Best Fitness Apps to Download

Exercise anywhere with these great options

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You might think your smartphone is only for making calls, texting, or scrolling through social media. But this pocket-sized device is also an excellent tool for tracking, managing, and staying on top of your fitness goals. Fitness apps are specialized programs you can download on a phone, tablet, or other electronic devices. Some apps work great with the free version while others require shelling out a few dollars each month to access premium features. But they all aim to provide guidance, motivation, and accountability. 

We looked at fitness apps that offer a free version and a paid subscription or in-app purchase option. In general, the best fitness apps have a flexible subscription, come with multiple workout routines, and give you the ability to customize a program specific to your needs. Here are our top picks for the best fitness apps

Our Top Picks

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: MyFitnessPal

Myfitnesspal

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use; subscription costs about $10 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Features: Track calories and fitness activities, connect with friends, log food and exercise, over 350 workouts, connects to 50+ apps and devices 

Why We Chose It: MyFitnessPal is our pick for best overall because of its robust food and activity database, easy-to-use logging and tracking tool, a library of workouts, and ability to connect to several apps.

Pros
  • Includes a database of over 11 million foods

  • Integrates with other apps and devices

  • Logs both food intake and physical activity

  • Offers customization based on health goals

  • Over 350 workouts provided

  • Restaurant menu logging is available

Cons
  • Requires fee-based premium package to get the full range of services

MyFitnessPal has been on the top of the charts for a while: it’s received nods from top publishers for its seemingly endless capabilities.

It’s the fitness app for someone who wants it all: it logs exercise stats and records caloric intake, helps you change your habits to meet personal health goals, and offers unparalleled customization for each of its assets.

It integrates with more than 50 apps and devices to sync all of your workouts, and it has a library of over 350 cardio and strength sessions if you need a jumping-off point.

MyFitnessPal boasts a massive food database of more than 11 million foods, including a restaurant logger that will guarantee no calorie goes uncounted when you go out to eat. It has enough features to fill this entire list, and over one million positive reviews in the iTunes Store—it’s a fitness app legend that’s well worth the cost of the premium package.

Best Budget App: Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer

Daily Workout

Courtesy of Amazon

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Features: Exercise videos, 5- to 30-minute workouts, routines, full-body, arm, abs, and cardio sessions, and on-screen instructions and timer 

Why We Chose It: The Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer gives budget-conscious fitness fans a simple way to access workout routines and hundreds of exercises.

Pros
  • Developed by a certified trainer

  • Home-based workouts provided

  • No cost for basic service

  • Suitable for beginners

  • Varied workout lengths available

Cons
  • No nutrition or calorie tracking

  • Limited capabilities compared to some other apps

For someone who’s just getting into a daily workout routine, or health nuts on a budget, Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer is a solid—and free—choice. It offers sessions for men and women from five to 30 minutes, all at-home so you don’t have to hit the gym if you can’t afford a membership or feel uncomfortable if people watch you work out. It’s developed by a certified personal trainer who guides you through randomized workouts crafted from more than 95 of the best moves to get your body in gear.

Reviewers love that the workouts strike a balance between being easy enough to keep up with but hard enough to feel the burn, and each session’s easy-to-follow video instructions.

Best for Apple Watch: Zones for Training

Zones for training

Courtesy of Itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use; costs about $6 to upgrade to Pro
  • Platforms: iOS 
  • Features: Heart rate monitoring, heart rate training zones, heart rate tracking for cardio and strength-training 

Why We Chose It: Apple Watch fans looking to step-up their heart rate monitoring will appreciate the intricate details and metrics the Zones for Training app provides.

Pros
  • Appeals to experienced exercisers

  • Fat-burning feedback provided

  • Integrates well with Apple watch

  • Heart rate tracking provided for cardio and strength-training workouts

  • No fees required for the basic service

Cons
  • Not well-suited for beginners or those on medications that affect heart rate

  • Provides data about workouts, but no actual workouts

  • Upgrade fee is required for customizable features

This app helps you stay in the zone—the heart rate zone, that is—when you’re working out by integrating with Apple Watch to keep an eye on your pulse. Zones for Training carefully monitors your resting and active heart rate, then provides parameters to determine when you’re burning fat and when you’ve reached your peak activity level, so you can stay in the fat-burning phase or push yourself.

