The Fitness App Explosion: For Better or For Worse

Back when I first started losing weight, we didn’t have fancy-schmancy apps.

We wrote down what we ate on cave walls. You couldn’t figure out the carbs or proteins in a Wooly Mammoth by looking it up on the internet. No sirreee Bob! Kids today have it too easy.

Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but one of the more significant changes in health monitoring is the explosion of fitness apps of every stripe. As of last year, there were more than 45,000 fitness-related apps in the app store, giving one the ability to monitor how far he walks and with what intensity, calories consumed and burned, even heartbeat and sleep patterns, all from the convenience of code in your phone.

This trend is in its infancy. In the not too distant future, we will look at Fitbits and other wearable trackers in the same manner as we would observe a woman wearing a bustle today. Tomorrow’s apps will be woven into our garments, creating smart clothing and “wearable tech.” At any moment, one can be aware of everything from blood pressure to the amount of salt in her sweat.

Having that type of data available 24/7 will provide countless benefits. Not only will it allow one to adjust his or her patterns for enhanced health, but also we will be able to predict incidents such as heart attacks BEFORE they occur, giving one the ability to go to the doctor in advance of collapsing on the street. Medical information could precede the trip to the hospital, so that upon arrival, potential treatments could be tailored to the specific circumstances in advance, saving precious time and lives.

Privacy issues yet to be worked out, that’s all well and good. However, all is not rosy in “app-alachia” as there are some pretty silly fitness apps available currently, providing insights and assistance into all facets of one’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

As example, let’s start with – I swear this is real – “Poo Log.” Despite the rather unfortunate (and hopefully unintended) pun, this app tracks, well, you can figure it out. It even graphs and analyzes trends. I shutter to think what kind.

For one’s other end, there’s “Toothbrush Fitness;” think of it as a trainer for dental health. Costing 99 cents, it’s cheaper than a trip to the dentist. However, since there are no reviews in the app store, it’s also probably as popular as is a trip to the dentist.

Included in the “fitness app space” is “Passion.” Designed to assist one in improving those intimate moments with his or her significant other, it rates your technique on a one-to-ten scale. To do so, it informs you when to start and stop again, and can even compares one’s rating to others. Although the concept might be a bit titillating, I cannot imagine pillow talk such as, “Honey, I’m in the mood. Can you start the app?” I’m assuming they have a companion app observing the couple called “Creepy.”

Finally, while on the subject of “creeps,” there’s the Amazing Girlfriend Manager, which proclaims that one can, “improve your relationships with your girlfriends by applying the concepts of a customer relationship management system.” Yep, what woman doesn’t just tingle down to her toes when she finds out that’s she’s being rated on a one-to-ten scale? “Ooooh Baby, being a three so makes me want you.”

Beyond that, this app keeps track of gifts given so one doesn’t repeat. It remembers important dates, and – I assure you this is a quote from the app’s page – “through the analysis of ratings and costs of dates and gifts, you can keep only the girls with the best cost-benefit.”

Again, seriously, the app provides a warning: “For your own safety, do not let your girlfriend access the application.” I suppose the result of such actions would be one would need to find an app on how to handle those lonely, all-by-yourself evenings that would surely follow.