Mobile fitness apps have truly changed the way people create, record, and reach their fitness goals. Since our smartphones and apps are always in the palms of our hands, we are provided with constant reminders to check in on our progress, keep our motivation up, and stay the course. Whether you’re training for a race, want to walk more steps in a day, or even just want to make time for a seven-minute power workout in your living room, fitness apps can help. So, what’s the best app for you? If you peruse the health and fitness category in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play, you’ll see thousands of fitness apps: apps to get you motivated, distance trackers, workout guides, nutrition helpers, etc. With so many options available to you, it can be difficult to determine which app is the best fit for you. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best fitness apps to get you motivated, and help you stay fit and fabulous this summer.
RunKeeper has been around for a while, but it’s still one of the best apps out there. RunKeeper combines GPS tracking, map integration, music management, and more into one polished application. Whether you’re running, walking, or cross-country skiing, RunKeeper can track the duration, length, average pace, calories burned, and much more of your favorite outdoor fitness activity. Not only can users track their activities, they can also share their progress on social media and connect with other users in the app. One of the best features of the app is the audio cue option. RunKeeper provides real-time coaching by giving you audible updates on your pace, time, distance, etc.
Cost and availability: Free, iPhone and Android
2. Nike Training Club
Choose your fitness level and goals, and Nike Training Club picks from more than 100 workouts to get you on the fast track to fit, without the pricey personal training sessions. The app offers 15, 30, and 45-minute workouts featuring step-by-step instructions, audio guidance, and video demos from top Nike Trainers and athletes (i.e., Hope Solo and Serena Williams). Choose individual workouts, or select a targeted, structured four-week program to help you get lean, toned, or strong. You can even customize workouts with the drills you prefer. Each video talks you through how to get the most out of each workout, all while playing your favorite music in the background (it streams songs from your music library). Track your workout activity, and share your progress with friends on Facebook or Twitter. An added bonus: most workouts require minimal equipment.
Cost and availability: Free, iPhone and Android
From abs and core to yoga and flexibility, and everything in between, Hot5 contains an extensive library of 5-minute video workouts that are super easy to follow. Each workout consists of 5 exercises, each lasting 1 minute. This app is one of the latest in a trend of apps focused on high-intensity interval training. This means that rather than doing a bunch of slow exercises over an extended period of time, you condense exercises into short bursts of cardio or conditioning with little recovery time in-between. Hot5 provides video guidance from actual trainers showing users how to do the moves.
This app can be an excellent add-on to your normal fitness routine (i.e., 5-minute abs after a 4-mile run), or as your entire workout (i.e., 25 minutes of yoga flow or 40 minutes of CrossFit). Do one 5-minute workout if you’re crunched for time. Do several 5-minute workouts in a row if you want a longer workout. Since each workout is only 5 minutes long, there aren’t a whole of excuses you can use to avoid it. In addition, the app provides incentives for users to keep coming back. When you first start using the app, you are given 500 credits, which can be used to unlock various exercises. Once you’ve completed a workout, you get more credits to unlock other exercises. Hot5 also connects with MyFitnessPal, a popular diet tracking app. Hot5 is great for beginners and fitness gurus alike.
Cost and availability: Free, iPhone
4. Pocket Yoga
If you love yoga but don’t love fancy schmancy yoga studio pricing, then this app is a good one to try. With over 200 beautifully illustrated poses (complete with detailed descriptions), you’ll never have to attend an overpriced yoga class again. As you complete workouts, you will earn in-app karma points that you can use to unlock new environments. Now you can do your whole yoga workout in the comfort of your own living room, without all of the middle-aged dudes in spandex pants or those uncomfortably loud breathers who disturb your flow.
Cost and availability: $2.99, iPhone and Android
5. Zombies, Run!
Yes, you read the title correctly. If you find it hard to stay motivated during a run, then we have the solution for you: a massive crowd of flesh-eating undead creatures that want to rip your face off. Do you feel like jogging along lazily now? Yeah, didn’t think so.
This action-packed app adds an element that is sometimes missing from other workout apps: fun and excitement. This app mixes games and stories into your run as your complete missions in a world overtaken by zombies. Whether you’re gathering supplies, saving a fellow human, or trying to out-run an unrelenting horde of hungry zombies, this app can spice up your normal jog with imagination and thrills.
Cost and availability: $3.99, iPhone and Android
Image courtesy of Nike