How many of us have set ourselves New Year’s Resolutions to get fit, lose weight or just be more healthy but have struggled after the first few weeks? Lucky for us there are apps to help us keep motivated and on that healthy path.
Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, there are a lot of fitness apps around, far too many to list. So which one do you choose? that all depends on what you are looking for. Those who have a wearable, whether it be an Apple Watch, a Fitbit, Garmin or any other brand fitness tracker will already have that manufacturer’s fitness app,along with either Apple Health or Google Fit. So why would you need anything else?
Sometimes it may be too complicated, not complicated enough, not do exactly what you want it to do, or you may lose all of your data if you change devices/platforms. There are many good fitness apps to choose from, so many that it can be often confusing and time consuming to decide which to put your faith in.
We’ve decided to help you out and give you our best apps for those looking to start the New Year off in a healthy fashion and kick start their fitness journey.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is one of the more popular fitness apps and has been for a long time. It’s an app that does everything including the most important part of fitness, the diet. It has a huge food database from which you can add your foods (scan a barcode) along with the ability to record your workouts and steps.
The premium version also offers a vast number of workouts that you can follow depending on your goal and preferences. The app also allows you to integrate your other fitness apps and devices — choose from over 50 popular apps and devices.
It’s safe to say, if you opt for the premium version, My Fitness Pal has you covered for your one stop shop for fitness. You can grab the Android or iOS versions at the respective app stores for free — the premium features will cost you either $64.99 per year or $12.99 per month if you prefer the monthly subscription.
Although Fitbit Coach obviously works best with a Fitbit device, the training rather than tracking version of the Fitbit app, Fitbit Coach (formerly known as Fitstar) can be used by anyone with any device, or no device. The app includes a heap of fitness workouts to not just challenge you, whatever your level of fitness but also keep you interested. There is a free level but this includes a very limited amount of workouts.
The workouts are like going to your local gym and having your PT or instructor yell at you the instructions — sure to keep you motivated, along with great videos demonstrating the exercises to you. If you need more than just workouts you will need to head over to the standard Fitbit app for that — and of course there is a premium version of that one too.
Map My Run
Map My Run, formerly developed and owned by Under Armour, is similar to My Fitness Pal in that is can be used with a large number of fitness trackers and it also has the added bonus of being able to be incorporated into My Fitness Pal. This app gives not just the run data itself but also mapping information.
Map My Run, surprisingly considering the name of the app, can also be used to map other activities including cycling, walking, gym workouts. There is also, if you pay for the premium features, the option to customise workouts, but the main function is mapping various forms of running, walking, hiking etc. Other premium features include heart rate analysis, interval training, custom splits audio coaching and more.
If running is your choice of exercise you could do a lot worse than using Map My Run to track your exercise. It is available for Android and iOS of course and the MVP features will cost you $39.99 for a yearly subscription of $7.99 on a monthly basis.
Nike Run Club
My friend Chris tells me that this is his favourite run tracking app. He prefers it because it comes fully featured — no need to purchase the premium features. The app also fully integrates into Apple Health but can be used on any platform. There is something to be said for backups and interconnectivity — there is nothing worse in fitness than losing all of your data when switching platforms or devices.
The app itself is obviously designed for runners with motivational coaching features and guides from top Nike coaches. Of course there is the obligatory sharing of runs/selfies (not sure I’d want to send a photo of myself after running and looking exhausted to anyone). The Spotify integration is also a nice addition.
Runkeeper is ASICS’ fitness app and is designed to help you train towards a particular running goal — whether it be a 10km run, a marathon, or in my case, the ability to run up and down the basketball court without collapsing.
It is a standard running app which includes the ability to track your runs in real time and review the stats at the end. It also has motivating voices that speak to you throughout the running telling you your pace, distance and time (which I found annoying but someone targeting a certain pace could be extremely helpful).
There are of course social interaction with other users to help you with staying motivated. Available on Android and iOS it also has premium features such as training plans, deeper insights and workout comparisons for $62.99 per year or $14.99 per month.
JEFIT Workout Planner
You may have noticed that most of the above apps focus on running or cardiovascular exercise. For those like myself who prefer to do their exercise with weights there is a lot of apps but it is difficult to go past JEFIT Workout Planner. From beginners to advanced gym goers JEFIT has something, and quite possibly everything, for you.
JEFIT allows you to follow one of their gym workouts or to customise your own. Their list of available exercises is immense and can be added to yourself using the “custom tab”. There are workouts for core strength, gym strength, training at home and of course a way to track your progress. This is the best all around app for those who prefer a non-cardio workout.
One thing it does not have is any form of meal recording or advice and unfortunately it does not integrate into an app such as My Fitness Pal so you will need to have two different apps for workouts and meals which in my opinion is NOT a reason to not use it. This is my favourite workout app that suits everyone across all levels of training experience.
Getting fit and healthy is difficult at times. Hopefully one of the above apps can help guide you through your fitness journey of 2021 and beyond, providing both motivation and the ability to track your progress.
If you feel we have missed anything important let us know and why you consider it worthy to note. Most of all good luck getting and staying fit and healthy in 2021.