If you are trying to be more physically active, up your daily steps, or burn more calories, fitness apps can help you on your way. We have trawled through fitness apps galore to bring you the best based on usability, design, user ratings, update frequency, and their capacity to get you moving.
Exercise is the miracle cure we have all been waiting for. It is free, easy to start, has few side effects when done properly, and does not need a prescription. If exercise were a drug, it would be the most cost-effective medicine of all time.
Being physically active has an overwhelming number of attached benefits, such as helping you maintain a healthy weight, strengthening your heart, improving lung function, and reducing your risk for coronary heart disease. Furthermore, physical activity lowers your risk of depression, cognitive decline, diabetes, and cancer.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for physical activity recommend that for significant health benefits from exercise, you should take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, although some advantages can be seen from as little as 60 minutes per week.
Physical activity comes in many forms, from high-intensity running to leisure cycling and yoga stretches. Here are Medical News Today's top 10 fitness app selections to make hitting those recommended physical activity targets fun.
RunKeeper tracks walks, runs, and any other physical activity. From the casual stroller to the 5K runner and those building up to a marathon, this GPS app boasts a community of 50 million users and is suitable for everyone. You can build, save, and discover new routes with GPS to keep your workout stimulating.
Whether your goal is to train for a race, lose weight, or hit a particular pace target, RunKeeper can help you to plan your route to get there. The My Plan dashboard provides custom training plans based on your answers to a series of questions, or there are ready-made schedules that can be selected.
It is easy to stay motivated with RunKeeper. You can join challenges to push yourself, win rewards for your workouts, and share your progress with friends. You can also create your own challenges, invite friends to join you, and encourage and cheer each other on along the way.
Strava aspires to connect the world's athletes by providing an inspiring experience minus the junk posts you might find on other social networks. They say that you might join Strava for the app's tracking ability, but you will stay for their motivating and competitive community. Strava is our top pick for social training.
Strava's community involves millions of cyclists, runners, active adventurers, and pros that record their activities. Strava's activity tracking provides key statistics such as speed, pace, distance, elevation gained, and calories burned during and after exercise. An interactive map of your activity is also displayed.
You can compare your performance with other users and connect with the community, as well as share highlights of your activity, stories, and showcase photos of the best moments from your run or ride. Encouragement and motivation can be gained or given through comments and kudos. A bit of friendly competition can also be injected into your workout by shooting for the best time on the leaderboard.
Yoga Studio is the most highly recommended yoga app and for a good reason. With more than 70 ready-made yoga and meditation classes with levels ranging from beginner to advanced and lasting from 15 to 60 minutes, there is something for everyone.
You can customize classes and choose whether you want to focus on strength, balance, flexibility, relaxation, or a combination of all four. The commentary provides clear and easy-to-follow instructions on how to do a pose and how to move from one pose seamlessly to the next.
With step-by-step instructions of more than 280 poses, plus their benefits, modifications, variations, and cautions of those poses, you have an instant yoga library in your pocket. You can also sync classes with your phone calendar to make sure you can fit regular yoga practice into your busy schedule.
Sworkit is a simple and customizable workout app rated number 1 by the American College of Sports Medicine for quality of instructional exercise standards. Sworkit has delivered more than 40 million workouts to people of all levels of fitness.
After entering your personal data, you can select your motives and goals to make sure every second counts. The workout dashboard introduces numerous exercises for strength, cardio, yoga, and stretching demonstrated by your coach. Individual exercises can be viewed using the custom dashboard to compile your personalized workout.
You can choose workout plans to become "Leaner," "Fitter," or "Stronger," and each of the three categories contain workouts, which are free for 7 days, for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Upgrading to Premium gives you full access to guided workouts, custom intervals for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata, and unlimited custom workouts.
J&J Official 7 Minute Workout
The J&J Official 7 Minute Workout is a science-based workout method designed by Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. The app is centered around research on HIIT and circuit training that shows that short bursts of hard exercise with short recoveries can improve aerobic fitness quickly.
Setup is fast. You can jump straight into a 7-minute workout, or 9.07 minutes with a warmup. Swiping between workout views on the slick interface displays time, video, or music, which can be selected from your phone music library. You can also give a thumbs up or thumbs down for exercises that you like or dislike.
