By: Clare Harriman
With smartphones tracking, your workouts couldn't be easier. Some applications for smartphones feature creative ways to keep you motivated, while others serve as a kind of fitness diary.
Different approaches work for different people, which is probably why there are hundreds of fitness-tracking apps to choose from. Luckily, you don’t have to sort through them all to find the best of the bunch— I've gone through the good, the bad, and the ugly to find the best mobile apps to help you keep track of, and achieve, your fitness goals. The best part - the apps are all free!
Fitbit: Most people who know Fitbit think of it as an expensive tracking device, not as an app. If your workout of choice is Yoga or Pilates, the device is far less useful to you. The good news is that the app stands proudly on its own—you can download it for free and use a number of its impressive features.
Among its highlights are logs for popular workouts and activities, a tracker that monitors your daily steps and distance, a calendar that lets you plan out your fitness goals and record them once they’re completed, a calorie tracker, and a place to set goals and view your progress in stylish charts and graphs.
Fitocracy: Some people consider posting their workout progress on their social media network to be a bit of a faux pas. On Fitocracy, though, such status updates are highly encouraged. If you’re the type of person who derives motivation from discussing your goals and sharing your successes with others, you may want to check out this app.
Video game enthusiasts created Fitocracy to offer athletes and active people an entertaining social medium through which to set, track, and have fun with their fitness goals. Registering with Fitocracy welcomes you into a thriving community engaging in an array of activities and are eager to cheer you on when you post a status update, engage you in friendly competition, and offer you support and motivating tips when you need the encouragement.
Map My Fitness: If you’re searching for a more general fitness tracker that allows you to connect with your friends, check out Map My Fitness. This app allows you to log over 600 different types of fitness activities, and it keeps track of your daily steps, calorie intake, weight, and sleep duration in a simple and easy-to-use interface. Plus, if you do have a fitness-tracking device, you’ll be able to connect it with Map My Fitness.
Pact: Earn Cash for Living Healthy: This app is perhaps the most creative—and maybe even the most motivating—approach to keeping up with your fitness goals (92% of their members successfully meet theirs). Upon creating a Pact account, you’re encouraged to set your weekly workout and/or healthy-eating goals. Once that’s done, you set a dollar amount for how much you’re willing to pay each day you fail to meet your fitness or nutrition goal. If you miss a day of your workout, your credit card will be charged for the amount you agreed upon. Sound pricey? It doesn’t have to be. You can actually make real money with this app—every day you do succeed, some money goes into your account, to be cashed out later. The money you earn comes from the pockets of those who missed their workouts. Hard work at the gym has never paid off so well!
Most people who are successful in reaching their fitness goals know that monitoring their daily achievements is a tried-and-true way to stay on track. Using an app to comprehensively organize your progress is not only convenient, but also fun. Even if you’re not making money or competing with fellow fitness-enthusiasts, you’ll likely find that just logging a daily workout into your app and charting your history of success is rewarding enough to keep you going.
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