We've been going to gyms for a very long time to get fit, slim, and trim. But in the short time that smartphones have been around, people have started embracing fitness apps to take their well-being into their own hands. Likewise, the market for these apps has exploded in the past few years. Smart fitness apps make use of user inputs in combination with their own functional programming to regulate and optimize one or more aspects of user fitness and health.
These innovative apps allow you to track your own biometrics, blood sugar levels, heart rate and so on during workout sessions to get the most out of your daily regimen and improve yourself all-around. It's especially helpful that these apps are downloadable for most, if not all, mobile devices--tablets and smartphones alike, meaning even people with low-cost data plans can use them.
Of course, gyms are noticing, some are even devoting budget expenditures to developing their own fitness apps in-house to supplement their fitness training regimens.
Yet, the nature of both the ways and the kinds of settings in which people work out is changing. Private fitness studios, such as On Your Mark--where people work out in smaller, more personalized training environments--are on the rise, especially in New York City. These boutique gyms, which have been popping up all over New York, have come to challenge large gym chains like Equinox, whose inadequate trainer compensation models have driven the best and most experienced trainers to start their own businesses.
The smart fitness app market is changing just as dynamically in reflecting the more personalized, customizable needs of fitness junkies in New York, one of the top three most physically active cities in the world.
"As a personal fitness trainer, I take my client's goals and body type into account during all training sessions, but having apps outside of those sessions allows them to stay on track, even when away from the gym."
Mark Greenfield - Master Trainer, NSCA, NASM, SFMA Certified
More New Yorkers are utilizing fitness apps to take control of their well-being, but due to New York's changing fitness landscape, the market for these apps is also changing dynamically.
Mark Greenfield, founder of On Your Mark, a private fitness studio based in Lower Manhattan, says he recommends his clients download fitness apps to supplement their progress outside of the gym environment, as well as to track progress and optimize workouts. "The apps can't supplement a real workout, but they go a long way to keep you focused on the results you want." Given the growth of the smart fitness app market, there are lots to use to make your workout and post-workout follow-up as strong and healthy as possible.
MyFitnessPal is great for people looking to lose weight. It has no functionality inside the gym setting, but outside the gym, this app allows users to track calorie count in real time and construct a self-regulating diet plan, which the app regulates according to the daily amount of calories each user inputs into the app. MyFitnessPal also has features very similar to game apps that encourage users to continue their gym-based exercises at home, making for a fun, interactive experience.
Many users have testified that the app's strong online community has been the deciding factor for them in their individual weight loss journeys. Even more useful is MyFitnessPal's incredible food database, including over 5 million foods so users never have to count calories on their own, and even allows users to craft recipes in-app to account for food combinations with their own combined calorie count.
Where MyFitnessPal is focused on weight loss, CouchTo5k, a premier running app, is focused purely on building stamina and workout capacity, helping inactive fitness aspirants conquer bad habits and reach their full potential.
The app is highly simplistic--activate it, answer a few questions, then start running at the pace it recommends. During your run, the app will track your biometric output and tell you what to do accordingly, making your run easy, exciting, and functional, preventing injury resulting from any deficits in fitness a new runner might have.
Intended to optimize users' running ability over a 9 week, three-times-a-week running regimen, the app is accompanied by a full website with different workout plan variants, including the general 9-week running program, that teaches users how to scale their progress incrementally. The site is in several languages, and even includes motivational podcasts, testimonials, an online community of its own, and a bevy of other helpful resources to complement the in-app features outside of workouts.
The testimonials on both apps' sites are great, but how do you objectively measure progress? Athos knows. With its mobile app-linked biometric surface EMG sensor-embedded garments, aka "smart clothes", Athos extends the Internet of Things to the most personalized level, giving users the opportunity to use the wearable tech during any workout for any length of time.
During your workout, the clothing measures every biometric output given off by the body, scores those with its Muscle Effort Scoring™ scaling system for workouts, and transmits the data to your smartphone to deliver precise, objective, real-time insights on what muscle groups are affected by each workout, target muscle effort, effort achieved and at which weights. Simply work out while wearing the high tech clothing, and they track, measure, and display all your physical outputs on your smartphone effortlessly.
To get the most out of wearable tech and apps like these, you can combine them with top-notch workout classes at boutique fitness gyms like Belleon Body located in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, that have classes focusing on fat burning, toning, and strength training all in a single class.
MyFitnessPal, CouchTo5k, and Athos are increasing the quality of workout sessions, but there are still more advancements in workout apps and wearable tech-linked apps to come. The fitness tech ecosystem in New York can only benefit from increased advancement in this area, and the markets already show inspiring growth. Because of this, every fitness-centric environment is going to need to adapt to incorporate smart fitness apps into their workout regimens, and companies are already scrambling to chart the future of the fitness industry.
Fitness will be forced to evolve to confirm to an increasingly tech-centric standard as trainers leave gyms and create ever more innovative fitness centers and workout concepts to fill them. Smart fitness apps are a way for the already-fit and fitness aspirants alike to take their workouts to the next level, and apps like MyFitnessPal, CouchTo5k, and Athos are prime examples of how physical quantification is already taking fitness into an increasingly tech-centric context.
For any tech-, health-, and fitness-savvy New Yorker, downloading these apps and getting to work is a must. Download MyFitnessPal, CouchTo5k, and Athos on the App Store now and take your workout in 2017 to the next level!