Browsing through the video tutorials teaches you how to perform each of the 72 exercises safely and effectively. Your progression is tracked in the performance dashboard to indicate the days, number of cycles completed, and effort. A snapshot of your training can be shared with your friends to help keep you motivated, or perhaps to involve a little healthy competition.
Couch to 5K
Couch to 5K helps you go from couch potato to running 5K in just 9 weeks by following their easy and fun training plan. The app is designed for complete beginners to spend around 20 to 30 minutes working out, three times per week, to get 5K-ready.
The race training tools allow you to log your workouts and share progress on Facebook. Your distance and pace progress can be monitored in the graphs section, and workouts can be manually entered if you train on a treadmill.
A choice of four interactive, motivating virtual coaches - Constance, Billie, Sergeant Block, or Johnny Dead - help you to stay on track, while audio cues guide you through each workout. The app syncs with your phone's playlists so that you can listen to your favorite tracks while running.
JEFIT: Workout Tracker Gym Log
JEFIT is the essential app for gym-goers. Say goodbye to pen and paper for good, and use JEFIT to log the weight and repetitions on each gym machine in one-click. JEFIT enables you to track your workout routines and your rest time, and log and graph all body measurements as you progress.
If you are a gym beginner, JEFIT provides you with more than 60 routines devised by the JEFIT team, or you can access more than 2,000 community-created plans to get you started. An exercise dashboard displays an excess of 1,300 exercises for weight lifting equipment and cardio machines, and it provides visual step-by-step instructions on how to complete the exercises, as well as useful tips.
JEFIT has an active workout community. There are millions of other users to connect with, or you can add friends to keep you motivated and on track. You can share your training progress with the community and compare statistics.
Zombies, Run! is an immersive running game and audio adventure. Upon installation, you are presented with a story detailing that you are runner en route to one of humanity's last remaining outposts after the zombie epidemic. Your job is to gather supplies, rescue survivors, and defend their homes.
By running in a park, walking trails, or even jogging on a treadmill, you can save hundreds of lives and discover the truth about the zombie apocalypse. Your mission and music channels play through your headphones, and if you are chased by zombies, you must speed up.
The first four missions are free, and a new mission can be unlocked each week. Upgrading to Pro unlocks unlimited access to more than 260 missions and interval training. If you want to get your heart racing and have an adrenalin rush, this is the app for you.
If you fancy making a real difference with your training, Charity Miles is for you. By going out to grab a coffee, walking your dog, biking around the neighborhood, or shoveling some snow, not only will your health benefit from being physically active, but charities will also benefit too. Users of the app have already raised more than $2 million for charity.
On setup, you can select from more than 40 charities to support. Once you start your activity, you are sponsored by a brand to complete your task. Your activity, distance, duration, and the total amount earned by the community for your chosen charity is displayed on the dashboard.
As all physical activity contributes to charity, you will be motivated to go that extra mile and move more. As a bonus, you will also increase your fitness levels and improve your health. The more steps you do, the more you earn; "Every Mile Matters."
CARROT Fit is the fun way to get fit with your sadistic computer-generated coach. CARROT has one goal - "to transform your flabby carcass into a Grade A specimen of the human race" - and will stop at nothing to achieve her objective. CARROT bribes, inspires, threatens, and ridicules, saying, "You will get fit - or else!"
The app is based on the same 7-minute science-based method as the J&J Official 7 Minute Workout. However, those 7 minutes are sweat-and-pop-culture soaked, involving activity such as Celebrity Face Punches, Dragon Mating Dances, and Mt. Doom Climbs. You can take part in 30 seconds of punishing exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest, "just in case you need to hydrate, catch your breath, or vomit into a bucket."
CARROT tracks how many steps you have taken and your weight loss, as well as displays your workouts on a calendar. CARROT will pass judgment on your progress. If CARROT is upset by your progress, her harsh demeanor has a 74.9 percent chance of making you cry. However, if CARROT is impressed by your progress, she will reward you with app upgrades and permission to watch a friend eat a bag of potato chips, and she may even present you with cat facts. Lucky you!