June 29th, 2015
The 7 Best Apps For Fitness and Training
Getting in shape is easier than ever, thanks to mobile apps that can track every workout, log every jog, and count every calorie.
Who needs the gym? These days, you can get personalized workouts and coaching right from your smartphone. Whether your idea of exercise is running marathons, hiking, or mountain biking, there's an app for that.
Read on to check out our ultimate guide to the best fitness and training apps for both Android and iPhone users. All of these apps are free for the basic versions, and many can be used while traveling, making it easy to log your steps while walking through a new city or do personalized workouts in your hotel room.
Strava GPS Cycling and Running (Apple & Android)
This app is great for both bicyclists and runners. Strava uses your device's GPS to log all the important details about your workout: distance traveled, time elapsed, average speed, elevation change, and more. The stats are a goldmine for active folks seeking to track their progress over the long term. Strava users can share their data and interact with others on the platform to help motivate each other.
FitStar Personal Trainer (Apple only)
FitStar not only creates tailored workouts that don't require a lot of time, equipment, or space, but it also pairs you with expert advisors, like former NFL star Tony Gonzalez. Set your own goals and allow the app to guide you in the right direction, from crunches and squats to full-on cardio workouts. FitStar is only available on iOS devices, but similar apps like Fitocracy or Nike+ Training Club are available for Android users.
StrongLifts 5x5 (Apple & Android)
If you prefer to do the bulk of your training in a proper gym, consider StrongLifts 5x5, a weight training mobile app created to augment the workout program of the same name. The goal of StrongLifts 5x5 is simple: Help you build muscle and increase strength. The app accomplishes this by setting up a “virtual coach” who tracks completed reps and rest time between sets; graphs your progress; and alternates workouts to maintain motivation.
AllTrails (Apple & Android)
If weights aren't your thing, grab a backpack and head out for some hiking with AllTrails. The app features more than 50,000 trails, ranging from remote paths in national parks to busy routes through urban neighborhoods. Plus AllTrails maps your route in real-time and allows you to take and pin photos to their exact location on the map. It's a great way for frequent hikers to discover new trails, track their exercise, and connect with others nearby who also love the outdoors.
Fitnet (Apple & Android)
Fitnet provides five-minute workouts you can do at home, and then utilizes your phone's camera to compare your movements to those of its video instructors, offering feedback on your form and performance. Select your desired exercises and intensity level, then turn on the camera and start sweating. Boasting an intuitive layout and user-friendly features, Fitnet is a great way to stay active even if you have a busy schedule.
Charity Miles (Apple & Android)
What if you could earn money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running, or biking as you normally would? With Charity Miles, an app that believes, “Changing the world is a team sport,” you can. All you have to do is choose an organization, press start, and begin your workout. The app will track your distance, and then convert that into a dollar amount to give to charity (up to 25 cents per mile). Corporate donors contribute the cash, but it's up to users to earn those donations with their workouts.
MyFitnessPal (Apple & Android)
Monitoring your exercise is great, but none of that will matter if you're stunting your progress with a poor diet. Whether your aim is to lose weight by cutting back on calories or to bulk up by loading up on protein, apps like MyFitnessPal, Lose It!, and FatSecret can tally your daily nutrient intake (and exercise activity) to help you meet those goals. MyFitnessPal’s robust database of foods and restaurants makes logging meals easy.
Whichever route you take, be sure to consult a physician before beginning any new workout or diet routine. Are there any other health and fitness apps you swear by? Share in the comments!
Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, offbeat destinations, urban adventures, and everything in between. He blogs about his travels at http://quirkytravelguy.com.
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