If you’re trying to lose weight, work on your fitness, eat better, or reduce your stress, your iPhone can be a helpful tool — especially if you have the right app. We dug through hundreds of apps to find the best iPhone apps to help you stay healthy and fit.
Are you only focused on running? These are our picks for the best running apps available that you can match up with one the best fitness trackers. And if you’re looking for a great pair of headphones to go with it, don’t forget to look through our picks of the five best running headphones.
Sometimes, the prospective health benefits of exercise aren’t enough to get you out the door and on the trail. The apps below are designed to give you another compelling reason, whether it’s the opportunity to earn virtual badges, a chance to win actual prizes, or simply the prospect of looking better in your clothes and feeling better in your own skin.
Nike’s official app has a library of 30- to 45-minute workouts based on your goals and fitness level. Importantly, the app explains how to execute each exercise with how-to videos and even lets you share your accomplishments on social networks. Nike updates this app frequently so you’ll now see free Medball Crush and Straight-Up Abs on the roster, as well as new expert tips about weight training and yoga. It also added two new Yoga workouts to the premium version.
Carrot is an artificial intelligence construct that threatens, inspires, ridicules, and bribes — whatever it takes — to get you moving. It’s an ironic motivator that features a seven-minutes-in-hell workout that will require you to do 30 seconds of 12 punishing exercises — and will berate you if you don’t. Warning: If you stray from your weight goals too much, it will upset Carrot, whereupon she will call you mean names and make you cry. So be a good fat, lazy, meatbag, OK?
Argus is a neat all-in-one meal-planner and activity tracker that monitors your sleep, heart rate, calories, and more. The app offers fitness challenges, as well as the option to build your own workout plan. You can even add the food you eat by scanning the barcode on the label to track your calories.
Lose It tracks food intake and fitness activities. Plug in your height, weight, age, and how much weight you are trying to lose (if any) and the app recommends net calorie intake based on how many calories you consume and how many you burn. The app recently added Saturated Fat to its premium goals, sends recipe ingredients as separate food items to the Apple Health App, and removed supermarkets and restaurant sections from search results.
Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal boasts a database of more than 5 million foods to sort through, making it easier to track what you eat. It also features a step tracker and a barcode scanner, to make sure you’re able to track everything in your diet.
Lifesum is a weight-loss app that works with apps from Withings and RunKeeper to give you an accurate assessment of your daily calorie intake. It even features a built-in barcode scanner that can pull up nutritional data on millions of items. Now, all your historical data for exercise, water tracking, and habit tracking is accessible regardless of how long ago you entered it.
Fitocracy is for competitive people. The personal trainer lets you track workouts and encourages you to work toward real-life goals through a leveling system and in-game achievements you can share with your friends and the Fitocracy community.
This isn’t a traditional weight-loss app, sure, but many hail Pokémon Go as a great way to get off the couch and into the wild. It might be more suited for ’90s kids who grew up with Pokémon, but regardless of who you are, you will find yourself walking all over your city as you try to find new Pokémon.
Looking to shed some weight on a bicycle instead of a treadmill? This app will help you do exactly that. Cyclemeter is accurate and great at collecting data. It can also track various walking and running metrics, though you might not get as much data. If cycling is your preferred fitness routine, this is the app for you.
This app creates a custom workout based on your fitness level and learns from you as you use it. You choose workouts, and then tell the app whether the exercises were too easy or too tough. The information is used to create a workout routine that fits your level. It will also track your overall fitness, as it’s compatible with the Health app, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Strava. The freemium app is also compatible with Apple Watch, though some features require a paid subscription.
Weight Watchers has an official app that promises to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle and helps you track and share your weight-loss progress with your friends. Since the Weight Watchers program is about tracking points, this app also makes it easy to keep track of your food intake, since everything you eat has a point value. The free app is compatible with the Apple Watch, but you need to subscribe to Weight Watchers Online if you want to make the most of it. Most recent additions feature 21 new location groups, 10 new groups on Connect, meal prepping with your Air Fryer or Instant Pot, and tips from others living with diabetes. Once a week you will see the highly active Groups gallery on My Day.
Running is the foundation of countless activities in the athletic community — whether it be soccer, Frisbee, or football. Moreover, it’s one of the most minimalist sports in existence, essentially requiring nothing more than your free will and desire to run, and hopefully a good pair of running shoes. The following apps are designed to make the most of your running capabilities by charting and mapping your progress along the way.
Music is a powerful workout companion, and Fit Radio is a streaming service specifically built for maintaining a constant rhythm while you work out. A premium subscription costs $4 a month, but there is also a free subscription available if you don’t mind ads and a limited feature set. Regardless, you will be able to select music based on a genre, your desired BPM, or a specific workout routine (spinning, Zumba). Full Strength programs are now free and an enhanced music experience lets you better explore and customize all the music in the app.
