We’ve selected these apps based on their user reviews, seamless interfaces, and effectiveness at helping you reach your fitness goals! If you’d like to suggest an app for this list, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting the recommended amount of exercise each week comes easy for very few people. Some days, it can be downright difficult to find the time and motivation to work out. For that reason, every extra bit of encouragement helps.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that adults get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, and at least two strength training sessions. If you’re willing to make that moderate-intensity exercise more strenuous, you can work out for less time, about 75 minutes, to meet the weekly goal. Add to this the need for regular stretching and you’ve got a week full of activity.
Whether it’s finding the time to get your workouts in, tracking your workouts to ensure you’re hitting all of your muscle groups, or setting and achieving fitness goals, the best fitness apps of 2016 likely have tools to help.
30 Day Fitness Challenges
Starting and maintaining a fitness habit requires motivation, and for some, 30-day challenges are exactly the sort of thing that can keep your workouts interesting. The 30 Day Fitness Challenges app includes more than 25 challenges that focus on squats, burpees, ab definition, and more. You can challenge specific body parts or use specific workout moves. Each one gets progressively harder over the month, pushing you to get fitter and stronger with each passing day.
If you spend any amount of time surfing the web for bodybuilding information, you’re likely familiar with Bodybuilding.com. BodySpace is an app developed by the same folks. It functions as a social media network for fitness fans. Upload a photo, set your goals, and track your workouts. You’ll also get access to dozens of training programs and even more workouts. What differentiates this app from others is the ability to find friends with common fitness goals and interests.
Helping other people makes you feel good. But when that help is based on how long you run, that feel good factor can have health benefits, too! Charity Miles is a unique app that pledges money to a charity of your choice for each mile you tackle. The app tracks your progress as you help earn money for a good cause.
Couch to 5k
If you’ve ever wanted to be a runner, but aren’t sure where to start, this app’s training tools are the perfect place. You’ll start slow and build mileage over time, until you’re ready to register for your first race. The app goes beyond the run training program, with other training programs and coach feedback. When you beat a personal record, you’ll hear about it. This is great for motivation, something all runners could use.
This is the official app for Fitbit wearable fitness devices. It lets you track your activity and steps, monitor your heart rate, log the food you eat, set goals, monitor and analyze your sleep, and more. We like that both the app and Fitbit devices are fully customizable. How you use it is up to you, and the feedback you get is based on your individual inputs.
Check out Fitness Buddy for free and if you like it, download the premium version to get the full features. The app features more than 1,700 exercises and more than 1,000 complete workout videos, which target your core, chest, arms, back, legs, or cardio. It’s perfect for strength trainers of all abilities — whether you prefer to pump iron or make use of your body weight instead.
FitStar Personal Trainer
A collection of workouts right at your fingertips, FitStar seeks to eliminate the need for a personal trainer. Video demonstrations guide you through moves step by step, and you can build your own workouts in the Freestyle section. Alternately, try one of the countless premade workout sessions. They are so varied, they’d suit anyone’s schedule. Only got seven minutes to spare? There’s a workout for that.
If you spend your time in the weight room or on strength training machines, the JEFIT Workout app is for you. It features more than 1,300 exercises and the ability to build your own workout routines or choose from one of the preprogrammed options. The app keeps track of your weight and reps from previous workouts, making it easy to spot where you’re making gains and where you may need additional work. You can also track cardio and stretching routines, but strength training is where this app really shines.
Jillian Michaels Slim-Down
Jillian Michaels skyrocketed to fame as one of the trainers on “The Biggest Loser.” Her tough approach has helped many people drop unwanted pounds and make a habit of healthy living. This app brings her approach to the masses. Find a workout routine and meal plan, and make use of the calorie counter, barcode scanner, weight tracker, and podcasts. We’re impressed with the free version, but you can also upgrade to the premium version for additional features.
Map My Run
Map My Run is one of the most popular running apps available, and with good reason. Whether you’re a competitive racer or someone who jogs leisurely a few times a week, this app is great for tracking progress and routes. Each route is mapped, and includes distance and elevation details. You’ll get feedback on your pace, calories burned, and more.
This popular app uses GPS to track your routes, elevation, and more. Set goals and follow training programs to improve your speed or get yourself ready for your next race. You’ll get audio feedback during your workouts, which will save you from having to look down to check your pace and progress. We like that you can find local routes easily, perfect for when you’re traveling and need to get in a run.
There’s nothing like music to push you through a tough workout — the right music, that is. When the beat is perfectly suited to your pace, the motivating effects are multiplied. Spring was designed to make your workouts faster with minimal added effort. It does this by providing playlists that match your cadence. Select a faster tempo for a quicker run overall or to run intervals. The app will automatically detect your cadence and find the music to fit.
Designed to pair with Jawbone wearable fitness devices, UP is there to help you achieve all of your fitness goals. The Smart Coach function helps you make wiser health decisions, and gives you feedback on your diet, sleep, and activity levels. The more you input, the more you’ll get out of this app — so use it for tracking your daily meals and workouts, particularly if weight loss is your goal.