There are many apps to download that can help you break a sweat without leaving home. But the best fitness apps are ones that provide effective workouts and help you stick to your exercise routines. These apps offer high-quality videos from top-notch instructors, and they can also work in tandem with wearable devices to monitor your heart rate, track your progress and more. They also come with a variety of classes to fit your taste and fitness level, including HIIT, dance cardio, yoga and more. And most offer a free trial or a discounted monthly fee to encourage you to try them out.
For those who prefer the feel of a boutique group exercise class, Peloton’s app gives you access to live classes and prerecorded workouts on their cardio bikes or on other exercise equipment. The app has a large selection of cycling classes, but it also offers other workouts like running, rowing, strength training and more. It also pairs workouts with songs you actually love, which can make exercising more fun than a lot of prerecorded workouts. The app is a favorite of Healthline nutrition and fitness editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, who says it “has all the energy of an in-person studio workout,” making it an ideal way to add a little live exercise to her busy schedule.
Another popular option is Daily Burn, which has more than 1,000 workouts. Its ad-free version is free, but you’ll need to pay a subscription for its features, which include linking it to a heart-rate monitor and beaming its streaming workouts to your TV via Apple TV or Roku. One of the app’s biggest draws is that it pairs workouts with motivational music and expert trainers, which can make the experience more engaging than most recorded workouts.
A number of these workout apps will also integrate with your existing workout wearable or smartphone device to monitor your heart rate, track your workouts, and keep you accountable by alerting you when it’s time for a workout. Strava is an especially good option for runners and cyclists, since it allows you to create routes, connect with friends, share data, set challenges and compete in races. It also works with a wide range of fitness devices, including the Apple Watch, and you can use it to get workout recommendations based on your activity levels.
The most advanced fitness apps allow you to customize your workouts and fitness plan based on your unique goals, health conditions, injuries and fitness level. For instance, some of them will only recommend low or moderate intensity workouts if you tell it that you have cardiovascular disease, while others can automatically adjust your exercise plans to help you avoid overtraining and exacerbate injuries. All of these features are essential for fitness success, but they can also be quite expensive. Fortunately, the competition for these types of fitness apps has become fierce, which means there are plenty of quality options to choose from that won’t blow your budget.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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