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Google Fit User Guide – What does it do, How to use it

From Apple, it was the Apple Health. Google had to answer to this, and it comes out to be called Google Fit. Accept the fact or not, it was more of a response than it was a useful revolutionary product from Google. They are known to make stuff that solves some purpose. It does here, for the fitness freaks. But is it up to the mark? Follow the Google Fit guide below, to check what it actually is, and how you can use it.

The description from Google says “With Google Fit, you can measure, track, and store your fitness information. It’s available on your computer, mobile devices, and Android Wear devices, so you can access it just about anywhere”. But, the most important part to note here, is that the service helps only if your smartphone has got the sensors for recording the data properly. If those sensors aren’t present, there is little Google Fit can do to accurately record how many steps you walked, or actually, if you walked or not.

Who can use Google Fit?

Google Fit is available as an app for Android smartphones that run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. You can edit the details, check out the stats on the web too, but for your Android phone, it should be running Android 4.0 or higher version.

What does Google Fit do?

Apart from tracking your activity, i.e. walking, jogging, running or cycling, Google Fit can become your diary to enter the daily progress of your weight and height, and if you are on a weight loss program, the progress of the same can be checked over the past few days, weeks or months.

The application doesn’t limit itself to recording the data, but there are apps (such as Runtastic, Runkeeper) that can be added and stats are synced. Also, if you are using an Android Wear smartwatch, the stats from there too can be synced with your Google Fit account. The Android Wear smartwatch users would already be familiar with this app, because it comes pre-loaded in the OS.

Google Fit Stats Chart

How do I setup Google Fit?

It is the easiest of the tasks. You need to download the Google Fit app from Play Store (make sure your phone has Android 4.0 or higher version running), and open the app to accept the terms of service. Once done with that, there is some basic information you need to provide, including your height, weight and date of birth. That’s it. To make things even more easier, go to the Google Fit website from your web browser and you can fill in the details there as well. You just need to select the Google account to which the Google Fit account has to be set up.

What can I do on Google Fit?

Set up Goals – One of the important and motivational things is to set goals for your activity. Without a proper goal, you don’t find the right motivation to walk, run or ride your bicycle for a workout. To set a goal, you will need to tap on the Menu bottom (top right) and then “Settings” to get into the settings, where the first option “Daily goal” will help you set the goal.

You may set the goal for the number of steps, or active time. Though we aren’t fitness experts, it is advised to set the goal to 10,000 steps, and being active for at least 1 hour 30 minutes is beneficial.

Add weight on daily basis – For those looking to control weight, checking it every day and keeping a log is again very beneficial to understand how well are you into it. In the Menu, you need to tap on “Add your weight” and enter your weight for that particular date and time.

Add activity manually – Although the phone does the calculation by itself if you carry it along while running, not everyone chooses to hold it while the activity is on. If you want to manually add an activity, you can do so by going to Menu > Add activity. Here, you need to mention the date, time, activity type (Walking, Running, Biking, other) and duration of that. You obviously weren’t counting the steps while walking/running, so based on the activity and active time, Google Fit will automatically add the number of steps based on an approximate conversion.

Google Fit Activity Detection

Start / stop collecting location data – This is where you phone battery can start acting weird, sometimes. Google Fit uses “Activity detection” where it checks the activity of your phone to understand whether you are stationary or are moving. After that, it is analyzed whether it was running, walking or biking.

Sync other Fitness apps with Google Fit – Although a limited number, if you are using one of these fitness apps and devices already for the fitness tracking, you can sync them up with Google Fit for the latter to get more appropriate stats. Apps from Strava, Withings, Runtastic, Runkeeper and Noom Coach can all get connected with Google Fit. This will again happen soon, but a good one for those who always felt those apps to be more accurate in fitness tracking.

If you, in case, have added any app and wanted to remove it from the connected apps list, you would need to go to the Google settings and remove it from there.

Viewing data on Google Fit

Google Fit Steps Walked

You can check out the fitness stats (includes number of steps, active time), on both, the Google Fit app as well as on the web.

A circle shows your stats, with that being filled in accordance to the number of steps walked during the day. Just below to it, is a daily stat shown with the percentage achieved based on the set goal.

Graph Details” is an essential one where you will be able to see when you were very active and when you were not. Also, if you add weight on daily basis, that also helps in making you assess how well you were doing with the fitness.

Delete History

The history of activity can be deleted from both app and website, and you need to go to settings to delete all the stats. There is a confirmation needed before you are able to remove all the stats, but do note that deleting the stats on Google Fit won’t remove anything from the connected apps, if any were synced with your Google Fit account.

By Chetan Bhawani on Monday 17th of Nov 2014


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