Need a new fitness app in your life? Here are 8 to seriously improve your health

It's like having a PT in your pocket!
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  • If you’re looking to pick up new exercise habits in 2022, downloading one of the best fitness apps is a pretty good place to start. 

    Whether you’re looking to pick up a new HIIT workout from home or get out cycling on the roads, being able to track your progress and see your fitness levels rise in front of your eyes will undoubtedly keep you motivated. Depending on your activity and goals, the best fitness apps can keep you moving through the more challenging times, show you how much you’ve achieved and many can even offer you ways to improve your habits through instruction videos, workout ideas and diets that work.

    But with so many on the market, it’s important to choose the right one. We’ve listed the best fitness apps for popular activities like running and the gym, alongside suggestions for apps to use if you’re new to working out or want to try something new.

    Best fitness apps for 2022

    If you’re looking to improve your fitness through a favourite sport or activity, take a look at these 5-star apps.

    1. Best fitness app for running: Strava

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    If you want to start running and track your runs down to the last metre, it’s got to be Strava. Using advanced technology, the app essentially turns your phone into a fitness tracker and records everything from how fast you’ve run to the distance you covered. If you’ve got a Garmin or Fitbit tracker already, you can link this up with the app for even deeper insights.

    But Strava is also famous for being the Facebook for fitness fans, as you can share your runs, walks or rides with anyone you choose to connect with on the app.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Free to download and use basic features 
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play Store 
    ✅  Track key statistics including heart rate, distance, pace and calories burnt
    ✅  Monthly and yearly round-ups of training progress 
    ❌  Works best with accompanying fitness technology 
    ❌  Premium features come with subscription costs

    What users say: 

    “Strava is a wonderful addition to my fitness tracking regimen. It’s very thorough and covers many different stats. It’s a pleasure to find other friends and share progress. Highly recommended.”

    “Fantastic app for logging any activity. I really like the route planning features, some bugs, but constant updates :).”

    “Absolutely love Strava. Allows you to keep track of what your buddies are doing even if you can’t work out together you can still compete in order to push yourself further. But even beyond that it’s great for tracking your workouts heart rate and all the other little details so long as you have the equipment.”

    2. Best fitness app for cycling: Komoot

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    Whether you’re new to cycling or a whizz on the roads, it always helps to have a route-mapping app. Komoot works either as an app on your phone or you can link it up to a bike computer for precise turn-by-turn navigation. Once you’ve done your ride, you can then save the plan in your collection to go back to or share with others at any time.

    As well as this, other users share their rides and Komoot has collections of pre-planned routes around the UK and Europe that you can download and explore for yourself.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Basic features and download is free
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play Store 
    ✅  Plan routes based on activity type and fitness level 
    ✅  Record distance travelled and speed as you ride
    ✅  Download and follow pre-planned routes
    ❌  Subscription costs for some features, including offline maps

    What users say: 

    “Used many apps previously and gps seems more accurate than most. Trail guide very accurate and easy to follow. Doesn’t seem to gobble battery either.”

    “What truly makes this app stand out is Komoot’s ability to recognize downtime during a recording. It automatically cuts out periods of rest… IE: returning home and forgetting to turn it off.”

    “As an absolute beginner bike tourist this app is invaluable. It’s almost like magic how well it picks good quality but low traffic routes through the country side.”

    3. Best fitness app for the gym: Tone & Sculpt

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    If going to the gym more is your New Year’s resolution, you’ll need a personal trainer – or at least a pocket one. Tone & Sculpt was created by coach Krissy Cela to help women on their fitness journey, whether that’s starting from scratch or continuing their training, with loads of gym-friendly workouts and form demonstrations. While it’s one of the only apps on our list that comes with a subscription fee to use all features, there’s 14-day free trial to start you off.

