The best workout and diet apps work in three main ways to help people get in shape and stay fit. These key factors are motivation, tracking of weight-loss goals and other data, and helpful information, such as the proper form when weight-lifting.
The six best workout and diet apps listed below were chosen based on their effective utilization of one or more of the above criteria, their functionality and the variety of people who can benefit from them.
Cost: Free version available. Premium costs $7.99/month with an option to save 38% with a yearly subscription. Is available on Android and iOS.
Strava is ideal for both competitive and casual cycling and running enthusiasts. It combines a robust GPS tracking functionality with an in-depth log of your activity data. Strava offers full compatibility with many popular physical activity tracker devices, apps and services.
The main selling point of this app, though, is its peer competition feature. Strava offers a way for cyclists and runners to compete against the best route times that other Strava users in their local area achieved. This feature works by tracking users’ performances on hyperlocal segments of road, track or trail. It also shares this basic info with other users in the area. This feature alone makes Strava worth downloading. The only downside to this fun feature is that it won’t work unless you run or bike in high-use areas.
Cost: $9.99/month or $49.99/year. Available on Android and iOS.
MyFitnessPal is one of the most popular apps available that makes the tedious chore of monitoring your calorie intake a breeze as well as potentially fun. Dieting is not easy, but MyFitnessPal encourages users with its high ease-of-use factor and some gamification elements. Dieting may be daunting to many, but it is decidedly less so when using this app to keep track of your daily calorie intake.
The app offers users a database of over five million dishes and meals for easy inputting of data around meal times. You can even use your phone to scan the barcode of a packaged meal or snack. The calories will instantly be added to your daily total.
Arguably the best feature of this app is its compatibility with a large number of fitness trackers, devices and apps, including Strava. Such compatible apps and wearable devices can be synced up with MyFitnessPal to give users an accurate estimate of each day’s calorie intake as well as how much they’ve burned off based on their activity level.
3. Jefit Workout
Cost: Free version available; Jefit Pro costs $4.99; Jefit Elite costs $4.99/month or $19.99/year. Available on Android and iOS.
Browsing for the best workout and diet apps, including the many apps for Android and iOS that help organize and maximize the benefits of any strength-training regimen, can be a bit overwhelming. Jefit Workout, though, definitely belongs on anyone’s list of worthy weight-lifting aids. It delivers a solid core functionality in the form of a comprehensive strength-training aid. For those willing to pay for a subscription, it adds some extra bells and whistles as well.
The free version of this app excels in simply and effectively helping lifters keep track of all the little things that go into any weight-lifting regimen. It provides a smooth and quick functionality to monitor your reps, sets, and the amount of weight lifted. This allows you to concentrate on your workout and not your phone.
There are two subscription tiers for Jefit, Pro and Elite, that expand upon the free version in several ways. These pay versions scrap the advertisements and add much more in the way of individual stats, expert instructional videos and many stock workout routines. There is also a large and growing library of user-generated and uploaded workout routines. In fact, there are so many routines available on the Pro and Elite versions of Jefit that it would be difficult to view, much less use, them all.
4. Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
Cost: Available free on the iOS platform
For people without a lot of desire or time in the day to spend in the gym, Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout shows that simple and easy is sometimes just the kind of motivation one needs to get healthier through regular exercise. The app virtually holds one’s hand and guides you through a variety of short exercise routines that make use of a wide variety of muscle groups.
This app’s user interface is clean and easy to use. The Johnson & Johnson app has several intensity levels to choose from. All you need is 10 minutes, a chair and a little motivation.
Cost: Free version available. Pro version is $4.99. Available on iOS and Android.
The Sworkit exercise app is versatile and well-designed, making it unsurprising that a reported 13 million people have downloaded it. A portmanteau of “simply work it”, this well-designed exercise aid has many good features. It will especially appeal to the multitudes who would love to be more physically active, but who may feel reluctant due to inexperience. For those that fit this description, this is the app to help get you started. Using this exercise aid, it is easy to relatively quickly learn the fundamentals of a good exercise regimen that is just right for you.
The app provides a virtual personal trainer to coach users through more than 200 exercises. Sworkit also features the option to input several metrics, such as desired session intensity, preferred muscle groups to target and more. With such data, this app will offer up an individualized exercise program just for you.
Cost: Free version available. Pro version subscription is 5.99/month or 29.99/year. Is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Last in this list of the best workout and diet apps is Endomondo. A more specialized app, it was designed mainly for experienced runners and cyclists who want to take their endurance and performance to a higher level. This app attempts to offer you a digital personal trainer to guide and coach you into performing at your peak.
As most people can’t afford to hire a real personal trainer, this app offers the next best thing. You’ll have a virtual coach who’s always by your side. Endomondo retains all of the standard features of other exercise apps and adds some nice features. These include performance metrics and targeted motivation, for instance when you’re not keeping pace with your goals. Another nice feature is the ability to race against your past performances on the road or trail. As with the Strava app, Endomondo also allows you to race the best times of other runners and cyclists in your local area.
The above list of the best workout and diet apps serves to show that anyone can benefit from these services, from high-level performers to people taking their first tentative steps towards regular exercise. The evolution of the best workout and diet apps will certainly continue apace. Nonetheless, the apps available today can most certainly fill a meaningful space today in aiding millions of people in living healthier, more active lives.
Have the above recommendations inspired you to begin exercising or to take your workout routine to the next level? Readers’ thoughts on these or any other exercise app are very much welcome in the comments.