11 of the best workout apps for people looking to build healthier routines

11 of the best workout apps for people looking to build healthier routines

11 of the best workout apps for people looking to build healthier routines

Whether you work at home, don't like the idea of ​​exercising in front of other people, or don't have the time and money to hire a personal trainer, you don't have to give up the idea of ​​exercising entirely. There are many paths to personal fitness, and some can be found right from your phone. Even better: you don't need expensive equipment to use fitness apps, either.

Whether you want to go for a run every day, do strength training, try easy yoga poses, or engage in HIIT (high intensity interval training), there is certainly an app to help you do it, and some will even help you. eat more nutritiously and plan meals on the go as well.

That said, not all fitness apps are created equal and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there (just type fitness in your app store and see how many options show up). Also, since many involve subscriptions, the last thing you want to do is try a lot (and spend a lot of money) before giving up because you can't find what is right for you.

So what should you look for in a training app? Here are some factors to consider. (There's also a lot more guidance on how much you should pay and other factors to consider after our picks.)

What motivates you?

It can take a while to reach your fitness goals, so you need something to make you decide to stick with it and stick with your new routine. So before you jump in, consider what keeps you motivated and ask yourself these questions:

Do you want an application that sends you daily reminders?

Do you need an app that has a social element, such as the ability to share information with friends (or even compete with them)?

Do you need a community that encourages you and asks you questions?

Do you want a physical trainer to register you?

Do you want something that allows you to unlock achievements?

Do you want something that tracks your progress towards a bigger goal?

Do you need a subscription to feel invested?

Or does the idea of ​​giving back (with an app that donates to charities for every mile you run, walk, or bike) motivate you more?

Whatever it is that keeps you going with your workouts, that's the function you should prioritize in your search for the ideal training app for you.


Of course, it goes without saying that you need an app that works with your phone. But that's not the only technological requirement. Some apps will also take advantage of everything your phone has to offer, like your GPS or accelerometer to track your progress. Other apps will also use your camera to help make sure you are using the correct form for an exercise.

Also, some apps integrate or pair with other devices or apps, such as Apple watches, Fitbits, or step trackers. If you have one of those devices, make sure you find one that works with it. If you paid for exercise equipment, look for apps that offer ideas on how to use those machines. Or, conversely, if you don't have any exercise equipment, look for apps that give you recommendations on how to use furniture in your home or just your body weight.

Remember, the best app is ultimately about personal preferences.

There are good and bad applications. But ultimately, when choosing from a collection of fitness apps, the "best" will depend on your personal preferences, goals, and lifestyle.

So, to make your search a little easier, here are some of our favorites based on goal, experience level, and type of exercise:

How much should I pay for a training app?

Some apps can offer quite expensive subscriptions, but just because they cost money doesn't mean they're worth it. Money does not always equate to quality. (And at a certain point, if the cost is too high, you may want to simply consider a gym membership.)

You can get some very good training apps that cost less than $ 10 a month and they will come with all the tracking capabilities, custom routines, and training videos you need, especially if you're just starting out or don't have a lot of room on the budget. In fact, some are even free.

That said, while free sounds amazing, it's worth remembering that most of the great apps require a subscription of some kind. Free apps (or free versions of apps that offer subscriptions) are often limited in supply, have a lot of bugs, or are overwhelmed by ads that get in the way.

path of user experience.

Consider your current fitness level

Not all apps are designed for beginners, and the last thing you want is to pay money for an app that will eventually overwhelm you or make you give up because the workouts are simply too difficult for you.

Instead, you'll want to be honest with yourself and examine where you are, right now, with your physical condition. Then find an app that suits you where you are. An application that teaches you the basics and shows you how to do the exercise correctly is worth its weight in gold because it will show you how to do the exercises with good form, it will not overwhelm you and it will keep you motivated because you will feel your progress.

If you are a beginner with a strong desire to grow, consider getting an app that isn't just geared toward beginners. Instead, get one that grows with you, offering a variety of exercises and routines that get progressively more difficult as you go. This will give you something to aim for on your fitness journey and will keep you invested in the long run.

Think about your fitness goals

People choose to exercise for a myriad of reasons - maybe you want some easy stretching exercises to help you relax, maybe you want to build muscle, or maybe you just want to be healthier.

Whatever your reason, it will affect the app you choose and the fitness app that works best for you. Some are family-friendly, allowing you to exercise with the whole family, while others are clearly aimed at people who want to lose weight with cardio or HIIT. Others have to do with building muscle. So before you start your search, think about what you want the fitness app to help you do.

For example, do you want to track your weight loss? If so, consider an app that not only gives you workouts, but also offers nutritional advice, meal tracking, or meal planning tips so you can use a multi-pronged approach to reaching your weight loss goals. You may also want to consider an app that gives you access to a trainer, coach, or nutritionist who can help you customize your workouts and weight loss goals. (Access to coaches and trainers can also be helpful for beginners when they are learning the correct form.)

In the meantime, if you're just looking for workouts to help you feel better in your own body, you might want to consider a lower intensity workout app or a yoga app that focuses more on stretching and relaxation rather than cardio or heavier weight. routines.

Similarly, if you are training for a marathon, you may be more interested in a distance tracking app to record your runs, your timing, and your progress. But if you are looking to build muscle, you will want an app that focuses primarily on strength training exercises.

Your lifestyle matters too

Many people start an exercise routine but then abandon it because they just can't find the time to exercise. Obviously, apps that help you exercise at home (rather than at the gym) can help you a bit, since you no longer have to drive anywhere. Additionally, many applications require little or no specialized equipment to perform an exercise routine.

However, that is not the end of the story. If you find it difficult to dedicate an hour to your busy work day, you will never try that new 60-minute exercise routine recommended by your fitness app. In the same way, if you have a family to take care of, you are not going to do a routine that you cannot do with your children in the same room.

That is why it is important to choose an application that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you are very busy from morning to night, opt for an app that has a full library of short workouts, such as those that can be done in seven minutes or less. Or, if you have kids at home with you all day, find a family exercise app for kids too so everyone can exercise together.

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