How is your workout working out? Lots of apps provide routines and fitness tracking, but those are no use if you’re not motivated to get off the couch and keep going. We’ve run through fitness apps and have picked seven that will get you into the gym or out for a long jog or a bike ride, because there’s nothing like music, scenery, and friendly competition to energize you.
Music is a great booster during a high-intensity cardio session. RockMyRun has thousands of music mixes, 45 minutes or less, to match your energy and tempo and keep you excited about your workout. With the Rockstar membership upgrade, you get longer mixes and no ads.
If you feel like you’re just walking in circles, get on Virtual Walk Treadmill or GPS. This app lets you experience the Appalachian Trail, a New York cultural tour, the National Mall in Washington, the Boston Marathon, or Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. The high-quality pictures make you feel like a national traveler, and you’ll learn about landmarks while you stretch your legs.
Ironically, binge-watching “The Walking Dead” won’t make you fighting fit for the zombie apocalypse. In Zombies, Run, fear is your motivation: you embark on one of 40 missions, fending off zombie hordes while frantically collecting medicine, batteries, and ammo to bring back to fellow survivors at your fortified base. You can follow the story or play music with radio-style messages in between. Either way, your goal is to work off lunch without becoming it.
A little friendly competition can be a huge motivator. With Strava, you can plan, record, follow, and share favorite running or cycling routes. See your distance, pace, speed, burned calories, and more, and discover how you rank among your friends. Upgrade to Premium to see which friends are currently out riding or running, so you can go leave them in the dust.
Put your money where your mouth is with Pact, which lets you bet on your fitness goals. Set your goals, wager money, track your workouts (via RunKeeper, Fitbit, Jawbone Up, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, etc.), photograph and share your healthy meals, and get a weekly notification of your earnings, which increase every time other Pact members fail in their resolutions. Just make sure not to slack off, lest you gain weight and lose money.
You’ve seen the “before” and “after” photos in magazines and infomercials. Now you can join the “after” shot club, broadcasting your weight loss or newly toned physique through PumpUp, an app that makes fitness tracking social. So snap a shot of your next workout or meal, and share it with friends or the PumpUp community for extra kudos.
Getting fit does you good and, with Charity Miles, helps others, too. Choose your charity — ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Alzheimer’s Association, and many more — and then walk, run, or bike. The app tracks your distance via GPS, so your charity will get its due, paid out by sponsors like Timex Sports, Humana, and Lifeway Foods.