It’s a perfect companion for the Apple Watch, which has a first-rate heart rate monitor built in. This app is best for someone who’s more experienced with working out and wants more nitty-gritty details to help them reach their goals, or for someone who wants bonus heart monitoring features and a seamless integration with their Apple Watch.

Best for Monitoring Nutrition: Fooducate

Fooducate

Courtesy of Itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use; in-app purchases costs between roughly $2 and $50 for Pro and other add-ons 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Features: Food education, food tracker, barcode scanner, community-based support, recipes, and diet tips 


Why We Chose It:
Fooducate monitors nutrition and provides tips and information about nutrition and losing weight.

Pros
  • Barcode-scanner makes nutrition data input easy

  • Community-based support is available

  • Macronutrient ratios are displayed in simple charts

  • Offers recipes and diet tips

  • Provides easy-to-understand food grade system

Cons
  • Fee-based upgrade is required for specialized diet tracking, support, ad-free service

  • No workouts provided

  • Tracks lifestyle factors and physical activity but focus is primarily on food intake

If you need an honest look at what you’re putting in your body and want to track more than calories, Fooducate is the app for you. It’s an oldie but a goodie: first launched in 2010, it’s known for its barcode scanner (each item scanned is given a letter grade to help you determine if it belongs in your cart or back on the shelf when you’re grocery shopping) and its complete nutrition breakdowns.

The app makes sure that the food and drinks you’re consuming give your body what it needs—if you’re missing out on vital protein or need to boost your iron intake, Fooducate’s daily nutrient counts will tell you.

Want to focus on a low-fat or low-carb diet? It’s got your back there too, with pie charts showing you your ratio of good to bad carbs as well as your macronutrient ratios. It’s a great product for people who want all of their food details in an easy-to-use interface, or people who love working with additional data to get a complete picture of their health. There’s also a section for healthy recipes and community support if you need fresh dinner ideas or a confidence boost.

Best for Yoga: Glo

glo

Courtesy of itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download; costs about $18 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Features: Meditation, yoga, Pilates, lectures, and workshops

Why We Chose It: Yogis of all levels will find classes, routines, and tips to improve their yoga practice with the Glo app.

Pros
  • Appeals to beginners to advanced yogis

  • Daily classes and updates available

  • Integrates with Apple watch

  • Wifi not required

  • Well-respected base of teachers

Cons
  • Limited focus on yoga, meditation, pilates

  • No food or nutrition tracking

  • Subscription required after free trial

Glo is a great app for newbies trying to nail down the tree pose, or for more advanced students who are ready to turn themselves into a human pretzel. It offers daily curated classes to meet your needs, whether it’s improved sleep, stress reduction, or general strength training. You can follow your favorite yoga instructors for updates on their latest classes—many positive reviews give this app five stars for its library of knowledgeable teachers.

Other reviews applaud Glo for the highly customizable sessions, its ability to download classes and use them off of WiFi while traveling, and the app’s superior customer service. Glo also works with the Apple Watch, so you can collect fitness data during your session and easily watch classes across your Mac devices.

Best for Beginners: Sworkit

Sworkit

Courtesy of itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use; costs about $10 per month for premium subscription
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Features: Workouts for strength, yoga, stretching, and cardio 

Why We Chose It: Sworkit gives beginners an easy way to find workouts, learn new exercises, set goals, and create a regular fitness routine.

Pros
  • Cardio, strength, yoga and stretching workouts are customizable

  • Flexible focus based on personalized goals

  • Integrates with other apps and devices

  • No gym or equipment required

  • Personalized trainers are available for one-on-one coaching

  • Suitable for beginner-level through advanced users

Cons
  • No food tracking or nutritional guidance

  • Requires subscription fee after free trial with fees for full access

Sworkit is a fan favorite on iTunes and Google Play for its flexible offerings: select your goal from strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching categories (or pick from sets of curated classes for monthly challenges, different skill levels, and specific trainers), punch in the amount of time you have to work out, and Sworkit automatically creates a workout for you.

