Any guesses on the fastest and largest growing industry in 2019? The answer is fitness and health. There is a change in how people approach healthcare, and consumers are increasingly health-conscious. Add to that the influence of social media, and the surge of lifestyle-related illnesses and you’ve got yourself the answer as to why the health and fitness industry is thriving. But with this boom of interest also comes competition and the fitness part of the industry, in particular, would do well to add Google Maps to its tool belt.
Fitness users appreciate consistent and tangible progress markers as it enables them to achieve higher results and qualify their achievements. Google Maps contributes to this goal in a few different ways.
#1. Measuring and visualizing fitness activities
Firstly, and very simply, it can be used as a platform to create and record running routes. Second, Google Maps enables geocoding, the process of transforming data about locations like coordinates, an address, or the name of a place, to a location on the earth’s surface. Geocoding can be used to track a user’s location. Think of it like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumb trail, a geocode is “dropped” every other hundred meters, forming a route. This process allows to not only calculate the overall distance of the route but also the speed in which it is covered, and easily visualise the results. In other words, Google Maps is one of the main tools for measuring and visualising the metrics of many fitness activities.
#2. Creating a community
Another underestimated value of Google Maps is its ability to form community through social media and the sharing of routes and statistics. One example of how fitness, Google Maps, and community can work together is the way UnderArmours’ “MapMy..” apps are set up. Runners, cyclists, and other fitness users can not only register their own routes but also see the routes others have taken in their area. This can be particularly handy when travelling to a new city. You can see the most popular routes, their lengths and difficulty, and even connect with other users. This creates a sense of community and even a little bit of healthy competition. Google Maps’ integration into a fitness app can also come in handy to combine workouts, for example locating urban gyms on your route to pair up running with muscle training.
#3. Taking indoor training to the next level
Sometimes the weather just isen't suitable for outdoor workouts, but thanks to Google Maps you can stick to your workout routine on the days where you prefer to go to the gym. Some fitness equipment have an attached tablet where you can bring up Google Maps and pick a route. This allows you to see the route and your progress on the map as you run or bike. As the elevation of the route changes, the angle of the treadmill or bike also changes to match the real-life incline. This means that you can actually run the Boston Marathon with all of its inclines right there on the treadmill. Of course, the solution also allows you to compete against others and monitor your progress.
Google Maps gives depth and added value to the fitness industry as it facilitates consumer independence in that they can track their progress instantly and over time. If you want to know more about Google Maps, reach out to the Google Maps expert in your area.