Published: Wed, August 22, 2018
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Google Fit gets a hearty makeover to help you stay in shape

Google Fit gets a hearty makeover to help you stay in shape

To improve its official Android health and fitness app, Google has redesigned Fit from the ground up. Instead of counting steps and calories, the new Google Fit divides activity into "Move Minutes" (for light activity) and "Heart Points" (for strenuous exercise).

Google Fit, while functional hasn't been quite on par with competitors since its launch.

The science is there, but keeping users engaged has proven to be a major problem, said Margaret Hollendoner, senior product manager for Google Fit: A large number of users interact more intermittently, and engagement tends to drop off fast. Move Minutes can be earned for all activity like taking the stairs or going for a walk.

Google has updated its fitness tracking app Google Fit. People will earn credit for every "move minute" they log, which tracks lower-intensity movement like walking. For each minute of moderate activity (like jogging), you'll get one 'Heart Point.' The points are doubled for more intense activities, like running or kickboxing. If you're into a different type of exercise, you can choose other activities like gardening, pilates, rowing or spinning, and Google Fit will calculate the Heart Points and Move Minutes achieved during your workout. The goal is to hit an amount of activity equivalent to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week, in line with AHA and World Health Organization recommendations.

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The new Google Fit is rolling out "beginning this week" on Android and Wear OS. iOS users with a Wear OS smartwatch will be able to track their Google Fit progress through the Wear OS app.

Google Fit is not a new feature in itself, but the company behind the health and fitness platform has made a decision to give it a pretty big update that also brings new features. The app has also been upgraded with data on more than 120 other activities.

The technology firm has announced a new version of its Google Fit app that works on smartphones and wearables. And if you happen to hit the gym without your phone or a watch, you can add the activity in after and Google will estimate how many of those Heart Points you've earned.

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