The variety of classes and gradual increases in workload make this a great choice for beginners who want to try different exercises—plus, with no gym membership and no equipment required, you’ll have no excuse for not getting in great shape. You won’t get bored with the diverse workouts, and you can even privately message the app’s trainers with questions or concerns.

Best for Weightlifting: JEFIT Workout Planner Gym Log

JEFIT

Courtesy of itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download and use; subscription costs about $7 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Features: Custom weight-training sessions, workout tracking, support community, exercise library, body stat tracking

Why We Chose It: JEFIT gives you all the weight lifting tips and tools you need along with an active support community.

Pros
  • Allows you to create a customizable workout

  • Body stat tracking can be shared among users

  • Evidence-based library of exercises provided

  • Peer-support is available through substantial community of subscribers

  • Post-workout analytics are provided

Cons
  • Food tracking and nutritional guidance is not provided

  • Fee is required to get access to all features

  • Supports primarily strength-training activities with limited focus on other activities

JEFIT is a mobile and web-based app (and a Google Play Editor’s Choice pick) that’s ideal for anyone who struggles to stay on track during their fitness journey. It lets you create custom weight-training sessions and track your workouts with friends—building off the scientifically-backed tenets of progress tracking and peer support to get you moving and keep you motivated.

You can take it to the gym and record your workout step by step, and the app will time your breaks for you (an especially useful feature pausing between sets while weight training). The data automatically travels to the JEFIT server for analytic insights into your workouts—a fun feature for anyone who likes breaking down the nitty-gritty elements of fitness into tangible data. JEFIT’s the perfect fit for anyone with a competitive streak who likes encouraging (or playfully ribbing) their pals during their quest for health.

Best for Meditation: Headspace

headspace

Courtesy of itunes 

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download; costs about $13 per month 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android 
  • Features: Guided meditations, sleep sounds, wind-down exercises, yoga, relaxing playlists 

Why We Chose It: We chose Headspace for the guided meditations, expert instruction, and varied programs available for all ages, levels, and needs.

Pros
  • Beginner guidance for meditation is provided

  • Can be used to address a range of health and wellness issues

  • Helps to reduce daily stress

  • Promotes evidence-based mindfulness practices

  • Some food, cooking, weight loss guidance available

Cons
  • No traditional workouts provided other than stretching

  • No specific nutritional guidance provided

  • No tracking features are available

  • Subscription is required after free trial with "plus" pricing for access to all features

If you’re someone who needs to incorporate stress-reduction into your health and fitness plan, or if you need to clear your mind and focus before workouts, you’re going to want to download Headspace. Taking care of your mental health is essential for achieving optimal physical health, and Headspace has become the gold standard for meditation apps.

Instead of just throwing generic sessions at you, the program takes you through a comprehensive “Basics” package to teach you how to meditate—because it’s more than just sitting quietly with focused breathing. After completing the Basics, you’re set loose to pursue other packs, like programs that can help you manage depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and even specialized sets that gear you up for a focused sweat session and help you cool down afterwards.

Headspace has committed to creating the best mindfulness app around, and they use independent, clinically validated research on their own product to make sure their app is an effective, positive force in their users lives.

Best Trainer-In-Your-Pocket: PEAR Personal Fitness Coach

Pear

Courtesy of itunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download; costs about $6 per month for a premium subscription 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Features: Virtual coaching, custom workouts, data analytics

Why We Chose It: PEAR is perfect for those days when you need a personal trainer, but don’t have access to one. They offer real-time training and a substantial library of workouts.

Pros
  • Integrates with a music library

  • Provides real-time personal training from high-level coaches

  • Substantial library of on-demand workouts includes wide range of interests (running, cycling, yoga, strength)

  • Tracking technology allows for workout recommendations

Cons
  • No food or nutritional tracking provided

  • Subscription fee is required after free trial

PEAR’s Personal Fitness Coach is more than just a calorie counter and activity tracker. It integrates with other health apps, like My Fitness Coach and collects the data from your smartphone or smartwatch to create a personalized workout based on your benchmark information. It pays attention and adjusts your workouts for maximum efficiency as your data changes, too.

