The digital revolution in fitness is evolving fast, and gives beginners the opportunity to discover fitness at their own pace, while giving seasoned athletes the chance to push themselves.
Most apps interacting with social networking sites and giving status updates can all help boost motivation and many give a clear idea of goals and achievements. The great news is that many of these apps are inexpensive and just require you to have a smartphone. But even better are the ones that don’t cost a penny.
Here we look at some of the best FREE fitness apps for all levels and abilities.
MyFitnessPal – iOS and Android
This app keeps track of what you’re eating by keeping a food diary. You can log your meals quickly using a barcode scanner from a database of more than 3 million foods. It does the number crunching for you, so you don’t need to calculate the calories. The app also remembers your eating patterns making it even quicker to log what you’ve eaten.
It also provides a discussion forum where you can share tips and it is personalised to your own weight loss goals.
Tabata Timer - iOS
To give you a background in Tabata – this is a way of training where you exercise for 20 seconds then rest for ten seconds, and repeat eight times. This technique, discovered by Dr. Izumi Tabata in Tokyo, is said to give you maximum benefits in a short period of time as it raises your metabolism which is particularly good for a morning workout and it’s versatile so you can do light aerobic activity or heavy weightlifting
Having a good Tabata timer is essential, so the version on iOS works really well. You get counted in with three tones at the beginning of each interval and then there is a bell when the workout is complete – it’s clear and easy to use so one of the best apps for this exercise.
RunKeeper – iOS, Android
RunKeeper allows you to track runs, walks and bike rides by using the GPS in your phone. It tracks information on the pace, distance and time and you can see your progress and get coaching.
When you hit a PB you get notified and you can measure your progress against your own personal goals.
Audio tracking tells you your predicted finishing time and how far into your route you are.
Strava Cycling –iOS, Android, Garmin
This GPS tracker has the added bonus of allowing you to compete with other cyclists who have ridden the same “segment” of road or trail that you take on. It measures your speed, distance and elevation as you cycle, and helps you to figure out the best nearby cycle routes. Points are awarded for hitting a personal best, completing a pre-set challenge or winning a cup.
Nike Training Club - iOS, Android
This app allows you to select your goal and your level where you can then choose from a selection of workouts that meet your criteria. Step by step instructions and video demos of each drill are shown and a Nike professional trainer guides you through your workout. You can workout for set times ranging from 15-45 minutes and this will unlock bonus regimes, recipes and fitness tips.
Fitocracy - iOS, Android
This is a great app for anyone that likes to share their achievements and finds working out a lonely hobby. The ability to interact with a community that boasts over a million members means there are plenty of people to encourage you towards your goals. You log all the exercises you’ve done and aim to get to the highest level possible. A bonus point system comes into play for variations on certain exercises and there are Facebook style updates. Great for anyone who enjoys social networking.
Gympact - iOS, Android
Gympact allows you to set yourself a target number of gym visits within a set timeframe, and if you reach the target you can earn money.
Each time you miss a session you are fined and at the end of the week the fines are redistributed to those who reached their workout goal.
Couch To 5K - iOS, Android
A nine-week programme designed to have you running 5K by the end of it. Starting with walking and light jogging, the app takes you through a step-by-step programme to go from beginner to runner.
Workout Trainer - iOS, Android
This app offers thousands of free workouts with personal trainers guiding you through exercises with audio, photo and video instructions. Ideal for those who want to get fit without using any exercise equipment.
This app allows you to take control of your own fitness training, offering an enormous range of workout routines varying in length, intensity and target area of the body.
Of course, none of these apps actually get you into the gym like Hussle does!