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Fitness Gear

5 Exercise Apps to Keep You on Track

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Exercise isn’t easy. Your heart is pounding, your muscles are aching and your body is soaked in sweat like you just walked straight out of the shower — if you really dug deep and made the most of every step and rep, that is. Working out shouldn’t be easy, but finding a training program, method or class that works for you definitely can be.

Enter exercise apps. 

Whether you’re new to the fitness world or an old pro, exercise apps offer something for everyone. From gym workouts to home workouts and running — and virtually every other fit activity, you’re bound to find something that fits your style of training. Most apps offer a free version, as well as a premier version (ranging in price from about $5 a month and up), depending on the features you want. There are often free trials, so be on the lookout for those, too. (Remember to cancel, though, if you’re not looking to sign up long term.) 

Endless streaming options, tracking software, detailed exercise instructions, pacing and motivational sources are all at your fingertips, literally. Swipe, click and tap your way to increased workout consistency, accountability and results with these trainer-approved favorites.

5 Exercise Apps to Boost Your Fitness Regimen

1. Nike Training Club. This high-quality app will have you moving with vigor and loving every minute of it. 

Choose from tons of workout styles, fitness levels and durations, and you’ll be guided through exercises step by step. 

Sarah Pace, ACE-certified health coach and personal trainer, says this app “offers multi-week programs that include a series of workouts, nutrition tips and guidance from a Nike master trainer.” 

Nike Training Club also offers preset drills and workouts you can do at your own pace. This app will have you standing taller with more confidence and strength from workout one.

2. Seven. If you’re short on time and don’t want to log long hours of exercise, this one’s for you. 

Pace touts Seven as one of the best apps, especially for those who use time constraints as an excuse not to fit exercise into their routine.

“These seven-minute workouts can fit into anyone’s busy lifestyle,” Pace says.

Pace also loves how this app allows you to earn special badges and even compete against others to up your motivation. Choose from a morning wake-up routine to a fat burn to a full-body workout with just one swipe. As a fun and entertaining twist, it even offers a host of different instructors and styles from drill sergeant to cheerleader. 

3. MapMyFitness.  This super-easy app uses the GPS system in your cellphone to track where and when you move. Before you call it creepy, listen to these perks.

MapMyFitness tracks your exercise stats from mileage to elevation to time and more. This visual of all you’ve accomplished leads to even more motivation. For a competitive edge, check out the “community” and “challenge yourself” options, too.

“You can also find walking, running and cycling routes that others have completed and saved in the app, which can be helpful when you travel and are looking for a tried-and-true route near your location,” Pace says. 

This is a handy app to download when in new cities or looking to try something different from your usual neighborhood route.

4. Apple Fitness Plus. If you like Apple devices and a smooth, sleek interface, this app is a no-brainer for you.

Apple Fitness Plus includes the best personal trainers, fitness gurus and workout experts. 

“By recruiting the top experts in the fitness industry to develop this program, they’ve created a platform that provides excellent instruction and workout options for all level of exercisers,” says Lauren Korzan, MA, ACSM-certified exercise physiologist and group exercise instructor.  

This app is personalized to the max. You can choose a class based on the type of music you like or the length of time you want to exercise. The app syncs directly with the Apple Watch, so your physical activity is easily tracked — no fuss necessary.

5. Beachbody on Demand.This high-quality, full-service app offers workout and nutrition options. 

Beachbody offers a variety of workouts and durations, and it even organizes sessions into a calendar. Workouts are easy to follow and full of motivation. 

“These programs provide something for everyone, from dance to strength training to HIIT,” Korzan says. “I really like that they offer multi-week programs that allow users to track their progress instead of just doing random workouts each time.” 

This organized and succinct app lives up to the hype for sure.