Fitter and more productive
Keeping fit is an important part of everybody's lives, but there's more to it than dragging yourself down to the gym three or four times a week. Sure that's a great way to get fit and stay in shape, but who says it has to be the only way? The world of mobile apps has opened up a whole new world of exercise routines and better ways to keep track of your fitness habits. Really motiviating yourself and getting the best possible workout done has never been easier.
There are plenty of fitness apps out there, and we've found the best ones for you to download onto your devices and get yourself moving.
Garmin Connect Mobile
This one is designed to give you full access to your synced Garmin Connect data anytime and anyplace. That includes maps, stats, graphs, goal progress, and more. Unlike a lot of fitness apps, this one doesn't actually track your progress for you. But it's still a great app if you're a fan of garmin's fitness devices.
Possibly the most well known fitness app and always a mainstay on any device we use, MyFitnessPal's key selling point is its massive meal database that packs a whopping 5,000,000 foods. With such a large database, tracking what you eat is relatively simple and for each dish there's a wide variety of nutritional info to go along with it. You can track what you eat, what calories you consume and keep a note of your goals with easy to read graphs, while the app builds up your own personalised diet and training regime.
7 Minute Workout Challenge
As the name suggests, this is a workout designed to fit in with those who barely have free time. Well, you need at least seven minutes, but we all have that, don't we? 12 exercises are included that each can be performed for 30 seconds, with a 10 second rest in-between and they're all meant to be great for helping your fitness and metabolism. The app itself is sleek and easy to use, with clear instructions and extra downloadable packs available through IAP.
Google's first attempt at a native Android fitness app is a sleak, quick and well animated download that tracks basic things like steps and calories, while giving you handy tips and setting personalised goals. It works across Android devices, including Android Wear smartwatches and is getting better all the time, thanks to constant updates by Google.
While it might sound like the holy land of Red Dwarf's cat people, Fjuul is an app that tries to make getting fit and healthy into a more social experience. Completing certain activities earns you points, and you get compete against your friends for an extra motivational boost. You also see a full breakdown of your activity, how many calories you've burnt, and see which activites actually have the most impact. It's got a nice bold design to complete the experience, plus a circular graph displaying your progress towards your daily target, as well as a notification widget for you to glance at your targets whenever you feel like.
Free | Download Fjuul on iOS
Jammed full of videos covering everything from yoga and strength training to cardio and dancing, DailyBurn is a great way of joining gym classes without leaving the comfort your warm, cosy home. The HD videos look great and are performed for professionals. While watching videos on your phone/tablet will do, you can also get the big-screen experience by beaming videos to a Chromecast, Apple TV or Roku.
Apps that track your running steps are pretty common, but ones that monitor your lifestyle are a bit rarer. Lifesum does it well though, replacing your daily step goal with a calorie target. Once you've added in what you eat, it'll break it down into protein, fat and carbs, letting you know if you've exceeded the recommended daily amount. It works with specific diets too, so nobody has to miss out.
This app is mainly designed for people who own Fitbit devices, but it also works great as an independant tool. It syncs together with your Fitbit tracker to collect all the data your tracker has collected about steps, calories burnt, heart rate, and overall exercise. If you don't have a Fitbit, the app itself can collect most of that (heart rate aside) as well as tracking your route via GPS. On top of all that there's a log for exercises that it can't monitor itself, and place to keep track of all the food you've been eating.
Withings Health Mate
This is another fitness tracker companion app, specifically those made by Withings. The app automatically logs all the data collected by your tracker, as well as functioning independently if you're out exercising. Interestingly it's actually capable of measuring your heart rate without a dedicated minitor, just place your finger over the camera and it'll do the hard work for you.
As routes to well-being go, being fit enough to defend yourself from facial pounding whilst locked in a cage isn't bad. Canadian beefcake Georges St-Pierre is as good a role model as you'll find, and this app provides 500 video exercises, to help you get fit without having to cough up for an expensive gym membership. There's also video content from experts to make sure you understand the science behind the programmes as well as a bunch of info about dieting and nutrition.
£3.99 (With Subscription) | Download Touchfit GSP for iOS
Getting motivated to exercise can be difficult, mainly because sitting around playing games is usually a lot more fun. This app proves that gaming and fitness can mix perfectly. Fitocracy lets you track all your workouts with in-depth stats, gaining points and levelling up as you go. Gaming staples like quests and achievements add to the fun, and there's a huge community for you to compete against in challenges or duels.
This one gives you everything you need for an in-depth yoga session without having to fork out huge wads of cash for an instructor. Pocket Yoga includes a full dictionary of poses and forms the base for virtual yoga lessons. During each lesson a virtual instructor will talk you through routines in a soothing voice, with soft music in the background. Just like the real thing.
A pocket version of Mr Motivator, Lift picks you up and doesn't put you down until you've reached your goal. Whether that goal is fitness, productivity, or a diet change, Lift uses positive psychology and step-by-step coaching to help you get there. Over 100,000 goals are available for you to choose from, so whatever you want to achieve Lift can help.
Free | Download Lift for Android
Jefit Workout Tracker bills itself as the ultimate workout tracker, and it's not far off. It's almost like having a personal trainer in your pocket. There's an extensive database of over 1,300 different workouts for you to do (with descriptions and animations), the option to create your own personalised workout routines and daily fitness plans, as well as letting you track body stats, and view workout progress. There's also a social aspect, so you can add your friends and interact with the community for extra motivation.
This one is a great gym companion, because it lets you tap onto on-screen muslces to see which exercises you can do to work on them. 3D animations will then show you how each exercise affects the muscle group in question, and you can add which workoputs you're happy with to your routine. There are over 450 animations to choose from, so you're never going to be short of ideas when you hit the gym.
£3.99 | Download iMuscle 2 for iOS
Money makes the world go round. Pact also thinks it will help you motivate yourself and get your lazy self down the gym. You have to create a weekly pact with the app, and if you don't fulfil a weekly pact you'll have to pay a real money 'fine'. But the opposite is also true, if you keep your promise you get a share of the fines other people have paid. Get fit, earn money.
This one is a complete workout guide where a personal trainer takes you through a huge catalogue of workouts with audio, photo, and video instructions to help you along the way. It's not just about the individual workouts, though. The app also has specific instructions for areas of focus, such as getting a ripped six-pack, losing weight, or improving your running skills.
GAIN Self-Guided Workout
We all like to make excuses to avoid going to the gym, but you can ssay goodbye to that long list of excuses with GAIN's workouts that are specifically tailored to your needs. Just select the kind of training you want, the area of the body you'd like to target, your time allowances, and GAIN will put together a routine that will take you down the road to improved fitness. You can also drop a bit more cash on specialist packages for an extra burn.
Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer
Whether you're looking for a relaxing stretch or a hard session in the weights room, Full Fitness has you covered. It provides a huge database of clearly explained exercises sorted by target muscles, equipment available, or overall goal (to lose weight, for example). There's also plenty of progress tracking tools that lets you follow your fitness improvements over time.