for a full-featured fitness app range from $60,000 to $160,000.
For an accurate quotation, contact Savvycom and provide us with more details about your app idea.
Build Your Fitness App With A Reliable Partner
Understanding the market and the fundamental concepts of fitness app development is the first step in making your own mobile app.
If you want to secure success with your fitness app, a trusted tech partner plays a key role. Not only we will be responsible for the app development stage, but with our expertise in building healthcare app, we can offer advice and best practices to make your app stands out to users.
Savvycom – Your Trusted Tech Partner
From Tech Consulting, End-to-End Product Development to IT Outsourcing Services! Since 2009, Savvycom has been harnessing the power of Digital Technologies that support business’ growth across the variety of industries. We can help you to build high-quality software solutions and products as well as deliver a wide range of related professional services.
Savvycom is right where you need. Contact us now for further consultation:
- Phone: +84 24 3202 9222
- Hotline: +84 352 287 866 (VN)
- Email: [email protected]
Apps for Diet and Nutrition: This app functions similarly to a tracking device for a certain function, such as eating habits. Users can log the food they eat, and the app can count how many calories are in the food they've logged.
Activity tracking app: This type can maintain track of the various activities or workouts that a user decides to perform. The program keeps track of the distance traveled, the number of steps walked or climbed, and the calories expended during activities.
Workout app: This type functions as a personal trainer or as a replica of a gym or training studio. It offers a specific workout regimen or exercise for your fitness needs, whether you desire to grow muscle or lose weight.
Registration, a user profile, a dashboard, a workout menu, a fitness database, and a connection with third-party apps and wearables are all required. Leaderboards, live streaming, and video instructions might also be included.
There are various methods for monetizing your app. You can incorporate the following strategies in your fitness app to generate income:
- Subscription: Users must buy your fitness app in order to benefit from it.
- In-App Purchases: Users pay to use advanced features of your app
- Advertisements: Ads can be integrated into your app, and you generate income from there.
- Fees: Users accessing a training program on your platform will be charged a fee.
A custom fitness app of medium complexity takes an average of 4-6 months to develop.
If the hourly rate is $50, the development costs for a fully functional fitness app range between $60,000 and $160,000.