Whether you’re starting out on a fitness program yourself or coaching someone through one, having an app that collates and collects all the relevant details can be a godsend. No matter if you’re the participant or the coach, keeping track of all the wellness elements can be complicated.

Happily, though, there’s an app for that!

It’s called Nudge and comes in two options – the standard Nudge Health for clients, or Nudge Coach for professionals who help others through their fitness journeys. But does it work? And if so, how? Let’s see what Nudge app can offer you as a trainer, dietician, or health coach.

The Nudge App for Health Coaching

The Nudge App is one of the best-known fitness trackers on the market. An innovative online coaching tool, it can be used on its own, or within a broader health coaching plan.

But first – what is health coaching, exactly?

What Is Health Coaching?

Health coaching falls within the larger wellness industry. Reportedly worth $4.7 trillion in 2017, experts believe this fast-growing industry will only expand as we move forward, as people become more and more interested in the little tips and tricks that can help them achieve their health and happiness goals.[1]

It’s a very broad industry, and can include:

  • Personal care services (such as beauty, or anti-aging)
  • Nutrition services
  • Weight loss services
  • Wellness lifestyle real estate
  • Complementary medicine
  • Spa services, and
  • Workplace wellness services.

In a sense, the wellness industry picks up where the healthcare industry leaves off, and target those components that, while still have to do with a person’s health, aren’t addressed by doctors or other healthcare representatives.

Who Uses Nudge?

Put another way, the wellness industry provides the extra help that GPs don’t offer, for example:

  • Fitness coaching
  • Personalized nutrition advice
  • Customized exercise plans, and
  • Step-by-step rundowns of what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Professionals in this industry, such as nutritionists or personal trainers, may teach about healthy foods and exercises, and even give you meal plans or recommend a nutrition app. Likewise, a fitness coach will create workout sessions for you and help you get through them.

Digital Fitness Solutions

The wellness industry today looks a bit different, and that’s at least in part because of virtual health technologies. If you want to lose weight, for instance, no longer requires an in-person consultation with a fitness coach or a nutritionist to help you.

There were an estimated 318,000 wellness and health mobile apps in 2017, with experts estimating that around 200 new ones were launched each day.

Today, it’s as easy as downloading a coaching app to your phone, and getting in touch with experts in the area you’re interested in. There were an estimated 318,000 wellness and health mobile apps in 2017, with experts estimating that around 200 new ones were launched each day.[2]

And it’s not just websites and apps on your phone. People are carrying around wearable technology meant to help them track their physical activity and health. Watches like these have seen a 33% increase in 2018.[3]

The Nudge App and Fitness Trackers

But perhaps the prevalence of wellness apps has led to new issue consumers are facing with; simply put, there are too many mobile apps users may need to keep track of their wellbeing:

Some users will want something even more specific, like an app designed to show them running stats only. Add to this list the necessary social media and financial apps, and most people will virtually keep their eyes pinned to the screens of their phones to check all the data these apps provide.

Now, this may not sound like such a big issue, but we have to consider how the basic mobile app user thinks, or specifically what they look for: efficiency. It is not efficient to have to check 5 different apps for the same thing. It takes up more time, and users can become bored and disengaged quickly when they have to make an effort to check their wellbeing.

Well, enter a possible solution: Nudge.

What Is Nudge and How Does It Work?

Nudge is an online coaching app that allows you to track all your fitness and health stats in one single app or interface. It can sync with the many apps a user already has to gather data on their wellbeing (fitness apps, sleep, nutrition, etc.).

It was designed to help fitness professionals, nutritionists, and instructors offer more comprehensive services to their clients through a mobile app. The client can download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play, and enter the invite ID, the trainer or wellness professional offered them.

What Does It Do?

Nudge Coach allows you to monitor client progress, and make sure they stay on the right path to achieve their fitness goals. Clients can add their personal data such as:

  • Fitness plan
  • Daily routine
  • Diet
  • Weight
  • And more.

The app also facilitates communication between the client and the wellness expert, with an integrated messaging feature that allows them to contact their coach at any time. Nudge can also synch with other health-tracking apps such as FitBit, AppleWatch, Garmin, iHealth, MapMyFitness, and more. You can find the complete list of compatible apps and devices here.

Nudge Coach Features

Nudge is all about letting you create custom fitness and health programs for clients. To achieve that, it offers:

  • A secure messaging feature – you can connect with your clients via the built-in messenger feature in the app. Nudge also allows group messaging, so if you have an activity planned for more people, you can let them know the details at the same time;
  • Progress tracker – Nudge offers an array of different activities coaches can track, such as sleep patterns, exercise length, daily steps, and others. Additionally, you can also create your own activities you wish to track, such as minutes a day spent meditating. The custom activities let you choose if you want to track a numbers metric, or a text one;
  • Group feature – coaches can create groups with multiple clients and share relevant information right there, such as interesting articles on nutrition, or news about a new workout you’re planning. This can help coaches keep clients engagement and lower the risk of abandonment;
  • Leaderboards – if your clients are more the competitive type, you can use the option of creating leaderboards which will show who has improved the most in a week, or a month, based on the personal scores the Nudge app offers or other metrics you want (total steps, for instance). This can motivate clients to do better to see themselves rise up the ranks.
  • Digital notes – each client’s profile comes with a notes tab where you can add your personal notes on the client’s progress or ideas for improvement. The client will not be able to see these notes.

Nudge also has the option of creating a branded remote-training, where the interface will be personalized with the unique visuals of your brand, or the brand of the company you work for.

Pros and Cons of Nudge Coach

Here, we’ve summarized the pros and cons of Nudge Coach so that you as a practitioner can decide whether it’s for you.