Strava is an excellent tracking app that monitors your runs or cycling routes via GPS. It also gamifies your cardio workout and pairs with leaderboards, achievements, and challenges, to bring a competitive spirit to your routine. The app has rolled out Beacon on Apple Watch so you can now share real-time location and track your live stats right from your wrist. Those with access to route builder can now draw routes and append them with multiple gestures. Apple Watch recording performance is also improved.
In this story-based workout app, you are Runner 5. Your mission: To help rebuild civilization by retrieving critical supplies outside of your virtual base. The app keeps track of your distance, as the story and instructions play out, but fear not, you can still listen to your music as you run. Recent updates improve voiceovers, syncing, and zombie chases, add new sections, and renames the pro memberships to Abel Runner’s Club.
Runkeeper uses GPS to map your runs while logging the speed and distance. You set goals, then get audio distance and time updates during the run. There’s great music integration — you can listen to your favorite playlist and switch tracks within the app. It shows a variety of real-time information and is compatible with the Apple Watch. The app recently updated all personalized race plans with interval workouts and improved paces to help you reach your racing goals. You can now access plans on the Training tab with a Runkeeper Go subscription.
You can run for charity with this app. Running this app before beginning your exercise routine will earn 25 cents per mile for your selected charity (cyclists earn 10 cents per mile). You will, however, have to share your activity on Facebook for the charities to receive the donations. You can now create your own pledge page and let your friends sponsor your miles, so you can earn an unlimited amount of money per mile. You can also sync with Strava and Health Kit (and any connected devices) to turn all your miles into money for charity.
This app accurately tracks distance, pace, and gives a robust workout summary that you can save and share. The app also counts calories burned and charts your elevation profile. The best part: You can control music and incoming calls while in the app. The newest versions let you share gym routines with friends and find them in the feed, add more exercises, and let UA HOVR Connected Footwear users earn badges based on the types of workouts and how much you run.
Great for beginners, C25K is specifically designed to train non-runners for a 5K and promises to get you there in eight weeks if you stick to the 30-minute schedule three times a week. The app provides a training plan that has a mix of running and walking and has seamless integration with MyFitnessPal so you can track your calories as well. Newer versions feature added automatically saved sessions at mid-workouts.
Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This makes Runtastic the perfect app for those who like listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising. The Story Running feature allows you to download stories for $1, and each track is about 40 minutes in length, making it perfectly suited for your running needs. The app is also optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. A new goal-setting feature lets you set weekly, monthly, yearly, or date-based goals.
This is the ultimate running partner. Not only will Nike Run Club gives you the GPS tracking of your run, but also provides guided running workouts. Enjoy weekly and monthly distance challenges to keep you motivated and the voice of a coach that will keep you off the couch.
The great thing about yoga is how applicable it is to all sorts of scenarios, whether you’re looking for a way to alleviate stress, recover from an injury, or build muscular strength for your next endeavor. The selection of apps below will allow you to learn the poses and positions while presenting all the necessary knowledge you may need to become a true practitioner.
Geared toward beginners, this app offers short classes with accompanying music, along with a library of different poses and exercise routines. More advanced features and courses require a subscription and they start from $40 per year. Updated features include a new series of Fat Burner for Beginners exercises designed to burn calories, Relaxing Moment for after practice relaxation, and Smart Coach, with 30 personalized workout plans to help you reach your goal.
Perfect for beginners, Simply Yoga guides you through a series of videos lasting between 20 minutes and an hour that cover more than 30 poses that you can do in the privacy of your own home. When you’re ready to move to the next level, you can opt to purchase the full version of the app.
With more than 200 illustrated poses and detailed voice instructions, the $3 Pocket Yoga is a guide that will run down poses and exercises. Additionally, you can preview various practices and play your own music. The app will log progress every step of the way.
Featuring more than 65 individual classes, ranging from 10 to 60 minutes at any difficulty level, Yoga Studio guides you through poses with HD video classes. It has a robust catalog of more than 280 poses, which should be enough for most people. The most recent version features a new collection for the mid-section. This new series of five classes (from 10 to 35 minutes long) helps strengthen the torso to enhance stability and balance throughout the body.
FitStar Yoga is a personalized training app that gauges your fitness level to adjust the difficulty of the yoga program. Each session has HD videos, as well as audio support. The app integrates with Jawbone UP, Fitbit, and MyFitnessPal, and you can track your progress with achievements.
Not enough time in the day for a short yoga session? This app wants to help by offering yoga activities that last five minutes. The barebones app is good for beginners, as it offers simple poses with a timer to make sure you’re doing them for five minutes.
One of the best apps for practicing yoga at home, Down Dog provides a studio-like yoga experience. Each time you practice, Down Dog creates a brand new sequence of moves. The clear vocal instruction and matching playlist provide a perfect, all-encompassing yoga session. Twelve new options boost your practice for flexibility, core strength, low back opening.
