You’ve heard it before: There’s an app for everything. And unfortunately for those who struggle to drag themselves to the gym, that means no excuse not to work out.
No matter what your health or fitness goals, there’s at least one tool out there that will make staying on track and measuring progress effortless – and we’re not just talking pedometers. Here are eight of this year’s tried-and-true smartphone apps that won’t disappoint and don’t cost a dime.
Most people know Fitbit as a range of fitness tracking devices, but there’s also a standalone app you can download straight to your phone for free. Fitbit is a really helpful all-rounder with a wide range of features: tracking workouts, basic activities, sleep, weight, heart rate, glucose levels, and water or calorie intake, for example. You can also set and manage nutrition and exercise goals and create food plans. And if you do own a Fitbit tracker, all your data syncs wirelessly and automatically.
- FitStar Personal Trainer
Prefer not to fork out for a personal trainer? FitStar provides customized training based on fitness level, including HD training videos, coaching tips, audio streaming, progress tracking, and the option to set personal goals or challenge friends. You can submit feedback on your tailor-made workouts as you go to help shape future workouts around your needs and preferences. The free version is rich with features, but even upgrading to premium is still cheaper than your gym’s PT rates. The app is also compatible with some Fitbit devices.
Sworkit is an extensive library of guided video workouts, designed to help you discover new exercises and learn exactly how to perform them. The app allows you to choose from categories that target specific areas of the body or particular fitness goals, such as improving cardio health, becoming more flexible, or increasing strength. You can also create custom workouts for special requirements such as injuries or abilities. What’s more, Sworkit works with Spotify to keep you motivated with upbeat workout mixes.
- Cyclemeter GPS
By far the most advanced app for cyclists, Cyclemeter provides all the tracking data you can imagine with the most accuracy. Its features include cleanly displayed maps and graphs, audio announcements, virtual competitions, training planning, and personalized workout analysis. And if that doesn’t sound awesome enough, you should know the app doesn’t only focus on cycling – it also supports running, walking, skating, skiing, and many more activities.
- MY ASICS Run Training
While training planning is a premium feature of many fitness apps, MY ASICS is a completely free planning tool in its own right. Use the app to create a training program for anything from full marathons to 5-mile distances, tracking the running route, total time, lap time, distance, and average pace. The training schedules range from 12 to 33 weeks, and automatically adjust to fit your goals and experience level to maximize your training and ensure you’re well-prepared for your next event.
If your goal is to lose weight, you can’t do without this one. MyFitnessPal is the fastest and easiest diet tracking app to manage with the largest database of over 5,000,000 foods and drinks. Track everything around the clock – what you should eat, what you have eaten, and how many calories you burn. You can even import and track your favorite food recipes from the web. According to the app, members have lost 200 million pounds combined. There’s only one way to find out if it works for you.
- Charity Miles
Inspired by helping others? If this is your biggest motivator, you’d really benefit from Charity Miles. This amazing concept tracks how many miles you complete during a run, walk, or any other workout, and donates money for each one. The app is sponsored by big names like Johnson & Johnson, Humana, and Chobani, who donate to charities of your choice on your behalf. So while you’re achieving your personal fitness goals, you can also do some good to those in need!
Money might be your motivator for other reasons – in which case, there’s an app for that, too. With Pact, you quite literally earn cash for exercising and living clean. This may sound too good to be true, but the app has proven 95 percent effective for keeping weight loss resolutions. It’s simple: get paid for sticking to your goals, and pay up when you don’t.
With each of these apps, you can be sure you’re getting the best support available to stay on target – and all you need is your phone. Good luck reaching your goals for the new year, and have fun with it!
Are you all about the data? This app keeps track of everything! Created by Under Armour, Record syncs best with the UAHealthbox fitness tracker. However, this app makes a great alternative for gym-goers who don’t have a fitness tracking device as well.
It provides any easy-to-read-and-edit interface for logging daily workout information (including workout type, time, duration, and help with estimating the calories you burned), calories consumed, sleep, weight, and progress to different fitness and wellness goals. Beautiful charts will help you visualize your historical fitness information and see how far you’ve come from where you started.
My favorite part of the app is what I call the “celebration” feature; each time you hit a daily goal, an inspirational cheer flashes across the screen to praise you for a job well done.
If you are competitive and need a good challenge to keep you motivated, Record allows you to challenge your friends to competitions such as most weight lost, most workouts completed, most workout time, and most steps.