We talked a few years ago about our favourite health technology. Since then, Fitbit Coach was discontinued and none of the other options available appealed, so we decided to build our own app from scratch.
Disclaimer right at the start: we are not fitness experts and this app is just for our own use. If you are inspired to do exercise, consult a professional!
Using tech to stay healthy
We were already using several different systems to record various health stats and activities, so we decided to combine them into a single progressive web app (a website that looks and behaves just like an app).
Our fitness app is called Fresca, Spanish for fresh. On the dashboard you can see your monthly stats, a summary of your activity and your streak (to give you that extra nudge to keep using the app).
There's a log to keep track of weight and muscle mass changes and of course we love a bit of gamification so we have a monthly leaderboard and trophies.
Fitness for all
It was important to us that Fresca should be suitable for all levels of fitness, so we included a progress section where you can set the intensity level for different muscle groups in the body. This allows you to start at whatever level is comfortable and work from there.
Over time and as you complete more routines, Fresca will gradually increase the intensity. If you take a break, have an injury or are just finding it too hard, you can lower the intensity level for each part of the body.
Walking the walk
We had a lot of fun making the exercises in Fresca. Over the course of several sessions in the Turia park in Valencia we recorded photos and videos of ourselves demonstrating all the cardio, strength and stretching exercises that we incorporated into our routines.
You will recognise most of the exercises: you've probably done many of them at school or at home. They are sometimes known as Bodyweight exercises or Calisthenics. No specialised equipment is needed and they are some of the most common and widely known ways to stay fit and healthy.
We've created a number of routine types to suit the kind of activity we like to do: strength and conditioning, aerobic and sequences focused on particular areas of the body.
When you select a routine, the app chooses a random mixture of appropriate exercises which match the user's intensity levels and progress. Depending on which exercises are chosen and how long the rest periods are, this could be HIIT (high intensity interval training), a Cardio routine or a more gentle Get Moving sequence.
Health and fitness is very personal: some people love to join a class or train in a group, some prefer team sports, and others like to work out alone. Some people love to analyse their own data and others just enjoy the experience. We've designed Fresca to suit us and we love it and use it all the time.
Do you use a fitness app? What motivates you to do more exercise?
If you have an idea for a health and fitness app or website (or any other kind), we'd love to talk about it.