Motivation and dedication are sometimes not easy to muster up. This is why many people use fitness apps, as tools to help them move towards a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
There are a plethora of iOS and Android apps available that allow you to set goals, keep track of progress and feel more motivated. They can also give you new workout ideas, monitor your diet and even you some extra cash!
To help you choose from the hundreds out there, we’ve picked out a few of our favourites. Whether you need a strategy for fitting your gym visits into a busy schedule or need extra help focusing as you exercise, the perfect app for you is out there.
1. Music that suits your regime: FitRadio
The FitRadio workout app offers more than simple playlists to listen to as you work out. It enables you to choose music that fits the length of each repetition in your workout, beats that match the rhythm of your crunches or lifts, and cool down tunes that are timed to coincide with your resting periods. No more listening to the same old boring playlists ever again!
2. Endomondo: training plans and fitness trackers
Whether you run or cycle, this top rated fitness tracker and personal training app will keep tabs on your route, speed and progress. Monitor all of your workouts using GPS, check your stats, and reach your fitness goals. Upgrade to Premium membership and take advantage of the app’s coaching features too – these are great for enhancing your motivation.
3. Train at home with Streaks Workout
If you’re stuck at home there’s no excuse not to train. Streaks Workout is a personal trainer that lets you exercise without any equipment. As long as you have a few minutes and a floor, you’re good to go.
There are over 30 exercises to choose from as well as the ability to create custom exercises and workouts. Choose from different workout lengths and music to keep you going. When you’re done everything will be synced to the Health app, giving you credit for your effort. The software is available for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Apple TV.
4. Strava: challenge yourself and your friends
This is one of the most popular fitness apps around. More than just a popular GPS-based cycling and running tracker, Strava lets you set challenges for yourself and other users. Millions of runners, cyclists and active people use this app to record their activities, compare performance over time, and share the photos, stories and highlights of their adventures.
5. Zombies, Run!
Does fear motivate you? Use the Zombies, Run! app which simulates a horde of zombies behind you – you will need to run as fast as you can to get away from them. Your goal is to reach one of humanity’s last remaining outposts. They need your help to gather supplies, rescue survivors, and defend their home.
6. Runkeeper: a true classic
Track, time and plan your runs and walks with this classic and very user friendly app. 50 million runners use Runkeeper, and for a reason. You can monitor workouts, set goals, get personalised routines, join challenges, see your progress – and much, much more.
7. Get paid to exercise with Sweatcoin
Sweatcoin is a new breed of step counter and activity tracker app that actually pays you to get fit – and it costs nothing to use. The more you walk the more digital currency you earn. The app converts your outdoor steps into gadgets, sports and fitness kit, services and experiences. This might be one of the easiest way to make some side cash – by doing what you do anyway — walking.
8. Nike+ Training Club – let a pro athlete show you the way
The Nike+ Training Club app lets you watch 100+ training videos developed for pro athletes. The software will guide you through the workouts, too. You will get expert guidance, exercises you can do anywhere and the motivation you need to get fit.
9. Couch to 5k: you’ll be surprised what can you do
Recommended by the NHS in the United Kingdom, this app is one of the easiest programs to turn beginners into 5K distance runners. All it takes is 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, for 9 weeks. Couch potatoes will be so surprised at how much they can achieve. Over 5 million people did it!
10. Concentrate on particular areas with iMuscle
The iMuscle app asks you to pinpoint any of over 150 muscles mapped on the chart and then provides you with the perfect exercise suggestions for targeting and toning that specific muscle (or group of muscles). This award winning health and fitness app has everything you need to plan and track your gym sessions.
11. Log any workout with MapMyFitness
MapMyFitness allows you to log pretty much any kind of workout using just your phone or with your favorite device like Garmin or Apple Watch. Analyze your data in the app or on the web, find support and motivation from other runners, and create challenges for you and your friends.
12. Keep track of diet and exercise with MyFitnessPal
Released more than a decade ago, this is a smartphone app and website that tracks both diet and exercise. It allows users to determine optimal caloric intake and nutrients for their goals and uses gamification elements to motivate them. Users can either scan the barcodes of food items or manually add them from the database of over five million different foods.