If you’re trying to lose weight, work on your fitness, eat better, or reduce your stress, your iPhone can be a helpful tool when paired with the right app — or apps. We scoured the landscape to find the best iPhone apps to help you stay healthy and fit, regardless of your schedule.
If you’re focused on running, have a look at our picks for the best running apps that you can match up with one of the best fitness trackers. If you’re looking for a great pair of headphones to hear your tunes as you move along, check out our picks of the best running headphones.
We’ve looked at a variety of fitness apps in categories like weight loss, running, yoga, strength training, and health and wellness. Let’s get started!
Are you an Android user? We have you covered with our picks of the best fitness apps for Android.
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 Training Club
Nike’s official app has a library of 30- to 45-minute workouts based on your goals and fitness level, and for the foreseeable future, the NTC Premium version is available free of charge. Nike has partnered with Nike Master Trainers to deliver 4- to 6-week workouts and programs that cover sleep, recovery, and mindset. You’ll also get access to on-demand classes and whiteboard workouts for gym-style training. 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.
Cycle Sync Your Training, built in partnership with female-athlete physiologist Stacy Sims, PhD, includes 12 workouts and expert advice for all three phases of your cycle so you can make the most of them.
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 dictates 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 nasty names and make you cry. So be a good, fat, lazy meatbag, okay?
Argus: Calorie Counter & Step Tracker
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 also 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 weight goals, and the app recommends a net calorie intake based on calories you consume vs. what you burn. The app recently added saturated fat to its premium tracker and sends recipe ingredients as separate food items to the Apple Health App. Recently updated versions feature a redesigned and simplified camera that combines the barcode scanner and food image recognition into a single view. Now, you can point the camera at a barcode or a food item and it recognizes it, logging the nutritional details. There’s also a new button on the log screen to help you add previous meals. You can now set a fixed calorie budget that won’t change, and hide meal targets on the Log Screen via Meal Settings.
Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal boasts a database of more than 11 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. The app helps you keep a food diary to understand your habits, scan barcodes, save meals and recipes, and use its Quick Tools for easy food tracking. It also helps you stay motivated
with its fitness community available for advice, tips, and support.
Lifesum: Diet & Macro Tracker
Lifesum is a weight loss app that works with apps from Withings, FitBit, and RunKeeper for an accurate assessment of your daily calorie intake. It features a built-in barcode scanner that can pull up nutritional data on millions of food items. Now, all your historical data for exercise, water tracking, and habit tracking is accessible regardless of when you recorded it. The newest versions feature a Sugar Detox Meal Plan to help cut back on sugar, support for Voice control, Apple’s dark mode, and Sign In With Apple. Views are simplified, allowing you to access information easily on both your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Fitocracy is for competitive fitness freaks. The personal trainer lets you track workouts and encourages you to work toward real-life goals through a leveling system and achievements you can show off to your friends and the Fitocracy community.
This isn’t a traditional weight loss app, sure, but many hail Pokémon Go as one of the best ways 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’ll find yourself walking all over your city to find new Pokémon. Recent versions have focused on Trainer Battles; various combat systems; new ways to explore, grow, and bond with your Buddy; and Shadow Pokémon. And now, you can now GO Beyond level 40. Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie, and more Pokémon originally discovered in the Kalos region are now in the wild. Go get ’em.
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. The latest versions let you share workout location, path, and statistics. Messages are automatically spoken with text-to-speech. There’s now an option to mix Announcements with other audio.
This app creates a custom workout based on your fitness level and learns from you as you use it. You choose workouts, 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 the Apple Watch, though some features require a paid subscription.
WW Weight Watchers Reimagined
The Weight Watchers official app promises to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle by tracking and sharing your weight loss progress with friends. The app makes it easy to keep track of your food intake with point values. 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. The newest updates offer new food, activity, sleep, and mindset features like meal planning tools and personalized recipe recommendations, recipe suggestions based on what you already have when you search for meals to track, coaching audio sessions to boost your mood, sleep tracking, and bedtime routines, and weekly check-in, progress report, and personalized action plan.
