There are hundreds of fitness apps available for you to download – they’re like a personal trainer in your pocket.
With such a huge choice, you can be sure to find one that works for you, whether you’re trying to get fitter, lose weight or find a few quiet moments. Here’s our pick to get you started.
Try Nike+ Run Club: Suitable for everyone from total beginners to serious enthusiasts, the Nike+ Run Club has pretty much everything you need. Set your goals and fitness levels and it will motivate you to reach your targets, adapting as you make progress. It’s got playlists to give you a soundtrack, guided runs, training plans and all the information you could wish for during your run, including your speed, distance and heart rate.
Want the feel-good factor?
Try Charity Miles: If helping others can motivate you to get moving, this is the app for you. Charity Miles lets you earn money for your chosen charity, simply by walking, cycling or running. You start and stop your workout to track your distance; the more you move, the more you earn. Sponsored by brands like Johnson & Johnson, Humana and Chobani, it’s already earned over $2.5m for its list of over 30 charities.
Try Seven: As you might have guessed, this app encourages you to work out for just seven minutes a day. With no equipment needed, this fits nicely into a busy schedule – and it seems the 20 million people who have downloaded it think so too. There are plenty of free workouts on there, or you can pay to join the ‘7 Club’ for a more personalised experience.
Cost: Free to download, or subscribe to the 7 Club to access all workouts
Try eSquared: If you happen to be in London, you can use this app to find a two-hour session or class at selected studios, gyms and spas near you. There’s no monthly fee, you just pay the cost of the session when you book – so no commitment and plenty of variety. Plus, you can check if your friends are booked in, or invite them to join you through email or Facebook.
Try Couch to 5k: This was developed by a new runner to help his 50-something mother start running too, so it really is designed for absolute beginners. It guides you through three runs a week, with Week 1 starting at just one minute at a time. It progresses over the course of nine weeks, with the aim of getting you running for 30 minutes (around 5km) by the end.
Want a calorie counter?
Try MyFitnessPal: Keeping track of calories in versus calories used can really help with weight loss. And that’s exactly what this app does. Keep a food diary of what you’ve eaten (it’s got a huge food database), then track the exercise you’re doing. It’s all on there, from aerobics to zumba – it even lists cleaning and playing music amongst the hundreds of activities.
Cost: Free to download, subscribe to MyFitnessPal Premium for more detailed analysis
Try Sworkit: This is a one-stop shop with over 75 pre-built workouts, for all fitness levels. Select your goal – whether you want to get leaner, fitter, stronger, or have more variety in your workouts – and start your six-week programme. Full-body 30-minute workouts, five-minute stretches you can do in the office, plus yoga and abs programmes let you really mix it up. And if you’ve got children, the specially designed Sworkit Kids app will get them moving too.
Cost: Free to download, subscribe to Sworkit Premium to access all workouts
Need some time out?
Try Headspace: In our increasingly busy lives, finding a few quiet minutes can be incredibly worthwhile. This app brings you guided meditation – starting with just three minutes – and could work for you if you’d like to reduce stress or anxiety, sleep better and be a little more accepting of other people’s quirks. No experience required, although if you want more than the Basics pack (the 10-day beginner’s course), including options for kids (toddlers to pre-teens), you’ll need to pay.
Cost: Free for the Basics pack, subscribe to access all content
Want more fun?
Try Zombies, Run!: Want to be the hero of an action thriller? With this app, you’re one of few survivors in a zombie epidemic, and you’re running for essential supplies. Walk, jog or run as your mission unfolds – when the zombies start coming, you’ll need to speed up! With 200 missions, there’s plenty here to entertain you. Plus, wanting to keep up with the story will give you another reason to get your trainers on. If you prefer, there’s also a 5k version to get you started.
Cost: Free to download, or subscribe to Pro Membership for unlimited access to all games and features
Need to stretch?
Try Pocket Yoga: Don’t worry if you can’t find a yoga class that fits into your day – this app brings the full class to you. You choose the length of the practice and the difficulty level, then a voice guides you through the poses accompanied by suitably serene music. You don’t need network connectivity for this one, so you really can use it anywhere.
Cost: £2.99 with additional in-app purchases available to unlock more content