Google has long been the undisputed king of the Internet. If you want to survive online you absolutely need to bow down Google.
Most online advertising dollars are filtered through Google, which is because not only is Google the top search engine, but YouTube is technically the second most used search engine.
Combine this with all the other cookie jars Google has its hands in and it’s impossible to get away from the company.
Google Maps is by far the most used and relied on personal GPS and navigation system out there, plus Android is the most used mobile operating system, which Google owns. These features allow the company to produce a range of applications that can be easily used by not only by Android users but Apple iOS users as well.
One such app you may have come across is known as Google Fit (or Google Fitness). If you’ve been looking for a new fitness application to use but you’re not sure if it’s right for you don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers you’re going to need right here.
Get Familiar with Google Fit
The Basics of Google Fit
Google Fit is a free app. Depending on the smartphone you own it may have come pre-installed on your device (it does come pre-installed on most Android Wear smartwatches). If your phone does not yet have Google Fit installed you can go to the Google Play app store and download it.
Activating the app is rather straight forward and isn’t all that different from other apps you download.
And if you’ve been using other Google or Android apps you probably have already offered the same information to Google already. Once launching the app you’ll need to agree to their Terms of Service.
You will also need to allow Google access to your location history and activity data.
This allows the app to monitor your movement and track steps, plus other information you and your smart wearable device will provide (without allowing this the app will not be able to provide you with the information you need to track your workouts).
If you would like (or find it easier) you are able to set up all this information through the Google Fit website. However, as you’re going to be using the app to log your fitness information you might as well get accustomed to how the app works.
Setting Up Your Physical Information
One of the main benefits behind Google Fit is it can tell you when you need to do more work in order to reach your fitness goals. In order to achieve this, you will need to provide Fit with some basic information about your current health.
You will also need to set goals you wish to accomplish throughout the week and even every day. This might be to work out for a set period of time or to take a minimum amount of steps every day.
To do all of this you’ll want to click on the “Menu” button (if you can’t find it select the three vertical dots in the upper right corner), then choose “Settings,” and finally press the “Daily Goals” option. This is where you can adjust your daily goal settings.
If you back up to the “Settings” portion of the app where you can enter in some information about your body. The more information you put in the more accurate the readouts will be.
Google Fit does provide you with a generalized amount of calories you burn, but that is an estimate off of the number of steps you walk. It can better calculate this if you enter in your height and weight.
In this spot, there is an option to track and store any daily or weekly weight loss/gains. You will be able to manually enter this information, or you can pair up a smart scale and have it uploaded to Google Fit through the smart device.
Google Fit does have the ability to track your steps.
This is a feature that’s probably already built into your phone. As it has your GPS information and knows when the phone is moving this is an easy enough feature for it to have.
However, you might want to track specific activities throughout the day.
To do this you’ll want to choose the “Add Activity” option, which is found on the Menu bar. The main activities here are those the phone can automatically track your movement on, such as running, walking, or riding a bicycle.
It is ideal to tell the device which of these activities you’re doing as it will then be able to better calculate the number of calories you’re burning. There is also an option for “Other,” so you can tailor input your workout information.
The American Heart Association
Heart disease is a major problem in the United States. According to the Center For Disease Control, around 647,000 Americans die from heart disease. This accounts for 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. Heart disease is made up of a handful of diseases, including coronary artery disease. Stroke is also a factor that leads to death and is a major factor in heart disease (2020).
Due to these astronomically high numbers, Google decided to work with the American Heart Association in order to convert your workouts into what is referred to as Heart Points.
It’s nice to see that you walked for 30 minutes, but it’s a bit more difficult to know just how much of an impact this 30 minute has on your overall health.
You are awarded Heart Points through the app when you complete a workout that is at least moderately intense (such as a jog). As you proceed you will earn these Heart Points. It also helps differentiate what kind of workout is better for your heart.
For example, while walking is nice, it isn’t necessarily elevating your heart rate, which means it isn’t working your heart muscle and not making it stronger. For these kinds of activities, you’re not going to earn Heart Points. Instead, Google will log this as Move Minutes.”
This is helpful in that at the end of a day (or whenever you check it), you can see what portion of your workouts help strengthen your heart, or what portions of your workouts are simply burning a few calories but are not necessarily doing anything to strengthen your heart.
Working With Other Applications
Google Fit is an excellent application for storing fitness information. However, you may like some other specific applications a bit better based on the workouts you are putting in.
For example, you might like a more specific running application for when you go for jogs.
It might offer you more real-time information while you’re running than Google Fit. Not a problem there. In these instances, you can pair the third-party apps with your Google Fit and have the information automatically transferred over.
This way you’re not forced to dig through a half dozen different applications in order to gather your data. Google Fit does this automatically for you. So even if you’re not using Google Fit as your go-to application for individual workouts, it is an excellent app for centralizing your data.
Is Google Fit Right For You?
There are all kinds of fitness applications out there and for good reason. Everyone uses different apps as they like how the apps function or the apps come with a certain device they own.
Perhaps you purchased a smart device and the app that comes with it offers you the most features. You will need to decide whether or not the Google Fit application is right for you or not. The best way to check it oust is to download it and give it a test.
Google Fit is a simple app. It stores all your information but it doesn’t break down it as much as other apps.
If you’re interested in added analytics of your fitness you can use the other apps and then rely on Google Fit to store the information from the different apps you have running.
You might like how Google Fit works and how clean and simple the app is, so it might become your default application in this way. Or you might not like it at all. That’s okay and you can easily delete the app from your phone.
You can even go into the Settings option off of the main menu and tell Google to delete your information. This will remove your fitness info from the Google servers.
In general, this is good practice as you will want to remove stored information from any database prior to deleting your account and the application. Doing this will ensure you have removed your personal information from any stored server that might attempt to sell it further on down the road.
There are all kinds of great fitness apps out there, many of which are free. If you’re already heavily reliant on the Google ecosystem the Google Fit app is probably perfect for you.
However, there’s no need to simply download it and settle. With all the other fitness apps out there you can always search through the different options to see which you like the best.
Perhaps you’ll find one app that has a more user-friendly system. Or maybe there is one app that pairs better with your smart wearable. Google Fit is a fine option, but it isn’t the only one. So experiment and test out what all is out there. Once you’ve done that you can decide if Google Fit, or one of the other apps, is right for you.