If you’re trying to lose weight, stay healthy, work on your fitness, or eat better foods, your iPhone can be a helpful tool – but only if you have the right apps. We dug through hundreds of apps out there to give you our take on the best apps in the App Store to help you stay healthy and fit.
Updated on 01-16-2015 by Joe Donovan: Added 5 new apps, including Fitness Builder and Lifesum. More of an Android person? Check out our favorite Android fitness apps.
Sometimes, the prospective health benefits of exercise aren’t merely enough to get you out the door and on the trail. The apps below are designed to give you another compelling reason, whether it’s the opportunity to earn virtual badges, a chance to win actual prizes, or simply the prospect to not get ridiculed.
No matter if you’re running a marathon or running the vacuum cleaner, Nexercize will track your fitness progress. The app tracks over 200 different activities and rewards your efforts with points that can be redeemed for fitness prizes and coupons.
Fleetly can track your mileage, suggest workout routines, and provide metrics on how you progress over time. The best part is the challenges feature, which allows users to set goals or choose dozens of pre-made challenges. Badges and medals come standard.
Music is a powerful workout companion. Tempo Run measures the tempo of music in your library and categorizes the tracks based on the running speed they’re best suited for. The app streams thousands of pre-categorized tracks via SoundCloud, too.
Okay, so this is really just a to-do list, but it’s got an attitude, and it’s a wonderful motivator. If you don’t complete an item on your list (like “work out”) in a reasonable amount of time, it’ll berate you for being such a lazy piece of garbage.
Choose from one of 10 globetrotting adventures. Locales include the Caribbean and icy slopes of Everest. It’s a scenario game at its core, encouraging you to conquer the geography-based obstacles solo or in relay-like fashion alongside your friends.
Touch your index finger to the iPhone’s camera lens to gauge your pulse with real-time charts. It’ll identify if your heart is beating fast enough to burn fat. The app records your activity, and then lets you share your results via Facebook or Twitter.
Though running may not be the most exhilarating of exercises, it remains the foundation of countless activities in the athletic community — whether talking soccer, Frisbee, or football. Moreover, it’s one of the most minimalist sports in existence, essentially requiring nothing more than your free will and desire to run. The following apps are designed to make the most of your running capabilities, charting, and mapping your progress along the way.
Endomondo will log speed, distance, and a dozen other metrics, as well as act as a virtual coach to give you a bit of extra motivation. It even allows you to race against your own virtual ghost and receive real-time audio pep talks from your friends.
In this story-based workout app, you’re Runner 5. Your mission? To help rebuild civilization by retrieving critical supplies outside of your virtual base. The app keeps track of your distance, as the story and instructions play out, but fear not, you can still listen to your music as you run.
Runkeeper uses GPS to map your runs, while logging the speed and distance run. Users set goals, then get audio distance and time updates during the run. There’s great music integration — you can listen to your favorite playlist and switch tracks within the app.
Run for charity with this app. Running this app before beginning your exercise routine will earn 25 cents per mile for your selected charity (bikers earn 10 cents per mile). You will, however, have to share your activity on Facebook for the charities to receive the donations.
The app accurately tracks distance, pace, and gives a robust workout summary that you can save and share. The app also counts calories burned and charts your elevation profile. The best part: You can control music and incoming calls while in the app.
Great for beginners, C25K is specifically designed to to train non-runners for a 5K. The app provides a training plan that has a mix of running and walking. The designers claim you’ll be able to run a 5k within eight weeks if you stick to the 30-minute schedule three times a week.
Yoga isn’t just for hippies anymore. The great thing about the exercise is how applicable it is to all sorts of scenarios, whether you’re looking for a way to alleviate stress, recover from a previous injury, or build muscular strength for your next endeavor. That said, the peppering of apps below will allow you to learn the poses and positions, while presenting you with all the necessary knowledge you may need to become a true yogi.
Geared toward beginners, the app offers short classes with accompanying music, along with a library of different poses and exercise routines. More advanced features and courses require a $13 3/mo. subscription.
Not afraid of being that weirdo in the airport? Airplane Yoga will guide you through meditation techniques or simple exercises to lessen tension on your back and neck while flying. The app includes videos that demonstrate poses.
