Why integrating communication functionality to your fitness app is a good idea
10 Sep 2021
We are living in an era of health and fitness. More and more people around the globe recognize the value of keeping fit and integrate exercise and healthy food into their daily lives. Many of them trust the creation of their training programs and diets to professionals and get gym memberships to exercise under the supervision of a trainer.
The number of gym members was growing steadily until 2019 reaching almost 185 million people globally and fitness market size nearing $100 billion. However, 2019 brought us the Covid-19 pandemic, which upended almost every industry in the world, fitness included. The isolation and social distancing requirements shut people down in their homes driving them away from their fitness center, swimming pool, and dance studio. In 2020, the gym industry lost almost $14 billion as a result of massive closing of gyms and fitness clubs.
Still, the fitness industry regrouped quickly and got on the recovery path by moving online. As most industries, it adopted remote practices when no longer able to conduct offline trainings. There is now an online program or an app for any physical health fitness freaks out there – you have your cardio, running, yoga, cross-fit, HIIT, or zumba, all you need to do is browse the net for half an hour.
Types of fitness apps
Online exercise and fitness apps existed even before the pandemic catering to those who are too busy or too introverted to physically visit a gym. Today, though, remote fitness classes and mobile workout apps are becoming a new normal and have developed a number of formats giving you an option to choose the one that suits you best.
Live streams. These fitness platforms, for example, Daily Burn, try to be as close to offline gym trainings as possible. They gather members at a certain time slot and hold sessions in real-time creating virtual fitness classes. Workout sessions can be one-on-one or in a group, with personalized program planning for everyone. The advantage of such fitness programs is that they make you plan your training, fit it into your schedule and, most importantly, show up at the specified time.
Workout planning and tracking apps. Halfway between coached training and self-paced exercise, these apps build a personalized training plan for you and help you track your fitness goals. Many of such workout apps, for example, Freeletics, offer coached sessions where you can actually exercise under supervision of a professional coach.
On-demand fitness platforms for self-training. YouTube is full of fitness channels where you can choose the ones you like and just repeat what the coach is doing. You can mix and match, repeat any videos as many times as you like, put together playlists or use the ones that the channel suggest. Check, for example, Yoga with Adriene, a channel where you can do at-home yoga. Such channels or fitness apps are great for those who prefer self-paced fitness, and enjoy educational content, but there is no professional supervision.
Challenges. Even a brief Google search will return dozens of 30-day fitness challenges, 14-day six-pack challenges, 21-day healthy eating challenges – just pick what you like. Most often, challenges are mobile apps where you subscribe to the selected program and post your results daily. The 30 day fitness app, for example, claims to bring you in shape in just 30 days with a workout and diet plan.
Fitness trackers. These mobile activity tracking apps, such as Google Fit, keep track of everything you do during your day as long as you have your smartphone or wearable device on. They count your steps, log your runs, monitor your heart rate, watch your sleep cycles. With such apps, you can track your exercise and diet habits and adjust them according to your fitness goals.
Why should you integrate a live chat into a fitness app?
In the time of social distancing, live chat and other forms of online communication stand front and center, as they remain the primary connection between customers and businesses. Fitness apps are no exception, and here including a live chat in your fitness application development can make your app stand out from among the competitors.
What can you use live chat for? The practical use cases are multiple:
A new client inquiring about the app or platform conditions. For such cases, it is wise to support live chat without account creation, so that new customers can get the information they need before logging in – just like at a gym reception desk.
General support. For signed-in users, live chat can be the go-to option when they need assistance in any matters, such as inquiring about physical activity schedules, offline locations, subscription plan changes, etc. This channel can also serve as a medium to voice complaints.
Personalized fitness program and coach selection. In a live chat, you can collect the user’s data, such as age, weight, daily activity level, fitness goals, dietary specifics, etc. based on this data, your app can work out a personal training schedule and assign a coach.
Communication between the user and their personal trainer. In the live chat, users can upload their training results, photos and videos of their workouts, calories counts, as well as ask questions as necessary. Coaches can use live chat to review the users’ progress, adjust their programs and provide additional materials, such as related blog posts, articles, videos demonstrating correct exercise techniques.
Challenge reports. A challenge requires those who signed up to it to post regularly reporting on their progress. In a challenge app, live chat may even be one of the basic features allowing users to exchange their achievements on the way to reaching their personal goals.
Reminders. In fitness, consistency and discipline are critical, thus, users will benefit from messages reminding them to do a workout, have a meal, or drink water.
Why do you need video streaming in your fitness app?
Video streaming and video conferencing may not be in the must-have league, but for certain fitness applications these advanced features may be useful to haven would certainly enhance the user experience:
If you hold live training sessions, both group and personal, you will need video streaming to exercise in real-time for your users to follow.
For personal training, a video channel may be helpful for cases when the coach needs to show a particular technique to the user or watch the user perform the exercise to correct and guide them.
How to build a fitness app with QuickBlox
If you choose to integrate the QuickBlox solutions in your fitness app, you won’t need to worry about developing the communication functionality. QuickBlox will have you covered here. QuickBlox offers a set of SDKs and APIs that are suited for most web and mobile platforms and require minimum coding to deploy a fully-featured chat or video calling solution.
Why should you consider QuickBlox as the provider of the communication functionality for your fitness app? The QuickBlox solution was specially designed for use in applications requiring reliable communication and handling sensitive personal data. Its main highlights include:
Feature-rich live chat with multiple options including one-to-one and group conversations, file upload, and history storage;
High-quality video streaming using the secure WebRTC protocol;
HIPAA and GDPR compliance;
Security and data protection;
White-label implementations allowing to create unique branded solutions.
For more details about integrating QuickBlox communication into your fitness application, contact us!