You won’t just be listening to an automated voice from this in-ear system: PEAR’s set of trainers include professional athletes, Olympians, and record holders from around the world. Best of all, the PEAR app integrates with many wireless headphones, so you can enjoy full freedom of movement while you feel the burn.

Best for Quick Workouts: The 7 Minute Workout

7 minute workout

Courtesy of iTunes

Key Specs

  • Pricing: Free to download; in-app purchase costs about $4 
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Features: Video, audio, and text demonstrations of 12 select exercises 

Why We Chose It: We like the simple interface and basic workouts you get with the 7 Minute Workout app.

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly workouts available

  • Convenient for those with busy schedules

  • No equipment required

Cons
  • No food tracking or nutritional guidance

  • Subscription fee required for full access to workouts

  • Workouts are limited to 7-minute format

The 7 Minute Workout is the perfect app for busy schedules that don’t allow for gym time, frequent travelers, or for someone just getting started who needs to set smaller goals. The app has a simple interface that offers three workouts on the home screen: a basic workout, seven minutes focused on your abs, or a seven-minute high-intensity sweat session. Fans of the app love the helpful pre-workout demonstrations, the workouts' manageable time limits, and the sticker price.

Final Verdict 

The right fitness app can save you time and money. They also help you stick to a regular routine. Overall, if you’re looking for a fitness app that has a little bit of everything, consider MyFitnessPal. This fan favorite has stood the test of time and continues to get better with age. Plus, it connects to 50 other apps. If you’re in need of a meditation break, check out Headspace. Known for its guided meditations, the Headspace app is affordable and easy to use. Finally, Yogis who want to skip the comprehensive fitness apps can download Glo, which focuses on yoga, meditation, and Pilates.

Frequently Asked Question

What Are Some Pros and Cons of Fitness Apps?

Fitness apps can be a convenient way to do workouts and track your progress, from the details of your reps to your overall weekly miles. Tracking your activity can help you maintain your motivation and encourage you to keep working toward your personal fitness and health goals. Fitness apps also let you view workouts and do them whenever or wherever you want. In addition to convenience and motivational benefits, fitness apps are more affordable than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer.

On the other hand, if you use a fitness app as your only way to exercise, you may miss out on the shared experiences, camaraderie, interaction, and personalized feedback you get when working with a personal trainer or taking group fitness classes. People who like exercise to be a break from the digital world may also not appreciate having their phone as such an integral part of their fitness routine.

How Much Do Fitness App Subscriptions Cost?

Some fitness apps are free to download, but the free versions are often limited in terms of access to workouts, advanced tracking tools, communities, and the ability to connect to other devices and apps. In many cases, fitness apps charge a fee for complete access and an ad-free version.

Some fitness apps can be purchased for a one-time download cost, usually in the range of $1–$4. Others are available for a monthly or yearly subscription fee, which can range from approximately $2–$40 per month. The more expensive fitness apps usually offer a wide range of workouts, livestreaming, personalized feedback, or access to advanced tracking features.

Can a Fitness App Replace Your Gym Membership?

The quality of a fitness app’s information and workouts often rivals what you’ll get with a gym membership, but it’s available for a fraction of the price. Some people like that they can do workouts without having to go to the gym and relying on their schedule of classes.

If you’re the type of person who likes to work out alone or has a busy schedule that doesn’t sync with gym hours, you may want to invest in a robust fitness app instead of a gym membership.

However, some people may find that they’re not as motivated to work out on their own and need some face-to-face interaction, whether with instructors or other gym members, to keep them going. You’ll also get access to far more equipment at a gym than you’d have at home.

If you prefer to work out with others and like to use a wide variety of fitness equipment, you may want to stick with your gym membership. You could always use a free or inexpensive fitness app as a tool to supplement your training and help you reach your goals.

Methodology 

There are hundreds of fitness apps available for Android and Apple users. To narrow our search, we gathered information about free versions, monthly costs, one-time in-app purchases, exercise libraries, and a number of workout routines. Based on what we found, we chose the 10 fitness apps you see in this list. These apps all provide users with valuable fitness and wellness tools. Although each app is unique and may focus on one area like meditation or pre-set workout routines, they all serve a purpose in the fitness community.

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