With more than 200 illustrated poses and detailed voice instructions, Pocket Yoga is a guide that’ll run down poses and exercises. Additionally, you can preview various practices and play your own music. The app will log progress every step of the way.
Featuring more than 65 individual classes, ranging from 10 to 60 minutes at any difficulty level, Yoga Studio guides you through poses with HD video classes. It has a robust catalog of more than 280 poses, which should be enough for most people.
YogaCoach is best for beginners. It focuses on breathing and simple stretching, before gradually introducing more difficult yoga positions and advanced techniques. The app also provides techniques for relieving various symptoms and improving your posture.
iYoga Premium aesthetic is only for those comfortable with skinless people. The app provides access to a wealth of intricate poses and techniques, but unlike most other yoga software, images and video demonstrations show how the muscle groups react relative to each position.
Cardio exercises are great, but if you want to look like you’re working out, you gotta lift some heavy things. Regardless of how you look, though, lifting weights can be dangerous if you don’t know the proper techniques for doing so. Fortunately, the bevy of apps below offer more than enough information on your body’s various muscle groups and the way you should interact with the equipment lining the walls and floor of your local gym.
Pump Up is one of the best lifting apps. The easy-to-navigate interface tracks workouts with exercise animations instead of videos, so they play/repeat automatically and you don’t have to pause to watch a video tutorial. The app also asks you what equipment you have before it formulates a workout routine.
Lifting can be intimidating. Pumping Weight has a well-designed interface and clear instructions for targeting specific muscle groups using a melange of everyday exercises. The app will ensure you vary your exercise routine and even tracks your weight, body fat, and BMI.
Fitness Builder ($3)
The simple app records the number of reps you do and how much weight you’re using. It also has a diverse catalog of workouts. The fitness builder app even lets you keep track of your workouts and allows you see the progress you’ve made.
Strong Lifts 5X5 is one of the best ways to gain muscle and lose fat, but is probably too intense for inexperienced lifters. The app coaches you through three 45 minute workouts a week, focusing on the largest muscles in your body for optimal effect.
Fitocracy is for the competitive. The personal trainer lets you track workouts and encourages you to work toward real-life goals through a leveling system and in-game achievements you can share among your friends and the Fitocracy community.
PumpNLog is easy to use. The app is a simple log for detailing your progress in the gym. You can create custom workouts and exercises, log photos, and enable notifications of your achievements and record-setting days.
Nike’s official app has a library of 30 to 45-minute workouts that are based on your goals and fitness level. Importantly, the app explains how to execute each exercise with how-to videos and even lets you share your accomplishments on social networks.
One of the best apps for the gym, Fitness Pro will teach you new exercises and how to properly use gym equipment. You can target a specific area or do full-body exercises, with instructional photos. It lets you design personalized workout routines.
Designed for bodybuilders, Jefit keeps track of all your reps, sets, and the weight you’re lifting, Jefit provides a number of different workout routines designed to target specific muscle groups, and allows you to design custom workouts.
Though these aren’t necessarily apps for exercise, eating right is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. Pair it with weekly workouts and you are set. Proper sleep is just as crucial to being healthy as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your shuteye with these apps.
Lose it tracks food intake and fitness activities. Plug in your height, weight, age, and how much weight you are trying to lose (if any at all), and the app constructs a recommended net calorie intake based on how many calories you consume and how many you burn.
Restaurant Nutrition provides a comprehensive catalog of nutritional information for almost any menu item that you can think of. It’s especially helpful when used in conjunction with another calorie counting app.
Lifesum is a weight loss app that works with apps from Withings and RunKeeper to give you an accurate assessment of your daily calorie intake. It even features a built-in barcode scanner that can pull up nutritional data on millions of items.
Set your phone on your mattress, and it goes to work while you’re sleeping. It provides metrics that give you a snapshot of your sleep quality and has a fantastic alarm function, the app will wake you when you are at your lightest sleep.
For some, background noise is essential for a night’s sleep. The app offers a wide variety of ambient noises, ranging from busy city streets and babbling brooks, to campfires and torrential downpours, along with a pretty slick interface.
Pzizz creates a different soundtrack every time you use it. In theory, this helps keep the app from becoming familiar. It uses a randomization algorithm that gives it over 100 billion different sounds. Most are binaural beats and tones that help induce a state of relaxation.