In 2017, the craze of Pokemon Go took the entire world by storm for a brief period of time. This app got people walking significantly more than they had previously without even realizing it. In fact, one study showed that, on average, Pokemon Go users were walking an extra 2,000 steps per day.
The technology’s success with getting people out of the house and moving more shows how apps can actually be an effective way to improve people’s ability and motivation to be fit. Let’s look at outdoor and indoor applications to prove this.
There are a variety of different applications and programs that are proven to get people outside and motivate them to be physically active.
One of such apps that came out somewhat recently is Runtastic, which is a heart rate monitoring app that works in conjunction with your cell phone. The app gives a possibility to monitor your heart rate. It also allows its users to compare their results, receive reminders to do regular heart rate checks, and several other features. This can be especially useful for people to use after a tough training session or playing sports, and lets people know when they need to get off the couch and be active.
Endomondo is an app like Runtastic but instead of monitoring a user’s heart rate, it essentially provides users with a “personal trainer in your pocket.” Even the free version of this app has a GPS system, route planner, and an activity tracker. This way people can monitor how active they are and how far they run and easily share it to social media. This really incentivizes users to work out since their entire network online can then hold them accountable.
Nike+ also helps its members stay active but instead of being an app it’s an online community that works to give them many resources that encourage and assist them in staying fit. For instance, Nike+ Community allows users to create an online fitness social network, so people can build up a collection of friends and supports that helps them train. However, Nike+ Running is similar to Endomondo.
While some people may be alarmed by the data collected from the apps, it can actually serve excellent purposes, especially as they become more advanced.
Some even theorize that fitness apps will soon be able to alert its users and their doctor when it’s time for a medical visit.
While most apps are more effective outside, there are a few that are best used inside.
Kinomap, for instance, works with all hometrainers who have Bluetooth. “The idea was to build an app to revolutionize indoor sports”, said the president of SAS Kinomap Philippe Moity. It essentially turns a stationary bike, treadmill or rowing machine into a more powerful and enjoyable fitness device. Like the outdoor apps, it motivates people to stay active and fit, only inside their homes or gym.
There are four main ways that the device makes fitness sport more playful and less monotonous. First, the Kinomap offers its users a diversity of courses, so that they can virtually exercise almost anywhere in the world: from the French Alps to the Great Wall of China. Secondly, the device is very interactive with its user, motivating and encouraging them to reach their fitness goals. Thirdly, the app makes people feel like they are immersed in a different place that is more motivating than their home or living room. Lastly, the app has a multiplayer function that allows friends to compete against each other in their fitness goals, pushing each other further.
Additionally, the device utilizes machine learning to offer personalized and challenging routes.
In fact, the beta testing of Kinomap’s multiplayer function took place in Paris at the emlyon business school campus, and the testing prototype was built by two students - Romain Juncker and Emmanuel Humbert.
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