Pros

Cons

Privacy and Security – The Nudge app offers completely secure messaging and even the option of group messaging if that’s needed.Performance – While not necessarily a con, the Nudge app is relatively young. Some features may not work quite in the fashion we would like. However, this is likely to change with a growing user base and more feedback.
Data Insights – The app’s tracking features not enable you to monitor clients’ progress, but also to identify trends – making it easier to recognize successes, challenges, and tweak your personalized plans accordingly.Data and Charts – If we’re being picky (and we are), there are also issues with the graphs and charts used for tracking data.

Spotting any trends is somewhat hard due to the use of dots; a bar chart or line graph would be easier.

Engagement and Motivation – These challenges can also be utilized as part of the client communities that you build to create a slightly competitive atmosphere and provide additional goals for your clients to achieve. These can foster a mutually helpful and motivational environment, boosting engagement further.Learning Curve for Clients – Some clients may require some encouraging to actually use the app and keep using it. As a coach or trainer, you may even need to show them how to use it.
Personalized Goal-Setting – With all the instant data it provides, Nudge can also help you focus on your client’s behavior change in a way that isn’t always possible through less frequent, face-to-face meetings.Missing Features – As we have also mentioned, the app is still growing. With this in mind, there are some features that are still lacking such as having more nutrition-tracking options, and a wider exercise library.

Some other fitness apps are more advanced in this area, which could mean clients might leave this app behind.

Customization – You can offer a great range of choices through the constantly updated information you receive, enabling you to tailor the program even further.

In our view, all the negatives mentioned are minor issues in the grand scheme of the functionality and usability of this fitness app, especially as the app is always being updated.

At the end of the day – and as is always the case with mobile therapy and e-therapy software, your choice should depend on your business goals.

Related: Business Coaching Software To Enhance Your Business Coaching Practice

Other Things to Consider

So what else should you be thinking about as a fitness trainer, health coach, or life coach?

Privacy and Security

Nudge is HIPAA-compliant and will sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with a health organization. This adds a level of security to the personal information that coaches and clients upload or send through the platform, as Nudge makes risk assessments as required by HIPAA, and uses a secure cloud infrastructure called Armor.

Additionally, message encryption helps prevent third-party access without explicit authorization.

Broad Audience

People can also sign up to use the Nudge App without connecting to a personal coach or trainer.

This way, users can still benefit from having all their tracked data into a single app, even though they won’t get the full, personalized wellness experience.

Some Caveats

It’s important to note, however, that Nudge’s services are in no way medical advice.

While not technically considered medical software by the FDA, the app can also offer some tips based on the data it gathers and analyzes, but only for informational purposes.

The app can help you change habits, diets, and exercise routine, but it does not replace a doctor’s visit. Moreover, if users have any underlying medical condition, it’s advised that they speak to their doctor before making any changes to their diet or exercise routine.

Is Nudge Coach Effective?

Nudge Coach promises that, by using their app, people can kick bad habits and get healthier. But where does that data come from?

Based on an internal survey, Nudge’s creators identified two main groups of Nudge users:

  • Those tracking their performance alone, and
  • Those connected to a fitness professional.

Analyzing their responses, they reached the following conclusion: those who work with experts tend to have better results.

Using Nudge as a Health Coach

Here’s what their internal data says about Nudge users connected with a pro:[4]

  • 18% drink more water daily
  • 20% eat more fruits and vegetables daily
  • 18% take more daily steps
  • 26% do more daily cardio
  • These users were 3.3 times more likely to still be engaged with the app after 120 days, and
  • On average, they lost 4.5 times more weight in 120 days.

Nudge hasn’t released any information on the overall effectiveness of their app regarding other goals, so we don’t know exactly how it can impact a person trying to achieve wellness more generally – or even a coach for that matter.

What Does the Literature Say?

However, there is an increasing body of research looking closely at these health tracking apps, specifically those in the fitness sector.

The results have been rather mixed.

Many studies show that fitness software and health apps can have a positive impact on a person’s behavior towards exercising, encouraging them to take part in more activities, but the frequency of use generally lowers after two weeks.[5][6]

Many studies show that fitness software and health apps can have a positive impact on a person’s behavior towards exercising, encouraging them to take part in more activities, but the frequency of use generally lowers after two weeks.

In other words, people seem to be initially excited to have their performance tracked by these apps, but this puppy love period lasts only a short while.

Not tracking performance is not the same as giving up exercising of course, but it’s likely this is the final result.

Getting The Most From Nudge Coach

However, it’s important to note the Nudge doesn’t necessarily operate in the same manner as vanilla trackers, which only measure statistics on diet, movement, and similar.

In this sense, users who are connected with fitness or wellness experts as part of more comprehensive health coaching may manage to move forward in their wellness process simply because they benefit from an individualized plan, and there is someone who is monitoring their progress and helping them reach their goals.

Nudge’s internal study does suggest the overall impact on a user’s health is much higher when they are connected to a coach, which may be the key to success in this regard.

Final Thoughts

Coaches can definitely benefit from Nudge. If nothing else, it is an intuitive app that allows them to create a personalized plan for their clients, communicate with them easily, and track their performance remotely. By this reasoning alone, Nudge is definitely worth your attention.

As for how much it can help users achieve their goals, that’s a bit difficult to ascertain. Perhaps that by connecting with experts in the industry, users can successfully stick to the wellness plan and reach their goals. The evidence we have so far only focused on self-monitoring apps, which don’t seem to work for everyone.

In the end, it seems it’s all based on personal preference. You can love Nudge, or you can hate it.

References

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