The 5 Best Free Fitness Apps
A good workout doesn't have to happen within the confines of an expensive gym, or with the assistance of an all-star personal trainer. Apps have revolutionised the fitness world as much as they have the dating world, with countless offerings all vying for valuable memory space on your phone.
And while you might not yet be able to swipe your way to the body of your dreams, apps have come a long way from simple pedometers and calorie-counters. The new breed of fitness apps have personalised workout routines, step-by-step instructions and intelligent tracking to help you achieve your goals.
Oh, and plenty of them are free. Result.
Read on to see our favourite fitness apps...
1. The best app for training for an event
If you've got a marathon, run or any other kind of race in your future, Charity Miles is your best bet. Choose from one of nine charities and pick an acitivity from running, walking or cycling. Everyday, use the app to track your progress, and providing your share your activity on Facebook or Twitter, Charity Miles will donate a certain amount of money to the charity of your choice - based on your distance - from their corporate sponsors. It's free to download and easy to use - what better excuse to keep pushing for that final mile?
2. The best app for busy women
Always on the move but still want a little bit of guidance? TruBe is your knight in shining armour. Like an Uber for personal trainers, simply fire up the app when you're ready to exercise, and choose a nearby PT to come to you for a workout. They can come to your house or a nearby park - whatever suits you. Or, if you prefer something different, TruBe instructors can do ballet-barre style workouts, boxing, couples sessions, yoga and pre and post-natal workouts. Perfect for girls on-the-go, or treating yourself to the occasional one-on-one to ensure you're still pushing yourself and executing moves safely and effectively.
3. The best app for keeping an eye on what you're eating
If diet's playing on your mind as well as your exercise level, the OG of health apps is MyFitnessApp. Recently acquired by fitness apparel brand Under Armour, MyFitnessPal is ludicrously popular and effective. If you've struggled to keep a food diary in the past, MFP makes it easier with handy barcode recognition that allows you to scan any snacks to munch and log their calorific content, as well as having plenty of options to help you calculate what's in your home-cooked meals. Whatever your weight, keeping a food diary is a good idea to help you identify any food that might be making you feel under the weather or sluggish. It also has social sharing and exercise-logging functions.
4. The best app for toning up
Nike's Nike+ Training Club is just like their stores and apparel - slick, professionally-endorsed and totally covetable. Unlike their kit, it's completely free. Complete with workouts ranging from yoga to HIIT and bursting with nutritional advice, you have the chance to workout with Nike's pro trainers with this app. You can pause as much as you need and check on your friends' progress too, if that floats your boat.
5. The best app for quick-fire workouts
If you're time-pressed, WOD Deck of Cards is for you. The slightly bizarre name comes from the lexicon of CrossFit, the American fitness craze based around high intensity interval training. CrossFit involves doing movements like bear crawls, tuck jumps and chin ups in bursts. It's tough, but effective. WOD stands for 'Workout of The Day', so every time you exercise you get a randomised sequence of movements to complete from a deck of cards that includes lots of CrossFit favourites. You don't need equipment for all of the movements, as push-ups and burpees feature. It's a great way to pack a full-body workout into a small space of time.