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, a 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. Newer versions feature full streaming capabilities for Apple Watches with data plans, plus you can now create custom nicknames, save mixes, and send mixes to your Apple Watch. An overhauled interval timer lets you set multiple rounds and choose your sounds to help you achieve the next level.
Strava: Run, Ride, Swim
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 the route builder can now draw routes and append them with multiple gestures. Apple Watch recording performance is also improved. New versions feature enhancements to the leaderboard screen, including a celebration header for overall leaderboards, a footer showing your place in the leaderboard, and a footer indicating how much faster you have to be to move up the leaderboard.
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. Newer versions feature a new Home Workout mode and now show illustrations and instructions for every exercise in The Home Front, not just before your workout, but during it. The app has also added Leaderboard links to Virtual Races and mission numbers to The Home Front mission list.
Runkeeper — GPS Running Tracker
Runkeeper uses GPS to map your runs while logging 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 also access plans on the Training tab with a Runkeeper Go subscription. If you use your Facebook account to log in to the Runkeeper app, you must update to the latest iOS version. The newest releases add Race Mode audio cues to virtual races so you can enjoy race-specific audio cues that are both motivating and educational about the current event you’re participating in. It’s now easier to select from a list of multiple teams and segments if you’ve registered for the same virtual relay race more than once.
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, and 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.
Map My Run
This app accurately tracks distance and pace, and it also gives a robust workout summary that you can save and share. Plus, the app 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. All athletes on training plans can now see interval splits on their workout details. The developer announced it plans to remove Nearby Routes and Route Genius from the app to focus on different features.
C25K 5K Trainer
Great for beginners, C25K is specifically designed to train non-runners for a 5K run. It promises to get you there in just eight weeks, as long as you stick to the scheduled runs three times a week. The app provides a training plan that has a mix of running and walking, and it has seamless integration with MyFitnessPal, so you can track your calories as well. New improvements include an easy-to-access Apple Watch complication shortcut, improved calories, distance, steps accuracy from Apple Watch syncing, and improved social media sharing.
Runtastic Jog & Running
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 optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. A new goal-setting feature lets you set weekly, monthly, yearly, or date-based goals. The app now offers a wide variety of ways to focus on health and fitness without leaving the house via the Fit from Home Challenge. It has also added 31 new sport types you can track and gave the profile view a new clean, sleek, and easy-to-navigate look. Improvements to the Apple Watch app under the hood feature a new engine that improves stability and provides a smoother tracking experience in Watch Only mode. A new Stats section lets you get a closer look at all your activities, letting you compare your performance from the past weeks, months, and years. A new graph format illustrates your distance, duration, and calories burned.
Nike Run Club
This is the ultimate running partner. Not only will Nike Run Club give you the GPS tracking of your run, but it 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. New versions offer enhanced run details where you can view more post-run metrics in your activity summary, including cadence, fastest mile, and more. Apple Watch improvements include run level cover, an updated Quick Start selector, and more personalized Challenge leaderboards. Add the new Quickstart widget to your screen and make it even easier to start your next run. New NRC widgets display your personalized run stats on the iPhone home screen. Show your colors with the Run Level widget, and see your post-run progress with the Last Run widget.
The great thing about yoga apps 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. 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. There are plenty of updates for recent versions. Smart Coach improvements let users get more specific custom workout plans, a new Flat Abs Challenge for Beginners, and improved calorie counting, plus the ability to record feelings and experiences after practice, sharing personal content, and more.
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.
Yoga Studio: Poses & Classes
Featuring dozens of individual classes, ranging from 10 to 60 minutes at a number of difficulty levels, 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. Yoga Studio’s five new classes range from 45 to 60 minutes and explore the body’s full range of motion. Mobility dives into joint health, motor control, and soft tissue. They are targeted to those to want to become more active and decrease injury.
