Google’s Fit Redesign Turns Activity Tracking Into a Game

Google Fit adds new tools to entice you to exercise

The amount of Heart Points you earn is also based on the intensity of the exercise.

Google's now created two new activity goals that help simplify your health data: Move Minutes and Heart Points.

Google's revamp simplifies its tracking program, which it first launched in 2014 as a competitor to Apple's HealthKit.

The new features are called "Move Minutes" and "Heart Points". The ring system looks a lot like Apple's activity tracking, but in addition to tracking normal movement and more vigorous workouts, Apple has a third ring that tracks standing.

Earn Move Minutes for all of your activity and get motivated to make small, healthy changes throughout your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or catching up with a friend over a walk instead of a coffee.

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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. These ideas are represented in the Move Minutes meter.

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.

Heart Points are the more extreme of the two and will only generate during activity that gets your heart moving.

Today, Google announced the redesigned Google Fit experience for Android phone and Wear OS by Google watch. Users score one point for each minute of moderate intensity, like walking the dog. This integration with other apps is designed so that Google Fit can keep track of all of your activity. People can also manually tell the app if they're doing activities that are more hard to detect, such as Pilates or gardening. As Kapil Parakh, medical lead for Google Fit, told Wareable, meeting the recommended 150 minutes of activity reduces risk of heart disease by 35%, diabetes by 40% and breast and colon cancer by 20%. You can also still integrate apps like Strava, and you'll see these workouts in the Journal section of the app.

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