10 Fitness Apps We Love

Featured Article, Fitness, News and Advice
on September 18, 2013
best fitness apps

No matter what you love to do—bike, swim, downward dog, or walk your dog—there are fitness apps for your phone or tablet that can track your workout, boost motivation, and help you meet your goals. With new fitness apps launching daily, which ones are worth your download? Here, 10 to try, whether you’re a newbie or already work out on the regular:

RELATED: The Best Free Health Apps 

 1. Best for strength training at home: Sworkit (free; iTunes and Android)
Sworkit gets you working up a sweat in the comfort of your living room—no equipment required. Each workout is built on a circuit, so you complete 30-second intervals of body weight moves (like mountain climbers, pushups and even yoga), along with rest breaks every couple of minutes. Translation? You’ll get an effective calorie-blasting strength and cardio workout rolled into one that never gets boring.

2. If you’re a yogi: Daily Yoga  (free; iTunes and Android)
Daily Yoga features five yoga sequences put together by certified yoga instructors (access more sessions with subscriptions that start at $9.99 for three months). Some classes target abs, while others focus on chest, butt, toning or weight loss in different intensities, so whatever your goal, you’ll be able to find the one that meets your needs. Time-crunched yogis will benefit from five- and 10-minute sessions. Triangle pose not quite right? Don’t know Crow? Follow the images on screen to correct your form or learn new poses.

3. If you’re feeling competitive: Endomondo (free; iTunes and Android)
Endomondo tracks outdoor activity via GPS and lets you input gym, yoga or Crossfit workouts manually. The best feature of this app is its emphasis on connecting with the Endomondo community (follow a friend’s workout live and send boost-them-up messages to cheer them on; they’ll hear it through their ear buds). It also encourages friendly competition with friends (race against their time with the app’s audio coach, for example). Finally, share your workouts via Facebook or Twitter—and watch the congratulatory messages roll in.  

4. If music gets you going: FIT Radio Workout Music (free; iTunes)
FIT Radio Workout Music helps make your workout a party. Upbeat tempos can push you to go faster and even make exercise feel easier, so you don’t throw in the towel early. FIT Radio features music mixed by DJs of Top 40, hip hop, rock and more (sans annoying ads) that perfectly matches the right tempo with whatever your workout, whether that’s walking the neighborhood, biking a path, or running a 5K.

5. Best if you’ve got a pooch: MapMyDogWalk (free; iTunes and Android)
MapMyDogWalk helps you and your four-legged pal meet your fitness goals together. Studies show that dog owners tend to be more active—and both you and pup should aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily—so why not log that time? This app (a cousin of the MapMyWalk series of fitness apps) allows you to track your walks with a built-in GPS on your phone that records your route on an interactive map. Plus, by monitoring how many calories you burned, taking the pup out doesn’t seem like such a chore.

 6. If you want to lose weight: See Me Get Fit (free; iTunes)
See Me Get Fit tracks your progress toward your weight loss goals—and offers visual proof your diet and exercise efforts are paying off. By uploading photos of yourself and inputting stats, like measurements and BMI, you can see how your body has changed from last week, last month, or last year. Plus, you can also record what you eat and workouts. So even if the scale isn’t budging, you’ll have visual proof that your arms look more toned and your legs look leaner—and that’s a great motivator to stick to your health goals.

7. Best for newbies: Workout Trainer (free; iTunes)
Workout Trainer is just like having a personal trainer in your pocket. Great if you’re a newbie or need guidance on what moves to do at the gym or at home. No matter what your skill level, you can choose from a variety of programs, from simple yoga stretches to Pilates core to leg-blasting and arm-toning plans. Then, step-by-step audio instruction along with photos and videos of instructors performing each move will help with form, position, and move you through the exercise series.

8. If you need extra motivation: GymPact (free; iTunes)
GymPact pays you for going to the gym—talk about instant rewards! Here’s how it works: You tell the app how many days you want to work out and how much you’ll pay if you don’t. Then keep track of your workouts by checking in at the gym, wearing your phone when you exercise, or syncing up with the app RunKeeper, which records your walks and runs via GPS. If you hit your goal, GymPact will give you a cash reward; if you miss your goal, you lose the dough, which then is distributed to other users.

9. Best for spinning: Global Cycle Coach: Your Spinning App (free; iTunes )
Global Cycle Coach gives you a calorie-torching spin class whenever you want one. Hop on a bike, select the coach you want (he/she will provide voice instruction for your class), and then download a 40-minute session ($0.99/each), available in beginner to advanced levels. Listen to their music or your own (great if you’re attached to your Lady Gaga). New to spin? No problem, there’s a review on the basics (optional so experienced spinners can skip). All that’s left to do is pedal away!

 10. Best for running: Runtastic (free; iTunes and Android)
Runtastic features GPS to map your running and walking route, plus records important details like your time, distance, speed and calories burned. Want to run a 10K? Lose a few pounds? The app gives you a plan to work toward weight loss or training goals. Also hook up with friends to keep track of their progress and boast about yours.