Most of us have tons of third-party apps installed on our phones, but you might be surprised at just how much your Apple or Android phone can do right out of the box, and that extends to health and fitness tracking .
If you’re looking to start working on your fitness, perhaps after the disruption of a global pandemic, you don’t need to search for apps or invest in a new laptop right away, because all you have need to get started is already on your phone.
Google Fit is (as the name suggests) Google’s own fitness tracker app, and it comes pre-installed on Android phones. If you don’t have it for some reason, you can install it from the Google Play Store. Unlike Apple’s offer, it is cross-platform and you can find the iOS version here. While Google Fit isn’t the most advanced health and fitness app you can find, it covers the basics pretty well.
The app’s home screen is dominated by two rings, showing heart points (which are earned through any kind of moderate activity) and milestones. Scroll down that main screen and you’ll see everything Google Fit can monitor, from sleep to weight. You might want to optionally install third-party apps to track these metrics, but you can also enter them manually (or just ignore them for now).
Before you do anything else, set goals for each day: touch Profile, and tell Google Fit how many steps you want to take each day and how many heart points you want to aim for. On the same screen, you can enter your date of birth, weight and height, which means the app can more accurately assess and calculate your stats.
When it comes to walking and running, Google Fit should automatically record your movements. If that doesn’t seem to be happening, go to the Android Settings screen and then tap Apps and notifications, See all applications, Adjust, and Authorizations to make sure the app is allowed to track your physical activity through movements detected by your smartphone. Just make sure to keep your phone with you and you will start to get a feel for your daily exercise.
Later, you can purchase extras like smartwatches and chest belts to track other types of activity, but when you’re just getting started, you can add these workouts manually. On the Google Fit front screen, tap the plus button (bottom right) and choose Add an activity. You can specify what type of activity you completed and how long it took, and give an estimate of how hard it made your heart work.