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Getting Fit Needn’t Be Boring: Wellness Apps From GE and MedHelp


Fit Friendzy — a new way to challenge groups of friends to get fit at the same time through a series of challenges

Go on, admit it. You secretly want to run faster and lift heavier weights than your friends, right? GE has teamed up with online health community MedHelp to create an iPhone app called Fit Friendzy — a new way to challenge groups of friends to get fit at the same time through a series of challenges. Fit Friendzy allows users to compete in 150 different exercise challenges, ranging in difficulty from a simple ‘walk for 30 mins’ to the extreme ‘do 50 one-armed press-ups’. The app records and tracks the individual’s progress, and the resultant data can be shared with a doctor to provide a fuller picture of the user’s overall health status.

Fit Friendzy is the sixth iPhone app released by GE and MedHelp, and is a product of GE’s healthymagination initiative, which aims to improve people’s access to affordable, high-quality healthcare in every corner of the world. Other iPhone apps include the first pregnancy wellness app, I’m Expecting, Sleep On It, a sleep tracker and alarm app, and My Diet Diary, a weight loss and calorie counter.

MedHelp is the world’s most popular online health network, with over 12 million active users. The organization’s president and CEO, John de Souza, is sure that adding the social element to exercise also brings greater long term health benefits.

“Most people know that exercise is paramount to good health, but many don’t do it because they find it boring,” says De Souza. “By putting exercise in a social and dynamic environment, it’s not about exercising any more — it’s about having fun.”

There’s no doubt that exercising with friends makes us all more accountable and more aware of our fitness. Is this down to sheer competitive spirit, or is it simply that someone else is paying attention to our own fitness levels and providing encouragement? The answer will be different for everyone, but any way to make exercising more social and more fun can’t be a bad thing.