Why fork over your hard earned cash on some newfangled wearable exercise gizmo when you’ve already got a smartphone stowed in your pocket? That compact computer hosts a multitude of sensors, and with the right selection of apps and a little discipline, it can be as powerful a workout companion as dedicated trainer.
Whether you’re looking to track your miles, find a little motivation, eat healthier, sleep better, or simply make exercise slightly more entertaining, there’s likely an app for that very purpose. Thankfully, we’ve taken the time to dig through the Google Play Store and bring you an in-depth roundup of the best fitness apps for Android. Now, if you can only stick to the routine.
Simply looking to keep track of your runs and day-to-day activities with a little feedback in the form of charts and graphs? Check out the notable selection of apps below.
Runkeeper allows you to use your phone’s GPS transceiver to log your running pace and distance on various routes. Users can additionally set a goal pace, and the app will feed you audio updates to stay on track with the tempo. Our favorite feature remains the app’s music integration, which allows you to listen to your tunes and skip tracks without leaving the app.
Runtastic is smartphone staple, with a simple interface that doesn’t sacrifice advanced features. The no-frills app uses your smartphone’s sensors to track metrics, such as your distance and relative pace, as well as calories burned and your heart rate. A few extra features, such as 3D mapping and a workout diary, only complement the app’s wearable integration.
Strava is an excellent tracking app that monitors your runs or cycling route via GPS. It gamifies your cardio workout and pairs with leaderboards, achievements, and challenges, bringing a competitive spirit to your routine. It also has Android Wear support.
The aptly-titled Moves automatically tracks your daily movements — whether walking, cycling, or running — with your smartphone’s GPS. It then displays the data in an easy-to-read timeline that makes for an entertaining, intuitive diary. It also connects with other apps and recognizes specific places in your life, helping you better visualize your routines and habits.
Providing a detailed workout summary charting your distance and pace is MapMyRun’s bread and butter. The app also counts the amount of calories you burn and charts your elevation profile. Moreover, it allows you to control music and incoming calls directly within the app. The ability to save past workouts and share your success adds to the appeal.
Argus is a neat all-in-one activity tracker that monitors your sleep, heart rate, calories, and more. The app offers challenges to overcome, as well as the option to build your own workout plan. You can even add food you eat by scanning the barcode on the label to track your calories.
Coaches and personal trainers are great, but if you can’t afford to have Jillian Michaels come scream at you every time you hop on the treadmill, we suggest using these low-cost apps to help guide you through your workout.
Nike Training Club offers hundreds of 30- to 45-minute workouts. The app provides detailed suggestions based on your own personal fitness goals. It excels when it comes to explanatory photos and video demonstrations that show you how to properly execute each exercise — all of which are stored directly within the app for added convenience when offline.
FitnessBuilder offers a diverse catalog of workouts specifically designed to help you optimize your time at the gym. The hundreds of instructional videos are straightforward and explanatory, and if you prefer, the app even lets you convert and print your workout regiments in PDF form so you can keep your phone from becoming drenched in sweat.
Strong Lifts 5X5 is designed for experienced lifters who want nothing more than to gain muscle and lose fat. It’s likely too intense for inexperienced lifters, but the app can still coach you through three, 45-minute workouts a week, focusing on the largest muscles in your body for optimal effect. Calendars and simple plate calculators take the app’s functionality even further.
Workout Trainer provides a fitness consultation before allowing you to choose from one of hundreds of workout routines tailored directly to your body. The app additionally lets you sync and set your music to play between verbal instructions and video, with an option to share your most popular workouts with the online user community via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Sworkit provides gym-quality routines without actually requiring you to go to the gym. The free app is void of in-app purchases and allows you to choose from hundreds of workouts, each of which is divided into one of four distinct categories (strength, cardio, yoga, and stretching). Hell, it even lets you create short, 5-minute workouts when you’re in a pinch.
Initially designed for bodybuilders, Jefit keeps track of all your reps, sets, and the weight you’re lifting within a sleek interface. The app also provides a number of different workout routines designed for targeting specific muscle groups, while allowing you to curate custom workouts and share your achievements with the online community. The mere 1,300 training exercises are only the beginning.
Lose it tracks your food intake and fitness activities in a similar fashion to budget-planning apps such Level and Mint. You simply enter your height, weight, age, and how much weight you’re attempting to lose, before the app constructs a recommended calorie budget based on your diet and exercise. Its robust wearable integration is an added plus.
Fooducate is a great source for knowing what exactly is in your food. Simply scan the barcode of any item you want to research, and the app will pull up nutritional facts and an overall grade, with a list of healthy alternatives to match. The app also helps you avoid the hard-to-notice trans fat and high sugar content in products — which is never a bad thing in today’s world.
Lifesum is a weight-loss app that works alongside apps from the likes of Withings and RunKeeper, giving you an accurate assessment of your daily calorie intake so you can strive toward your established goals. The app even features a built-in barcode scanner designed to pull up nutritional data on millions of items, whether you prefer apples, oranges, or omelets.
Just place your smartphone on your mattress and Sleep Cycle will take care of the rest. The simple-minded app provides an array of metrics encompassing your sleep quality, and furthermore, doubles as a fantastic alarm that will wake you within a 30-minute window while you’re experiencing your lightest sleep phase. The statistical graphs and charts aren’t bad, either.
Looking to manage the amount of calories you take in versus the number you actually use? MyFitnessPal takes things such as your height and weight into consideration, allowing you to see how many calories you actually need. Then, you can search from the app’s huge database of foods to tweak your diet based on how much you need.
Pzizz creates a different soundtrack every time you use it, thus helping to keep it from becoming too familiar. The app uses a randomization algorithm that provides it with more than 100 billion unique sounds, most of which are binaural beats and tones that help induce a state of relaxation. Plus, you can program it to last anywhere between 10 minutes and 12 hours.
Fitocracy tracks your activity and grants you points accordingly. You level up and earn virtual badges, as you complete workout milestones and finish quests, giving you additional incentive to get up, get motivated, and off the couch. Furthermore, you can make friends and follow other Fitocrats if you want to give props or leave an encouraging comment.
Doctors agree that spending 30 minutes walking can greatly improve your overall health. Six to Start Studio’s app encourages just that, prompting you to get moving throughout the course of 51 episodes, 800 minutes of audio, and hundreds of miles. The story revolves around the aftermath of a bomb explosion in the U.K., but you can partake nearly anywhere you can walk.
You’re the pilot of Aegeis, a battleship tasked to save the world from alien invaders by engaging in “killer” core and bicep workouts. Saving the world from the impending invasion essentially means you must complete a series of 7-minute workouts, which rely on your ability to perform an onslaught of crunches and air punches a la Rocky.
Although not a game, per se, Google’s comprehensive fitness app lets you track steps, distance, and pace with ease. It also quickly distinguishes between running, walking, and cycling, with the option to set recommended goals and sync with an array of other fitness apps to display all your biometric data in one place. The minimalist interface looks great, too.