10 best fitness apps for Android
2nd Jan 2014 | 10:54
There are almost as many fitness apps for Android as there are distractions to keep you on the couch. So resist Angry Birds, get out there and get fit with the help of these ten essential apps.
1. Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro (£1.99)
Endomondo Sports Tracker is one of the most popular fitness apps around and with good reason.
Whether you're running, walking or cycling Endomondo will keep track of your distance and time.
An audio coach will keep you motivated and you can even compete against times set by friends and strangers.
Route maps will help you find new places to workout and for activities that aren't covered, such as weight training, there's an option to manually enter workouts into the app, enabling you to keep track of all your exercise.
2. Instant Heart Rate Pro (£1.24)
You might have assumed that you'd need a dedicated piece of equipment to check your heart rate, but in fact all you really need is an app on your phone.
Instant Heart Rate Pro can tell you your heart rate and it even keeps a log of previous measurements.
By placing the tip of your index finger against your phone's camera the app is able to track colour changes on your fingertip which are linked to your pulse.
It then uses that data to get a heart rate reading, leaving you better able to track your fitness.
3. Moves (free)
There are a number of stand-alone pedometers and other fitness logging devices, such as the Fitbit Force, which are dedicated to tracking your movement, but if you have a smartphone there's potentially no need for any of them.
Moves is evidence of that. It's always on and keeps track of how many steps you've taken, how far you've travelled and can even differentiate between walking, cycling and running.
You can also use it to view a timeline and activity map at the end of the day, so you'll be able to better visualise exactly where you've been, as well as at which points you were active or sedentary.
4. SleepBot (free)
We spend a third of our life asleep and yet in general we pay very little attention to what actually goes on during that time.
SleepBot aims to change that by providing a simple and comprehensive sleep tracking solution. It can track how much you move around in your sleep, how long you sleep for, how often you wake up during the night and more.
Smart alarms can be used to help you wake up during light sleep and you can view graphs of sleep patterns over time.
SleepBot gives you the information and tools necessary to get a better nights sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
5. Zombies, Run! (£2.99)
Let's face it, running is boring. But when you're being chased by a horde of zombies out for brains there's no time to be bored.
That's the premise behind Zombies, Run! and it really works. An ever growing selection of missions sees you venturing outside to gather supplies for your base, while audio cues let you know when zombies are on your tail, forcing you to pick up the pace to outrun them.
But it also has a story to tell, with voice recordings and radio messages being played between songs on your playlist.
As motivation goes, escaping from ravenous zombies has got to be up there.
6. MapMyRide+ (£1.88)
MapMyRide+ does what it says on the tin and a whole lot more. You can use it to track routes, speed, distance, elevation, calories, time and more and there are audio alerts to update you on your progress as you go, so you don't need to keep fiddling with your phone.
It also adds a little friendly competition to things by implementing leaderboards that you can fight to improve your place on and achievements that you can unlock.
The basic app is free but upgrading to the '+' version gets rid of the ads.
7. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter (free)
Counting calories isn't terribly exciting, but it's a great way to really be aware of what you're eating. Couple that with a daily calorie limit and you could find yourself losing weight and getting healthier in no time.
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter makes this easy. There are over three million items in its food database, so logging what you eat and drink is a breeze and if there's anything missing you can always create custom foods.
Plus it lets you track exercise, view progress reports and even use a barcode scanner to log food instantly.
8. RunKeeper (free)
RunKeeper is a fairly conventional app for tracking runs, but it does what it sets out to.
You can control your music through the app during a workout, track walking, cycling and more in addition to running.
Plus you can view stats and progress reports and get audio coaching as you go to keep you motivated.
Better yet, when you're done RunKeeper even makes bragging easy as you can upload your route and statistics to Facebook, Twitter and the RunKeeper website, ready to be mocked or congratulated as appropriate.
9. JEFIT Pro (£3.21)
JEFIT Pro is a comprehensive workout and fitness tracker, allowing you to create and perform workout routines.
You can then log your results and view charts of your progress to give you an idea of how well you're progressing over time.
JEFIT Pro also includes over 1300 exercise instructions complete with animations and tips to teach you new exercises and ensure you're doing them safely and correctly.
Most of the exercises rely on equipment though, so you're going to need a gym membership to get the most out of it.
10. Noom Weight Loss Coach (free)
Noom Weight Loss Coach does many of the same things as MyFitnessPal. You can log foods to track your calorie intake and log workouts and weight loss progress.
Plus there's a pedometer feature which can track how much you walk or run during the day.
But Noom also puts a lot of emphasis on motivation, with health and wellness articles added daily, giving you an extra reason to launch the app.
There are also various goals for you to work towards, making it easier to stick to your fitness plans long term.
- Need more motivation to get fit? Check out the TomTom Runner.