    And if you’re interested in changing up your diet in 2022, the app also comes complete with loads of recipes and meal plans to suit your eating habits.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  14-day free trial on sign-up
    ✅  Weekly Planner feature helps to schedule workouts and track progress
    ✅  Choose workouts based on a variety of activity types, including strength training and HIIT 
    ✅  Includes beginner, intermediate and advanced home and gym plans
    ✅  1000s of recipes and accompanying meal plans available
    ❌  No free features with subscription required on sign-up

    What users say: 

    “The app is so easy to navigate, keeps you on track and has the best meal ideas to keep you motivated. I absolutely love this app and I genuinely use it every day and would be lost without it! I also highly recommend following Danyele and Krissy on Instagram as there energy is infectious and after watching their stories I feel 10x more motivated.”

    “I’ve genuinely tried almost every fitness app out there, and this is by far the best. It has everything you could ever need to help you on your fitness journey no matter your skill level. It focuses on progressive overload (essential in growing muscle) without being boring.”

    “This app gives you realistic food ideas with no restrictions! It allows you to fuel your body with all the good nutrients it needs while also enabling you to stick to your goals. I also love the structure of the workouts and easily changeable functions as I am super busy and have a strict time slot when it comes to working out.”

    4. Best fitness app for yoga: glo

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    glo enables users to completely customise their yoga practice, choosing from a range of goals such as improving sleep, building strength or just starting the morning on a high note. You can choose from pre-planned routines based on the amount of time you want to spend and your fitness level or join a live class with instructors online. We’ve opted for it as one of the best fitness apps because it’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to use, so you can get on with your workout. And while we’ve chosen this app for its yoga guidance, glo also covers pilates, meditation and fitness.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Free trial on sign-up
    ✅  Personalise your practice based on your goals, instructor preferences and experience 
    ✅  Find classes and workouts quickly via filters in the Search page  
    ✅  Choose your instructor from a range of world class practitioners 
    ✅  Follow live classes or pre-planned workouts 
    ❌  Only available with a monthly or yearly subscription

    What users say: 

    “As a person who lives with depression, anxiety, and addiction, YogaGlo has had a significant and lasting effect on my body, mind and spirit. On the days when I can’t even get out of bed, there is a meditation or breathing exercise.”

    “YogaGlo is amazing, but forget the app itself — it’s really all about the instructors!! I have been using the website for 6+ years and I go back to the same classes again and again. I have been to many gyms around the country and also done other yoga online, and really and truly nothing compares.”

    “There is tremendous variety in the classes with something suitable for just about every goal at every level.”

    5. Best fitness app for interval training: Fiit

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    If you’re new to interval training or want to improve your HIIT workouts then Fiit is definitely for you. While there are more must-haves to buy before being able to truly get into workouts, it’s so worth it. There are hundreds of classes, group workouts and training plans to choose from – starting from beginner level all the way through to advanced.

    Each of the classes is designed to suit your schedule so in addition to being on-demand, they are available as 10, 25, 40 or 60 minute sessions.

    Pros Cons
    ✅   14-day free trial on sign-up 
    ✅  Hundreds of HIIT classes to choose from with different trainers  
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play
    ✅  Connect and stream easily to your television 
    ✅  Some classes available for free 
    ❌  Works best with accompanying fitness technology

    What users say:

    “This really is one of the best overall fitness apps out there. I love how you can just pick a class and get your workout done for the day. I know people have their set up at home but I use Fiit in the spare studio at the gym for HIIT classes and it works great!”

    “I really like that there are so many workouts that are 25 minutes long. They are really challenging but doable in the middle of a busy day.”

    “It makes working out at home with neighbours a lot easier and I can take my time and go at my own pace in these sessions. Trouble with some of the stats tracking but I still love the instructors.”

    6. Best fitness app for home workouts: Sworkit

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    This is an easy-to-use, workout-focused app that will guide you through home exercises based on your personal fitness goals. Whether you want to get leaner, fitter or stronger, the step-by-step layout means you can choose a particular part of your body and opt for moves that target this area alone. Or alternatively, you can choose from a variety of full body workouts that will get you up and moving. Although there’s a fee of £4.99 per month after the free trial, it’s significantly cheaper than the plans offered by similar apps.

