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Jun 13, 2019 in Health

The Benefits of Using Fitness Apps

Introduction

The application of technology in healthcare and nutrition is growing and becoming more useful to all the stakeholders. This includes patients, medical practitoners and numerous average people with  the desire to keep track of their nutrition. It is, in part, because of their popularity that we have hundreds of fitness apps providing virtual logs of patients nutrition, day-to-day movements and exercise habits. These apps are not only beneficial to the doctors who seek to better their understanding of their patient’s health but it is also important for people who want to monitor their health. It enables people to manage their health by allowing them to monitor, analyze and get feedback to their individual well-being. This essay will highlight the various benefits of using fitness app across the board. However, due to their commmercial purposes, some apps may not be well developed. Additionally, information regarding the same subject varies between apps making it confusing for the users. Thirdly, these app may  make someone to be mobile dependant.  Therefore it would be hard to access information without good signal. This toulmin model is an argument about the place of apps in our health practices. 

  • Claim

Fitness apps allow a person to keep track of their health habits.

Warrant

Due to increased incidences of non-communicable diseases, people should be more aware of  their health practices.

Grounds

They allow a person to keep track of the amount of food they eat. Additionally, they also provide information on the health benefits of taking certain kinds of food. Apps such as myfitnesspal allow a person to keep track of the amount of water they consume and the amount of exercise they complete in a day also. Theses applications give a person the chance to take full control of their health. This vast range of information promotes good decision-making on health matters. By giving details about someone’s nutritional requirements, they allow a person to understand the need to take a specific amount of food. They also give further information on the quality of food taken by  users. Some fitness apps also give suggestions by using the information logged in by a user to assess some of the alternatives that could be very beneficial or preferential to them. In this way, one can learn more about their nutritional habits and make adjustments where necessary. Since these apps are developed by very experienced people, they give users an accurate and dependable guideline, which is more convenient compared to frequent visits to a nutritionist (Conroy et al, 2014, p649-652).

  • Claim

Apps encourage people to know more about their health habits because of their simplicity. 

Warrant

Increased health expenses could  be a reason for people not  keeping track of their health practices. There is need for more accessible healthcare information.

Grounds

This is why these apps are slowly developing a strong community of users. These apps have provided a simple way of keeping track of nutritional practices, encouraging many people to use them. It is easy to get information regarding anything health-related using these apps because the only requirement is keying in personal information. They allow people to understand the need to apply specific nutritional adjustments by use of simple terms that are simple and universally comprehensive. They also proved detailed information about different subjects, allowing the users to discover new things about their health habits. These apps also provide a breakdown of the benefits and demerits of using certain exercises and workout routines. They provide insight to the relevance of any exercise, allowing a user to understand the benefits of their exercises. This also enables users to understand the right way to doing specific exercises to maximise on health gains. They also give suggestions on other related exercises or other exercises which can give better results. The app developers also try to personalize these apps by developing versions in multiple languages to avoid limiting the number of users. These apps are also easy to download (Maqbool, 2015, n.p).

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  • Claim

Fitness apps are convenient They are compatible  with all  phones. 

Warrant

It is  important to develop practices that accommodate our daily activities.

Grounds

Lthough it is still important for patients to visit their personal healthcare practitioners, fitness apps have provided a resourceful link between these two parties. Just as health practitioners can use these apps to monitor the progress of their patients, they can also suggest them to their patients  in order to encourage personal follow-up and commitment. They make life easier for the users. They provide useful information to the users, reducing the need to visit the doctor or nutritionist frequently. These applications can be tailored to  satisfy needs of a specific user. Personalization allows the user to understand more about their health habits. Personalization also enables the users to get user-specific information that is more beneficial compared to general health information provided by other nutritional sources. The apps allow users to access information at any time. They reduce the possiblitity of procrastinating health concerns by providing a platform for immediate access to knowledge. Therefore, they promote commitment in keeping track of an individual’s health practices. Their large database allows users to access comprehensive information at the click of a button. They also connect to fitness trackers such as Jawbone and Fitbit which promote good health practices. Therefore, apart from information regarding nutrition and exercise, a user can also access information regarding their sleep, number of steps taken in a day and heart rate among other things. This information is very important when it comes to taking control of one’s health (Stragier & Mechant, 2013, n.p).

