Fitness Applications Taking Over Your Personal and Professional Life | TechWell

Fitness Applications Taking Over Your Personal and Professional Life

Wearables are much more than just expensive accent pieces to outfits. Early adopters are taking advantage of the myriad uses for the high-tech watches, glasses, and bands they wear on an almost daily basis—one of the most prominent of which is personal fitness.

Last year, Google discovered that the health and fitness section within its app store was the fastest growing category. Millions of people are taking to this new style of fitness tracking, and while 2014’s numbers are impressive, 2015 (and beyond) will very likely blow them out of the water.

Why? Much of this growth is thanks to Apple. While Google might be having grand success, the launch and subsequent explosion of the Apple Watch will likely push many of your favorite fitness applications over the edge.

According to Slice Intelligence, Apple sold 957,000 watches the first day they were available for preorder. That’s more than all the smartwatches running Google’s operating system sold in 2014. And because health and fitness is such a tent pole feature associated with this new technology, that’s close to a million people who will help contribute to the health craze.

With mobile app revenue poised to reach $99 billion by 2019, there’s quite a pool of cash for developers to fight over.

Beyond the personal uses for fitness apps, some companies are putting a new emphasis on a healthy lifestyle by offering more tangible rewards. Manulife Financial’s John Hancock unit is the first US life insurance company to offer discounts on insurance and other various rewards for customers who participate in annual health screenings, gym workouts, weight loss, and other assorted activities.

Their different activities can all be monitored with the help of a Fitbit fitness-tracking device. Free devices are given to those who participate.

It’s a forward-thinking approach that makes use of our new technological means, but why would the company go this route?

“We are reinventing the consumer life insurance experience and changing the way people think about this critical component of their overall financial health,” said Craig Bromley, president of John Hancock Financial. “We believe this offering will make life insurance relevant for new generations of consumers and reinvigorate the entire category.”

Both individuals and whole organizations are seeing the benefits of fitness applications, and it’s becoming easier than ever to track how many calories you’re burning or taking in each day. Last year was big for health and fitness, but with the impending growth of wearables, the future is even brighter.

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