If you’ve let your fitness goals slide, it can be difficult to drag yourself back to the gym, track or trail. But it’s never too late to start—so don’t throw in the towel just yet. The trick: leveraging your phone with the best fitness apps so you’re using it for more than just mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.
These six tools go beyond your basic calorie-tracking or step-tracking apps to provide a better and more effective workout experience for users. Most importantly, they’ll encourage you to be active, healthy, and balanced every day this year (and the next)—no matter what else happens in our chaotic world.
1. FitBod (available for free on iOS)
If your goal is to get fit, bulk up or maintain a routine at the gym, then Fitbod is your app. Fitbod uses artificial intelligence to learn from your past workouts to recommend personalised exercises based on your preferences, struggles, and available gym equipment.
“It’s a fitness app that develops a program for you based on your goals, recovery state (meaning it adjusts the workout each time you hit the gym), time frame, and fitness level,” says Chris Matsui of Fusion Performance Training. “The beauty of the app is that it evolves along with you. If you don’t like a certain exercise, swipe it out and it won’t come back up. If you want to target your glutes that day, select glutes in the ‘target muscle groups’ and Fitbod will populate a new workout including glute exercises.”
8Fit makes it easy to skip the gym and opt for an at-home program without compromising the quality of your workout. This app focuses on tabata, a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that alternates between intense exercises to keep your heart rate up and rest periods to keep you going.
HIIT training is predicted to be one of the top fitness trends of 2018, and 8fit not only makes HIIT exercises more accessible, it offers nutritional guides to boost your results as well. It also provides a social media-based community to support you every step on the way to completing your New Year’s resolutions.
Finding the perfect route for your long-distance workout can be even more difficult than completing the workout itself. Strava makes this simple. The app boasts features for athletes, made by athletes. You can challenge yourself by picking routes that athletes near you have curated, then compete head-to-head with them.
Strava dives deep into data by analysing every aspect of your workout, connecting you with a global community that will help push, motivate, and keep your running and/or cycling performance at the highest level throughout the year.
Serving as a solution for anyone who seeks fitness guidance without having to pay big bucks at the gym, the Sworkit app gets you started on a 6 week programme for your desired fitness goal, whether that is to get “Leaner,” “Fitter,” or “Stronger”. Along with a wide variety of body-weight exercises, the app also allows users to make a custom workout, where they get to choose all their favourite exercises and put it into one routine.
To keep on track with New Year’s fitness goals, it is vital to remember to stay balanced and not to push too hard at the beginning of the year. You’re playing the long game here. The Mindfulness app offers timed meditation courses that range from three-to thirty-minute sessions with built in reminders and tracking to help you keep going.
If becoming a master yogi is your New Year’s resolution, then this is your app. Whether you are a beginner or an expert at practicing yoga, Daily Yoga lets you squeeze in a session on any device at any time. This app adds serenity to your life by offering more than 100 yoga classes, personalised data, and even playlists to help you get your “om” on.
Of course, there’s more to keeping your New Year’s resolutions than downloading some apps and joining a gym. Harvard Medical School suggests making SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.