  • Claim

These apps allow users to access a vast range of information regarding nutrition. 

Warrant

There is need for more awareness among people regarding their health. 

Grounds

Most of the apps in the market have an extensive database. This is useful to the user because they can virtually access all the information they need regarding health. Apps such as myfitnesspal have incorporated information regarding almost every food in the world. This allows the users to accurately keeping track of their nutritional habits by checking the caloric requirements they need and the calories they get from the food they take. The calorie counter helps users to adjust their nutrition according to their specific needs or goals because the app also gives suggestions on the number of calories needed to attain their goals. It also details the period it will take to attain these nutrition goals. The restaurant database is reliable because it contains almost every food in the world. It also contains foods that are acceptable to certain cultures, making it simple and encouraging for members of these cultures. It also gives a complete breakdown of the nutritional composition of different foods. This allows the users to make informed decision on the type of foods they will prefer based on their nutritional goals (Gay & Leijdekkers, 2012, p248-253).

These apps act as a personal trainer right on a user’s phone.They pull from a database of more than 1700 different exercises and workout routines. This helps to tailor a workout strategy based on an individual’s fitness objectives and preferences. They provide further guidance by providing pictorial illustrations and clear instructions on how to complete each exercise, ensuring that the users get maximum benefits from their workout routines. They also keep track of body weight and other parameters. This allows the user to create their exercise plan. Numerous users enjoy these apps for their extreme personalization. Within little time, apps such as Fitness Buddy will have an accurate comprehension of an individual’s fitness level and their needed areas of improvement (Gupta, 2015, n.p)

5. Claim

Fitness and nutritional apps are motivational. 

Warrant

It is challenging to keep up with health demands  at times. Therefore,  we need practices that will encourage us.

Grounds

Apps such as Pact allows the user to turn fitness into a fun game. In this app, an individual sets their objective regarding the number of days they will exercise and the type of exercise they will cover (Shu, 2014, n.p). They then bet on it. This app will not make someone rich for sure but they are a good motivation. The idea of losing money encourages the users to stick to their exercises and nutrition plan. There is no motivation like fiscal motivation. Creator Yifan Zhang, who co-founded the company says, “Behavioral economics show that if you tie cash incentives to things that are concrete and easy to achieve like getting to the gym, it’s very effective.”(Beaman, 2015. N.p). According to him, people do not like losing money and that is the strongest motivator, which is better than making money.

 
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Counterargument

  • Claim

There is  risk of gettinng wwrong information about diet or getting exercise routines  that could cause  injuries.

Warrant

Apps are commercial products sometimes made without extensive information.

Grounds

Some developers come up with information that might be inaccurate. The high intensity and complex exercises advised on the apps might be challenging to do for an average user. It is therefore easy to make a mistake while exercising especially without proper guidance. These may lead to injuries, therefore discouraging a user to continue working out or generally inconveniencing the users. Additionally, some of the diet data might not be updated and accurate, leading to miscalculation in your diet and calorie requirements. Different sources also tend to have different values for measurement of calories for different foods (fitho, 2015, n.p).

  • Claim

Apps and trackers might be underdeveloped.

Warranty

Because they are developed for commercial purposes, they might try to cut on costs by not employing the right expertise in providing information.

Grounds

Although apps enable people to scan the barcode of a food products to go into their digital diary (and record all nutritional information), at times, the barcode might not have specific food products and it may require frequent and lengthy upgrading to get such information. . Additionally, some apps do not allow the user to modify the quantities of food you  have taken,  making them less personalized, inefficient and unreliable (SWEAT Fitness, 2015, n.p)

  • Claim 

They prommote mobile dependability.

Waranty

Users need something flexible

Grounds

They greatly depend on good signal to function. In areas where the signal is weak or absent, it would be difficult to access information.

In conclusion, everyone is talking about health and fitness today and no one wants to be left behind. Thanks to your mobile phone, you can now get information regarding fitness and health at almost no cost. If users know how to use their smarphones, there is no need to blow their savings on gym trainers and professional nutritionists.

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