A good workout doesn't have to happen within the confines of an expensive gym, or with the assistance of an all-star personal trainer. Apps have revolutionised the fitness world as much as they have the dating world, with countless offerings all vying for valuable memory space on your phone.
While you might not yet be able to swipe your way to the body of your dreams, apps have come a long way from simple pedometers and calorie-counters. The new breed of fitness apps have personalised workout routines, step-by-step instructions and intelligent tracking to help you achieve your goals.
And these days, fitness – or improving your health – isn't just about 'losing weight' anymore. Part of the health and fitness industry is recognising this: these apps can help to increase your calorie intake, inspire meal ideas, help you to build muscle, increase stamina, and just make fitness fun.
The best part? Plenty of these apps are free. Result.
Download: iPhone / AndroidIf you've got a marathon, run or any other kind of race in your future, Charity Miles is your best bet. Choose from one of nine charities and pick an acitivity from running, walking or cycling. Everyday, use the app to track your progress, and providing your share your activity on Facebook or Twitter, Charity Miles will donate a certain amount of money to the charity of your choice – based on your distance – from their corporate sponsors. It's free to download and easy to use – what better excuse to keep pushing for that final mile?
Download: iPhoneAlways on the move but still want a little bit of guidance? TruBe is your knight in shining armour. Like an Uber for personal trainers, simply fire up the app when you're ready to exercise, and choose a nearby PT to come to you for a workout. They can come to your house or a nearby park – whatever suits you. Or, if you prefer something different, TruBe instructors can do ballet-barre style workouts, boxing, couples sessions, yoga and pre and post-natal workouts. Perfect for girls on-the-go, or treating yourself to the occasional one-on-one to ensure you're still pushing yourself and executing moves safely and effectively.
Download: iPhone / Android If diet's playing on your mind as well as your exercise level, the OG of health apps is MyFitnessApp. Recently acquired by fitness apparel brand Under Armour, MyFitnessPal is ludicrously popular and effective. If you've struggled to keep a food diary in the past, MFP makes it easier with handy barcode recognition that allows you to scan any snacks to munch and log their calorific content, as well as having plenty of options to help you calculate what's in your home-cooked meals. Whatever your weight, keeping a food diary is a good idea to help you identify any food that might be making you feel under the weather or sluggish. It also has social sharing and exercise-logging functions.
Download: iPhone / Android Nike's Nike+ Training Club is just like their stores and apparel – slick, professionally-endorsed and totally covetable. Unlike their kit, it's completely free. Complete with workouts ranging from yoga to HIIT and bursting with nutritional advice, you have the chance to workout with Nike's pro trainers with this app. You can pause as much as you need and check on your friends' progress too, if that floats your boat.
Download: iPhone / Android If you're time-pressed, WOD Deck of Cards is for you. The slightly bizarre name comes from the lexicon of CrossFit, the American fitness craze based around high intensity interval training. CrossFit involves doing movements like bear crawls, tuck jumps and chin ups in bursts. It's tough, but effective. WOD stands for 'Workout of The Day', so every time you exercise you get a randomised sequence of movements to complete from a deck of cards that includes lots of CrossFit favourites. You don't need equipment for all of the movements, as push-ups and burpees feature. It's a great way to pack a full-body workout into a small space of time.
Download: iPhone / Android Most will have heard of Couch to 5K. It's a genuinely great entry point for first time runners, or those who have taken a break and are now getting back into the swing of things. The whole programme takes 9 weeks, and you can rate how you found your runs (it's a great way to monitor how your feelings go from 'this is hellish' to 'this is tolerable.') By the end of it, you should be in good stead to run a 5K.
Download: iPhone / AndroidIf you don't own a pair of those leggings yet, the Gymshark app is your chance to get in on the world of the brand. This app is a true library of at-home workouts: filter them by duration, type, areas you want to target and also equipment. It's also easy to create a workout plan, helping you stay on track.
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