Check out ten of the best fitness apps that’ll enhance your next workout
Exercising is no longer the chore it used to be, what with the plethora of gadgets at our disposal to help us record, chart and share our workouts with the world.
Data-crunching has never been more addictive than when you’re trying to beat your personal best while out on a run, and calorie-counting has never been as easy to maintain and track. Truly these are blessed times that we live in.
Here for your perusing pleasure, then, are ten sample cuts of the best fitness apps available for you to download and cherish as your new workout buddy.
Although initially intended for runners (hence the name), MapMyRun has swelled in recent years to cater for a whole array of exercises. From mountain biking to dog walking (!) to sit ups, you can use this very accessible app to track whichever activity you regularly indulge in. Map out any number of routes that you take whilst running, cycling or walking and either set the app off as you go, or record your time afterwards – there’s even a nifty leader board function to obsess over. Also providing data on things such as speed, inclines, and calories burned, MapMyRun is a wonderful aid to call upon when looking to track your fitness progress.
2. Nike+ Running
The sports manufacturing behemoth has enjoyed a successful foray into the fitness app market with its popular Nike+ running application. Demanding that you “make every run count”, Nike+ is designed to be loaded onto whichever device you strap to your arm when running (if you’re into that kind of thing, of course) so it can track your route, speed and distance as you go using snazzy GPS. What’s more is the app’s offer of “personalised coaching and real-time audio feedback”, all packed into one neat package so that you can “run better.” And isn’t that what we all want from life?
Not satisfied with tracking just the times you exercise? Why not invest in a device that’ll track your movements all day long? If you like the sound of these two rhetorical questions, then FitBit may very well be your thing. Available as a separate, sleek device that you wear on your wrist all day long like a watch without a clock face, FitBit also handily comes in app form so you can track your daily fitness stats via your smartphone or tablet. If used without the actual tracker, it’s a good enough fitness app – but it truly comes alive when used in conjunction with the FitBit product itself. Additional features include capabilities to record food intake, wirelessly sync with a FitBit device, and an in-built communication service that enables you to compete with friends and other users.
4. 7-Minute Workout
Does what it says on the tin, really: highly-rated on the App Store, Perigee’s creation enables you to complete a satisfying daily workout without the need to buy any gym equipment – all that’s ever needed is a chair, wall and your own bodyweight. A rather good deal, really. Stocked with achievements and rewards to keep you motivated, it’s backed by some good ol’ science in that it helps you get the maximum benefit of working out regularly in the shortest time possible.
5. Rebel Fitness
So you’re more of the maverick exercising type, eh? No problem: Rebel Fitness is here to answer your… hold on, we’ll let the App bombastically introduce itself instead. “A revolutionary way to use your device. The video workout is dead – Long Live the Rebellion!” Well, there you have it: this confident app aims to transform the monotony of follow-along instruction videos into something that’s far more, let’s say, smart. Select the intensity of your workout (Easy, Medium, or – of course – The Rebel), and then you’re at the mercy of the app’s random selection function, which spits out any and all kinds of workouts to keep you on your toes. A fine alternative to that drill instructor that you’re too scared to hire.
6. Yoga Studio
One of the more laidback fitness apps, this is unsurprisingly ideal for the Yoga fanatics among you. Stocked with over 24 hours of ready-made, HD classes and an inbuilt scheduling system, Yoga Studio enables you to practice and stay fit wherever you may be. Although limited to Apple products, it’s a fine option for those who like to stretch and bend. Ahem.
Recently praised as “The King of Diet Trackers”, MyFitnessPal has certainly earned itself a stellar reputation on the app scene – so much so that it’s just been sold to sports clothing company Under Armour for a staggering $475m. The brainwave of a onetime Silicon Valley marketing executive Mike Lee after his personal trainer handed him a book that would help him count his calories, MyFitnessPal has swelled in influence and popularity to be one of the best diet-friendly and calorie-counting applications around. Perhaps its greatest selling point is that it’s totally and utterly free of charge to use. A must in the quest for greater fitness.
8. FitStar Personal Trainer
With such apps as FitStar’s Personal Trainer at your disposal, there really are limited excuses these days for not exercising. Not that this app will make you feel quite as bad as we just did (drop and give me twenty!), of course: a helpful outlook and an adaptable interface makes this mobile personal trainer shine when it comes to customising your workouts, whilst it offers a fine range of interesting and testing workouts when it comes down to business time. There’s also a premium service available that opens up further features – personalised programs for gaining strength and HD video, for instance – that could be well worth investing in.
A fitness app with a distinctly medical twist: Cardiio utilises some cutting-edge research to tell you your heartbeat simply by reading – via your front-facing smartphone camera – your facial image. Tell us more, Cardiio: “A slight increase in blood volume causes more light to be absorbed, and hence less light is reflected from your face. Cardiio uses your camera to track these tiny changes in reflected light that are not visible to the human eye and calculate your heart beat.” Technology, eh? This will allow you to gain what could be an invaluable insight into your health, whilst proving utterly useful during and after exercise.
A slightly different addition to this list due to its central emphasis on building a global fitness community. Users are encouraged to share and interact with over a million other fitness fanatics the world over as a means of motivating and inspiring one another to get fit, which could be just the thing you need to get you off that sofa and pumping the streets. Available on both Android and Apple platforms, it’s a handy and personable app that could well take off as a widely-used social platform.
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