RunKeeper takes next step toward total health tracking

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RunKeeper is taking another step forward with its HealthGraph API initiative by updating its user reports feature. On Tuesday, the company announced refreshed Fitness Reports that are easier to use and incorporate more health data. RunKeeper Elite members can customize the Advanced Reports to show two data points on the same graph.

The new reports show more signal and less noise: If you only run, for example, you won’t see menu options for activity types you don’t track. Information on strength training, sleep and weight tracking is pulled in from products using the HealthGraph API. And it’s easier to limit reports by date of activity as well.

Although RunKeeper started out as an iOS app to track exercise activities, the product — and the company — have morphed into what my colleague Ryan Kim calls “the Facebook of fitness.” RunKeeper is now available on multiple mobile platforms, has embraced social networking functions such as Street Teams, and is reaching beyond standard exercise tracking.

As a daily runner since New Years Day 2011, I track all of my exercise in the app. And as a “stats junkie,” I’ve been hitting my RunKeeper graphs on a daily basis since using the program. As a paying member of RunKeeper Elite — costing me $20 per year — I like the new graph functions available to subscribers. Instead of simply showing a single data point, I can now combine two and look for correlations; my running pace or distance compared against hours of sleep, for example.

But there’s value here even for those that use the service for free and want to go beyond simple exercise tracking. For data you’re not already tracking, RunKeeper will suggest apps or products that can help. I don’t track my strength workouts, for example, so RunKeeper pointed out three options for me to consider.

Between the new graphs, numerous health stats and app suggestions added to RunKeeper of late, it’s clear the company is focused on total health tracking, a theme that trended high this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. Instead of having a narrow vision and single purpose, RunKeeper is poised to take advantage of the growing number of devices and apps consumers are likely to use for health awareness down the road.

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