The Benefits and Potential of Augmented Reality Fitness Apps

Technology has made our lives much easier. We can wash dishes and clothes without getting our hands wet, find any information within seconds, do many jobs without actually going to work, and much more. There is a problem, however: now that people don’t need to move that much, it’s getting harder to keep fit.

Despite all innovations, people also still find themselves busier than ever. Often, they feel too tired for exercise, whereas a video game or social media on their smartphones are both more fun and easier to do. Whatever the reasons, nearly half of American adults fail to meet physical activity guidelines while millions of dollars are wasted on unused gym memberships.

Ironically, technology may also provide a solution. Fitness applications are already booming; augmented reality fitness apps are breaking new ground.

Augmented reality (AR) neatly weaves digital content into a person’s actual environment. Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters are probably best-known examples of the technology that is widely used today. The AR industry’s size reached almost 18 billion dollars in 2020 and is projected to grow.

Have you considered building a workout app or adding new features to your existing product? Read on to learn how augmented reality is revolutionizing fitness and what features may help your product stand out from the competition, grow, and generate revenue.

The Advantages of Augmented Reality Fitness Apps

The benefits of utilizing AR in the workout industry include, but are not limited, to the following:

Motivation Boost

It may be difficult to find and keep motivation for exercise. Firstly, exercising may be confusing. Some people may not know how to do a certain exercise properly and even get injured if they do it wrong. Secondly, not everyone wants to drive to the gym or look for perfect jogging tracks. Thirdly, we are used to instant gratification and results, but exercise does not provide that. Finally, some people may find the same repetitive activities just boring.

AR helps to make exercise more convenient. As long as one owns the necessary equipment or chooses workouts without equipment, they can exercise at home. No need to go to the gym and interact with an overly-excited and demanding coach.

AR helps to ensure “the right atmosphere” by offering a virtual coach or recreating a gym environment with the help of smart glasses. Such simple things can motivate as well as a new pair of sneakers or yoga trousers.

AR features may further influence motivation by:

  • Tailoring activity to each user: A virtual coach can suggest the best number of repetitions, the correct exercising techniques, and the best amount of physical activity according to a person’s abilities and fitness goals.
  • Providing instant gratification: AR devices help to track the process while providing instant gratification. If users can see how much they have done, the feeling of fulfillment will instantly boost their motivation.
  • Making exercising fun: Many AR-driven fitness apps have a gamification part. For example, users may have to pass checkpoints, run to save someone, or go on a quest that has different workouts as tasks.

Smarter Workouts

It is hard to start exercising, but it is even harder to continue. Moreover, it is a common mistake to choose random workouts on the Internet. If a person is new to sports, they may pick up something that is too complicated or just wrong for them. Perceiving such exercise as something daunting, exhausting, or painful, they will be likely to drop it soon.

Smart workouts help to achieve fitness goals faster with less effort, which also motivates people. Simply put, it’s a routine that works best for an individual: the most effective exercises, the optimal amount, and the best tempo, so they don’t overwork themselves.

AR-powered apps may help to create a perfect workout routine. For example, they can track and display a user’s heart rate in real time. If a person sees that it’s too high (the maximum for exercising is 220 minus the age), it means that they should alleviate their routine. If the heart rate is slightly higher than while resting, it is time to add more complex exercises.

Hand-Free Experiences

Smartphones and tablets have made workouts even more popular and accessible than ever before. One can take them to the gym or on a jogging session and enjoy instructions from a favorite Youtuber anywhere.

Yet, the devices are still not completely safe and uncomfortable to carry during workouts. Phones can affect posture and balance, when carried with one hand, and even lead to injuries later. They can also distract owners during a workout, when a phone calls or a message arrives, reducing the productivity of a workout.

Hands-free AR devices like GoogleGlasses or Microsoft HoloLens prevent balance problems and distractions. Moreover, they offer a greater mobility. Sweaty hands will not be an issue either.

Thus, AR helps users to overcome major demotivators, such as the need to drive, confusion, fear of injuries, absence of gratification, or dullness. Users can be more confident, comfortable, and safe during workouts, and improve their results. Consequently, they are more likely to stick around for longer, generating revenue for the app owner.

If you wish your fitness app to glean these benefits, consider integrating the following AR features.

AR Features to Add to Your Fitness App

Real-Time Data

Real-time data helps users to understand what is going on inside of their body during the workout. It shows the current heart rate as part of a smart workout. It can also show what muscles are working (or should be working) at the moment so users can figure out whether they are achieving their goal or give out more energy on the muscles that they did not want to develop in the first place. It is also easier to notice a mistake if smart glasses say that a muscle should be involved but the person does not feel that at all.

The software can also tell users how long they have exercised, how far they have run, how many calories they have burnt, etc., as well as how they progress and how soon their weight or muscle goals can be achieved.

Virtual Instructor

Many people drop the idea of exercising right at the research stage because they are overwhelmed with information about the rules, types of workouts, exercises, gym equipment, and so forth.

By offering a personal virtual instructor, you can streamline the process. The ‘coach’ can promptly provide the necessary instructions, e.g., when the user points their phone at a QR code in a gym, choose workouts appropriate for the individual’s level of training and body type, and show how to do exercises safely.

For those who wish to avoid embarrassment at group workouts or in gyms, AR instructors can provide an opportunity to start exercising safely and effectively at home.

Fun Elements

Emerging experiences curated by AR can make workouts as fun as games and make a game out of exercising. For example, it’s possible to realize scenarios where users would run away from zombies while an instructor from a helicopter tells them what to do. They can also jog in a digitally created magical forest or on the beach, which is way more interesting than jogging around the building block.

Such fun elements add more value to the workout: for example, the beauty of a seaside, or the excitement of surviving a life-threatening situation, albeit simulated. They may also help to entice kids, keep them focused while exercising, and make them return to the app for more fun.

The Future of AR in Fitness Is in Your Hands

Working out may often seem hard, boring, and unrewarding, but modern technology, including augmented reality, is changing the way people are working out and thus, their perception of exercising.

Gamification makes sports more engaging, virtual instructors personalize the workouts and explain all the little details to increase their safety and effectiveness, and real-time data nurtures the feeling of fulfillment. These features can make any fitness app more valuable and competitive in the ever-growing market.

The business prospects of fitness apps look exciting, and so does the future of AR in fitness. Do you want to join the revolution? Are you planning a game-changing fitness or workout app? Do you need to implement AR features in your existing app? Please, do not hesitate to contact Onix! Our talented and experienced developers can help you build a perfect product for your users and your business.

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