If we told you getting fit was as easy as downloading an app, would you believe us? While you actually have to use the applications to see results, there are plenty of innovative options that can help you tackle your health and wellness goals. Whether you're a fitness novice, a marathon runner, or fall somewhere in between, the best workout apps target your specific needs for a personalized diet and/or exercise experience.
In the same way that apps can order takeout, call cabs, and give you directions, they can also help kick-start your fitness routine. From customized workout applications to calorie-counting trackers and programs that help you book a yoga class or two, we've compiled the best wellness apps for your get-fit journey. For the fitness apps worthy of a download, keep on reading.
MyFitnessPal is a calorie counter and so much more. The database has over four million foods (and is still growing)—you can look up your eats by scanning the bar code, or use the recipe calculator for your own creations. It will also track your activity and help you set up a custom plan based on your goals. Want to know how many calories you burned cleaning the kitchen? It'll tell you.
Strava Running and Cycling (free–$6)
Whether you use it for running or cycling, Strava allows you to track your time, distance, speed, and cadence while also recording elevation changes. And there's a competitive aspect to it too. You can try to outdo your best record and the records of other users. The large active user base means there's always plenty of competition on the leaderboard.
FitStar Personal Trainer (free–$5)
From full gym routines to quick at-home ab workouts, FitStar Personal Trainer has whatever you want. Like with actual personal training, you start with a fitness test to begin at a level that's right for you, and after each workout, the app asks you questions to help tailor the next workout to better suit your needs. Complete with instructional videos and audio tracks, it really is a personal trainer in your pocket.
Lose It! (free–$40 per year)
With an extensive database of grocery items, recipes, and restaurant meals, Lose It! is still one of the top apps for weight loss. Not only does it track your food (calories and nutritional value) and activity to set up custom plans for you, but it's also a community. You can share recipes, exercise routines, and motivation with your friends. It gives you all the information you need in easy-to-read graphs and easy-to-follow instructions. Plus, it reminds you when you forget to log your food, which never hurts.
ClassPass ($40–$115 per month)
Not a member of a gym? No problem. Depending on which plan you buy, ClassPass gives you access to a variety of different workout classes like spin, barre, yoga, and even hot Pilates—all of which you can see and schedule conveniently from your phone.
Navigate the grocery store aisles with ease. Simply scan an item bar code to receive the nutritional information and the fine print you would otherwise miss (e.g., additives, preservatives, and no-no ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup). Scan something that's not such a good choice, and Fooducate will provide some healthier alternatives. And for produce and other items without bar codes, just type them in, and the app will deliver all the pros and cons plus a quick-reference letter grade from A to D-. It'll also look out for and alert you to allergens if necessary.
This app makes it easy to eat out without undoing your diet. Find local restaurants in your area (you can filter by cuisine and type of dish), enter your dietary preferences and restrictions (e.g., low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free, heart-healthy, Atkins, Paleo, etc.), and the app will do the rest. It'll note the healthiest choices on the menu, break down all the nutritional information, and suggest modifications to make your order even better.
This story was originally published on September 15, 2015.