The 10 best fitness apps

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best fitness apps

If you want to get into shape, then your smartphone is your new best friend. There are some fantastic fitness apps out there – and many of them are free. So if you fancy shedding some pounds, here are eight fitness apps you shouldn’t be without.

1. Runkeeper

best fiitness apps runkeeperRunkeeper is a great app whether you’re a seasoned runner, or a newbie looking to start slow before you begin to really pound the local pavements and parks.

Using your phone’s built-in GPS, the app tracks the pace, distance, time and even the number of calories you’ve burned on your run.

In fact it doesn’t just work for runners – you can also use it while out walking, cycling and even skiing.

Once you’ve finished your workout, you can sync your data to Runkeeper.com which will store all your stats – so you can see just how your fitness has improved over the weeks, months and years.

(If you’re feeling competitive, you can share running routes with friends – and post your results to Facebook or Twitter. Maybe a friend will want to try and beat your personal best?)

Get Runkeeper here.

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: Free

Also try: Some people prefer Sports Tracker, which offers a very similar service (it’s also free, and works on Windows Phone as well as iPhone and Android).

2. My FitnessPal

best fitness apps my-fitness-palIt’s not just how far you run or how many sit-ups you do – a big part of any fitness program is what you put in your body.

MyFitnessPal is an easy-to-use calorie counter that helps track food intake daily. It works really well – whether you’re just looking to cut down on empty calories, or want to ensure you’re getting enough energy to keep you going on your evening run/swim/tennis match.

You can set specific calorie goals, and the app also takes into account any exercise you do – giving you a fairly accurate overview of your diet.

The app contains a food calorie database of over a million items (so it’ll know exactly how many calories are in your Tesco ham sandwich).

Get MyFitnessPal here.

Available on: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone

Cost: Free

3. Nike Training Club

best fitness app nike training clubWho needs to spend a fortune on a personal trainer?

This app is genuinely like having your own fitness instructor – only much cheaper, and on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

Nike Training Club is a workout app created especially for women. It gives you four different options: to get lean, get toned, get strong or get focused. There are loads of different workouts for each choice, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes in length. You can also select whether you’re at beginner, intermediate or advanced level – and the app will alter the exercises accordingly to your level of fitness.

There are so many routines you’ll never have to do the same workout twice. You can even sync your own music to the app, so you can listen to the Rocky theme tune while you work out if you like…

Get Nike Training Club here.

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: Free

4. Couch-to-5k

best fitness apps couch to 5kCouch-to-5k is brilliant at getting even the most devoted couch potato moving – the app promises to get you in good enough shape that you can go from eating crisps on your settee to running a 5k in just nine weeks!

If you’re prepared to stick with it, you will genuinely be running 5k in next to no time. And if you’re already running 5k distances, the app will get you to 10k over the same timeframe. Complete with virtual coaches and graphs that track and record your progress, this is a neat little package for those who want to set themselves a 5k challenge.

Get Couch-to-5k here.

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: £1.90

5. Pocket Yoga

best fitness apps pocket yogaIf you like your workouts to be a little more sedate, Pocket Yoga is just the thing.

To get the full benefit of yoga, it’s best to practice everyday if you can – but yoga classes are expensive, and it can be hard to fit classes into a busy routine.

The Pocket Yoga app has a wide-ranging collection of poses you can practice at home (or anywhere). An interactive yoga instructor shows you how to achieve the poses, and the app contains three different varieties of yoga, three difficulty levels and three time durations so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a yoga master or a yoga novice.

Get Pocket Yoga here.

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: £1.89 (Android) £2.99 (iPhone)

6. Instant Heart Rate

best fitness apps instant heart rateThis app does exactly what it says on the tin.

Instant Heart Rate allows you to measure your heart rate, yes, pretty much instantly. It uses your phone’s camera to detect your pulse from your fingertip (by measuring tiny changes in your finger’s colour as your capillaries expand and retract after exercise).

The app logs every heart rate test, so you can see over time how your fitness is improving (or isn’t…)

Get Instant Heart Rate here.

Available on: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

Cost: Between £1.29-£1.49 – though you can get it for free on iPhone and Android here (scroll down to the ‘Free Version Available’ section)

7. FitRadio

best fitness apps fit radioEveryone likes to listen to music while they work out – but if you’re not feeling inspired by your own tunes, then FitRadio could help give you the boost you need when you’re struggling to run up that hill.

The app offers a range of playlists from professional DJs across loads of different musical genres (from dance to pop). All the playlists have one aim in mind – to keep your heart rate up and get you moving!

Get FitRadio here.

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: Free.

8. SimplyBeing Guided Meditation

Fitness and well-being isn’t just about burning  calories. Taking some time out for yourself is also important – and meditation has been proven to help lower stress and blood pressure.

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This app does an excellent job of guiding you through the meditation process (especially if you’re the type of person who finds it hard to switch off). There’s nothing mystic about it – it’s just a focussed way to relax and refresh the mind and body.

It takes you through the process step-by-step and you can set the length of your meditation session to suit you.

Get SimplyBeing Guided Meditation here.

Available on: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone

Cost: 61p (Android) 69p (Apple) 79p (Windows Phone)

9. Fitocracy

fitocracyThis clever little app is designed to let you log your workouts and track your progress, but with the added motivation of points to be earned, and achievements to unlock – essentially making it all a bit more fun. Plus you get to be involved in a supportive community of like-minded people on their fitness journeys.

Get Fitocracy here

Available on: iPhone, Android

Cost: Free

 

10. 7 minute workout challenge

7 minute workoutToo busy to exercise? Get this app and you’ll have no excuse! These 7 minute workouts are simple but effective, with 12 exercises that are performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals.

We’re talking super intense training to increase your daily metabolism and are said to be the equivalent of working out for over an hour. Plus you don’t need any equipment so you can do it anywhere, anytime!

Get 7 Minute Workout here

Available on: iPhone

Cost: £1.49

Have you discovered a great fitness app we haven’t featured? If so let us know by commenting below!

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