5 Minute Yoga
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.
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. FitnessBuilder even lets you keep track of your workouts and see the progress you have made. Important: You can still use FitnessBuilder until Oct 31, 2021. After that date, the app will no longer be available.
StrongLifts 5×5 Weight Lifting
Strong Lifts 5×5 is one of the best ways to gain muscle and lose fat, but it’s 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. Updates include increments to set how often to add weight after all sets are completed and to deaload after a certain number of fails.
Home & Gym Workout Log
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. The app encourages you to build and track any workout you can perform at home. Just create your own circuit with bodyweight, weighted bodyweight, reps only, dumbbells, and duration.
Strong Workout Tracker Gym Log
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. You can start 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. You can also start an empty workout with Siri by saying, “Hey Siri, start a workout with Strong,” and customize your Apple Watch settings to show heart rate or duration during your workout.
Jefit Workout Planner Gym Log
Designed for bodybuilders, Jefit keeps track of 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. A new mood tracker lets you record how you feel at the end of a workout. The app now features a Jefit series of home-based exercise routines from one to four weeks long, some of which focus on utilizing bodyweight only, while others require basic equipment. The newest version revamps the messaging/chatroom system to reveal more activity and sharing of routines between you and your friends, coaches, or clients.
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.
Sleep Cycle Sleep Tracker
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, ensuring you wake feeling well-rested. Recent versions redesign the app visually but do not add significant new features. Among recent improvements are an improved partner link interface, as well as options with Sleep Aid content now streamable with instant listening. The app now supports HomeKit, offering new options to create an ideal waking experience.
For some, background noise is crucial for a good night’s sleep. This app‘s slick interface offers a wide variety of ambient noises, ranging from busy city streets and babbling brooks to campfires and torrential downpours.
Pzizz — Sleep, Nap, Focus
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. The app uses 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. Version 5 of the app is a complete overhaul featuring a new interface, new narration genres, and narrators, including the ability to support more than two voices for each narration, timer suggestions, Airplay support, custom remindersm and the ability to delete single entries from the history screen, and more control over your storage by choosing what content stays on your device. The favoriting system has been overhauled and made much more robust. Favorites will now take into account all of the settings you’ve selected on your settings screen, giving you the ability to save highly customized sessions easily.
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 the Apple Watch.
Sanvello Anxiety & Depression
This is an excellent app for recording your daily moods to manage your stress and well-being adequately. The app provides you with the tools you need to break the cycle of whatever is stressing you out so you can reach your goals one step at a time. There are many deep breathing exercises, positive visualizations, and meditations paired with relaxing background noises. An integrated health tracker drives you toward your everyday health goals. The app is free to download and use, but you’re required to pay $9 a month or $54 per year for full access. The new version offers a new Feeling Better guided journey with fresh videos, audio workouts, and activities. You get the latest educational content based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and an updated home screen with engaging content that allows you to choose immersive experiences. A new recommended feature assists you in selecting the activity best suited for you. If you’re advancing through one of the app’s Guided Journeys, the next step is automatically ready for you.
7 Cups Anxiety & Stress Chat
This app is intended to help you manage depression and stress. It offers24/7 support, enabling you to chat with someone one-on-one whenever you need to. Therapists are available in 189 countries and in one of 140 different languages. You can pick one of these therapists, each with their own profile so that you know their specialization. The app is free to download, but premium subscriptions start at $13 a month. New versions feature modernized notification administration, enhanced new user onboarding, and wellness test updates.
If you ever felt like you needed a good night’s sleep, this app may be your solution. You can choose from different sounds and melodies to build your own mix and then join them with a meditation exercise to help you relax and fall asleep peacefully. The app lets you design alarms so that you can use them as your alarm clock. It can also run in the background, so it won’t stop working even if you close the app.