Fitness isn’t something we can think about once, run through a checklist of things to improve it, and forget about. Just as in other areas of health, fitness must be maintained through small and consistent actions that add up over time. That’s why mobile apps make ideal fitness companions. Because our smartphones and apps are always with us, they become constant reminders to check your progress, stay the course, and keep your willpower strong.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, walk more steps in a day, or make time for a seven-minute power workout in your living room, fitness apps can help.
While some apps for fitness connect you to a community of people who cheer you on and send their support, others motivate you through competition. One fitness app on this list, called Pact, lets you compete for cold, hard cash: e.g., she who hits the gym most in a month wins the pot. In others, such as Strava, glory is in the bragging rights you earn when you get the shortest time running or bicycling a segment in your neighborhood. You compete virtually against everyone else using the same app and covering the same ground.
Some of the apps highlighted here are tracking tools. You can log workouts, count calories eaten, and collect stats about all your runs to see overtime how you’re improving. Fitness apps can also be coaching apps that put you in touch with a personal trainer or nutritionist who will check in with you once a week. And some, of course, combine all these things.
But most important of all, the best fitness apps let you set your own goals and maintain a pace that’s right for you. They keep you motivated for becoming the version of yourself you want to be.
Available on: Android, iOS
Earn money for charities every time you run, walk, or bicycle by using the free Charity Miles app. Corporate sponsors (whose information you’ll see as a backdrop image in the app) agree to donate a few cents for every mile you complete. Browse the app’s list of charities, find the one that you support, and then hit the road. When a lot of people use Charity Miles, those little bits of money add up.