Cardio exercises are great, but if you want to look like you’re working out, you gotta do the heavy lifting. Regardless of how you look, lifting weights can be dangerous if you don’t know the proper techniques. Fortunately, the apps below offer more than enough information on your body’s various muscle groups and the methods for interacting with the equipment lining the walls and floor of your local gym.
GymBook is a visually attractive app that tracks your strength workouts. You can create your own routines, but the app displays neat GIFs of 50 preset exercises and how they affect the different muscle groups. New updates include the ability to change the GymBook app icon independently from the theme and Bell and Beep sounds for the timer.
The simple app records the number of reps you do and how much weight you’re using. It also has a diverse catalog of workouts. The fitness builder app even lets you keep track of your workouts and allows you to see the progress you have made.
Strong Lifts 5×5 is one of the best ways to gain muscle and lose fat but is probably too intense for inexperienced lifters. The app coaches you through three 45-minute workouts a week, focusing on the largest muscles in your body for optimal effect. The new version offers several updates to the Graphs, making it easier to review progress and boost motivation.
This app is easy to use and works as a simple log for detailing your progress in the gym. You can create custom workouts and exercises, log photos, and enable notifications of your achievements and record-setting days.
This aesthetically pleasing workout-tracking app lets you easily enter information about your session. Hitting certain milestones unlocks achievements, and the app lets you add your own routines to your workouts. It also has a range of cardio exercises, but the app’s primary focus is on progressive barbell routines. New updates include a brand new Start Workout screen with folders to organize your routines, drag and drop Routines, drag and drop custom folders, collapsible sections, and for the Apple Watch, routines are now organized under folders.
Designed for bodybuilders, Jefit keeps track of all your reps, sets, and the weight you’re lifting. Jefit provides a number of different workout routines designed to target specific muscle groups and allows you to design custom workouts. Look for interface improvements in the weight/rep tracking module, an enhanced rest timer module that has persistent navigation to other parts of the app, and improved Apple Health Kit integration.
Health and wellness
Though these aren’t necessarily apps for exercise, the proper amount of sleep and relaxation is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. Pair it with weekly workouts and you are set. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your shuteye with these apps.
Set your phone on your mattress, and it goes to work while you’re sleeping. It provides metrics that give you a snapshot of your sleep quality and has a fantastic alarm function. The app will wake you when you are in your lightest sleep. Recent versions redesign the app visually, but do not add significant new features.
For some, background noise is essential for a night’s sleep. This app offers a wide variety of ambient noises, ranging from busy city streets and babbling brooks, to campfires and torrential downpours, along with a pretty slick interface.
Pzizz creates a different soundtrack every time you use it for sleeping, napping, or focus. These are designed to keep the app from becoming too familiar. A randomization algorithm that gives it more than 100 billion different sounds. Most are binaural beats and tones that help induce a state of relaxation. Pzizz Pro subscribers get a new app called Soundly included. The app has recently added a new dreamscape called Core and a new Focuscape called Rumination.
This app aims to make meditation simple so that you can improve your focus and relieve anxiety. It starts at the foundation level, which teaches you the basics in 10 meditation exercises that are each 10-minutes long. The app tracks your progress, and there is a buddy system where you and your friends can motivate each other. After the free Take 10 intro, there are additional packs that you can download for offline use if you subscribe, which will cost you $13 a month or $95 per year. This app is also compatible with Apple Watch.
This is a great app for tracking your daily moods, so you can better manage your stress and well-being. The app gives you the tools you need to break the cycle of whatever is causing you stress so that you achieve your goals one step at a time. There are deep breathing exercises, positive visualizations, and meditations that are set to relaxing background sounds. A built-in health tracker steers you toward your daily health goals. The app is free to download and use, but you need to pony up $9 a month, or $54 per year, for complete access. The new version includes a new Feeling Better guided journey with original videos, audio exercises, and activities, new educational content based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and a new home base with dynamic content, allowing you to select immersive experiences.
This is a great app for dealing with depression and stress. It provides 24/7 support, allowing you to chat with someone one-on-one whenever you feel like it. Therapists are available in 189 countries, and in one of 140 different languages. You can choose one of these therapists, each of whom comes with their own profile so that you know their specialty. The app is free to download, but subscriptions start at $13 a month.
If you ever felt like you needed a good night’s sleep, then this app may just be the one you’ve been looking for. You can select different sounds and melodies to create your own mix, and then you can combine them with a meditation exercise to help you relax and fall asleep. The app lets you create alarms, so you can use it as your alarm clock and can even run in the background, so it won’t stop playing even if you close it.
Are you an Android user? We have you covered with our picks of the best fitness apps for Android.
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