    Pros Cons
    ✅   7-day free trial on sign-up
    ✅  Over 400 workouts and 800 exercises to choose from 
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play
    ✅  Create and save your own workouts to come back to at another time 
    ✅  Includes 6-week workout plans based on your current fitness level
    ❌  No free features with subscription required on sign-up

    What users say:

    “I really enjoy the app. It keeps me motivated and definitely gives me ideas for my workouts. Not only great if you can’t get to the gym but also great at the gym too!”

    “Makes exercise accessible and sustainable. I love the challenges and programs aligned to specific goals. Library of workouts is extensive and they frequently add new options.”

    “The workouts are challenging for every level of fitness. The new verbal coaching on the proper movement is a welcomed improvement. Well worth the subscription especially if you travel often.”

    7. Best fitness app for beginners: Couch to 5k

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    While not everyone looking to build up their fitness will take to running, it’s a pretty common choice. Couch to 5k is also one of the best fitness apps out there, as rated on the Apple Store. If you’re more into yoga then Pocket Yoga is the one we recommend and if general strength training is what you want to try, download Tone & Sculpt for home or gym workouts tailored to your level.

    Couch to 5k does exactly what it says on the tin which is why it’s one of our best fitness apps. Over the course of two and a half months, the app takes you through three runs per-week and helps you to build up running endurance, stamina and speed. At the end of the programme, the idea is that you’ll be able to run a 5k pretty seamlessly and make longer-distance goals. Created by the NHS, it’s completely free and the runs are coached by some of the biggest names in sport – and comedy. They include Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli and Michael Johnson.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  All features are completely free
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play
    ✅  Play your own music during the runs 
    ✅  Choose your celebrity coach 
    ✅  Includes three runs per-week and scheduled rest days 
    ❌  No subsequent in-app programme to follow after completing 5k

    What users say: 

    “This app helped me get back into running after a couple of unrelated injuries and laziness/lack of motivation. I always felt like you had to go out and run for 30 minutes or more to be worthwhile and this app helped change my view point.”

    “The coaches do intervene at critical points, otherwise they leave you alone to get on with your run, which I think is great. Definitely the best app for beginners.”

    “When I started this I couldn’t even get half way through week 1 run 1. Tried again a day later and persevered. I was determined to do it and now I can smash out 30 minutes with no problem. I have shed weight and become a happier person with more energy as well as appreciating the outdoors and exploring so much more.”

    8. Best fitness app for weight loss: Lose It!

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    When it comes to losing weight, some people find calorie counting to be helpful. While it’s not suitable for everyone, it can help to ensure that you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning, putting yourself in a calorific deficit and, essentially, losing weight.

    Almost all calorie tracking apps are equal in function as they enable you to record what you’ve eaten in terms of calories on any given day, providing a total intake of calories at the end of every day and week. We’ve chosen Lose It! as one of the best fitness apps over the popular MyFitnessPal app, however, due to the lack of adverts.

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Download and use completely for free
    ✅  Available on iOS, Android and Google Play
    ✅  Track calories and macronutrients in thousands of food items
    ✅  Set calorie targets based on lifestyle and activity levels
    ✅  Scan food labels to record nutritional information
    ✅  Create your own meals and log them into the planner 
    ❌   Subscription required for premium features

    What users say: 

    “The food database is deep and the ability to scan barcodes is wonderfully helpful. Shared meals and recipes from other users help to fill in gaps as well. It also syncs easily with my Apple Watch and Health kit to incorporate workouts and data.”

    “If you’re in a hurry and couldn’t log a meal the day before you can always go back and edit your past days if you left something out and it will still process the info.”

    “I love this app it has really helped me lose weight by tracking and being aware of what I eat and how active I am!”