In today’s digital world, many of us are constantly striving to improve ourselves. Everything must run perfectly, and every minute of our calendars is packed out with personal and professional commitments. Even when it comes to sports, there is a fitness app for every discipline imaginable. These apps track everything from heart rate to the number of steps taken – and rank users against their friends. Of course, this raises a few valid questions:
  • Why should I record every exercise activity?
  • How can a fitness app help me?
  • What should I bear in mind when it comes to data privacy?
  • What can I do to become more physically active?

In this article I want to answer these questions in relation to running, as I have been recording my own regular training sessions for many years now.

Why should I record every exercise activity?

The question of “why” is a tough one to answer, as I think each of us has our own reasons for using a fitness or running app. As in many other areas of life, we set ourselves certain goals when it comes to sport. While some take up running to lose weight, others want to get fitter and healthier. Still others train with the goal of being able to run a half-marathon. Whatever your motivation, you soon end up asking yourself: How can I measure my progress and achievements? How do I know whether I am on the right track or heading in the wrong direction? This is where fitness apps that offer us the option of recording all of our activities can be helpful. We can use facts to track our successes and share them with our friends if we want. When you look back at the end of the year, the recorded data quickly allows you to see what you have or have not (yet) achieved over the past few months.

How can a fitness app help me?

In my opinion, fitness apps such as Runtastic, Strava and similar can be extremely helpful in enabling you to achieve your personal sporting goals. Among other features, they allow you to set annual targets such as how many kilometers you want to run overall. This means that I can get an overview of my progress every day and each time I complete a training session. The social element of these apps should not be underestimated either. Users can use their fitness apps to connect with friends and start shared challenges. I can say from personal experience that this can give you fantastic motivation.

What should I bear in mind when it comes to data privacy?

One thing is certain: fitness apps and wearables such as tracking armbands or smart watches are interesting tools for monitoring your progress, improving yourself and measuring yourself against others. Yet although this is great fun and good for your health on the one hand, it is also worth asking what happens to your personal data. Critics fear that companies may try to create profiles to try and assess people using the data stored in the cloud.

In any event, users should follow a few basic security rules. It is important to exercise a certain amount of caution when sharing data on social networks. Sharing sensitive information about your own body with the entire community is not appropriate. In addition, your fitness app passwords should consist of letters, numbers and special characters and should not be stored on your smartphone in unencrypted form. Of course, it is also important to keep your security software up to date at all times. When it comes to wearables, manufacturers have been obliged to comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since the end of May 2018. In many cases, privacy statements have been adjusted accordingly. However, some manufacturers reserve the right to use personal data for internal purposes or even to pass this data on to third-party companies. This makes it all the more important to read these privacy statements carefully before opting for a particular device. Certificates from TÜV Rheinland also provide information about the extent to which data protection requirements have been taken into account.

What can I do to become more physically active?

Finally, here are a few more tips that you can use to get active straight away:

  • Define your goals.
  • Find a sport or activity that you enjoy.
  • Install a fitness app on your smartphone and record your goals there.
  • Last but not least… start exercising!


Jan Scholten

Jan Scholten

Product Marketing Manager

The idea of getting from A to B automatically in the future, without having to worry about the vehicle, inspires the Product Marketing Manager. That’s why he is professionally involved in automated driving via electric mobility – whether it’s e-scooters or urban mobility solutions in a smart city environment. These topics always become a highlight for Jan when they are presented in the form of videos.

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