Thanks to improving smartphone and smartwatch technology, apps that track your physical activity are becoming more and more popular. While the first iterations of these kinds of apps focused on intensive physical activity such as running, more and more apps are focused on one of the most accessible forms of physical activity: walking.

Not only are there more and more walking apps, but there are also more and more people using them. From short jaunts around the neighborhood to going on long walks, people use walking apps to track their movements, compare with friends, and monitor their health.

Here are a few reasons why walking apps are becoming so popular.

Apps Make Planning Routes Easier

For people who are serious about walking, half of the joy is discovering new routes, especially while traveling or going on vacation. Walking apps allow people to plan routes  and find the best walking routes because many of these apps contain information about established routes as well as suggested routes done by other users.

Regular apps such as Google Maps contain information about getting from one place to another but not about what the best walking routes are, and sometimes they send walkers to places where the infrastructure isn’t pedestrian-friendly. Walking apps guarantee that routes on the application are actually for walkers.

You Can Record Routes for Later

Have you ever been on a walk that was so glorious you wanted to show your friend the same route—then realized that you don’t actually remember how to get there? You’ll never run into that problem with walking routes. You can record all of your routes so you know you will be able to revisit your favorite spots. Or just record your routes so you can look back at fond memories.

Track Your Steps Using an App

Thanks to the popularity of fitness tracking technology such as Fitbits and applications, more and more people are tracking their steps to make sure they are meeting optimal levels of daily physical activity. Walking apps are one of the most popular ways of tracking steps and making sure that you are staying healthy.

Plus, many apps contain a social component so you can share step counts with your friends and challenge each other to meet step goals.

Share Your Routes with Other Walkers

One of the biggest reasons why people are downloading walking apps is because these applications usually contain a built-in social component. Walkers can share routes with friends, showing people their favorite places to walk, as well as showing off how long and how fast they walked. Apps make it easier to coordinate walks, challenge each other, and share updates.

The motivational aspect of this sharing component is considerable. People are motivated to walk longer because it’s fun to share with friends, and they get a competitive edge from having a higher step count than their friends. Plus, the popularity of walking apps spreads, in part, through word of mouth.

There are so many reasons why walking apps are becoming more and more popular. Download one today to see the benefits for yourself.