Regular exercise is important for our health, we know that. I don’t know about you, but the gym’s really not my thing and it can be quite pricey too. Luckily, there are lots of ways to keep fit without paying a penny thanks to a host of free fitness apps.
Here are some of the best free fitness apps around at the moment. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to start exercising or a workout pro, hopefully you’ll find an app to suit you.
Disclaimer: check with your GP before you take on a lot of physical exercise. MoneyAware cannot guarantee the success or safety implications of the apps mentioned below.
Couch to 5k is a running app. It’s an eight week training programme to get you from lazing around on the sofa watching TV (ahem) to being able to run 5k in all one go. Daunting as that may seem, well for me anyway, the app provides you with warm ups and slowly gets your body used to running.
- Aimed at beginners this app is perfect for first time runners
- It includes warm up exercises so you don’t hurt yourself – hooray!
- Each session is 30-40 minutes long
2. The New York Times’ 7-Minute Workout Web app
(Available on most phones and you can also use it on a laptop or tablet)
Developed by the New York Times, this app features a 7 minute workout based on science. Very fancy. The idea is you only need to exercise for 7 minutes a day to be healthy, although it’s worth noting that it’ll probably take longer than 7 minutes to complete the exercises according to reviews. You’ll only need yourself, a chair and a wall to complete workouts, unless you go for the advanced option, in which case you’ll need dumbbells too.
- Illustrations show you how to do each workout
- A timer helps you keep track – so no slacking off
- No equipment needed (unless you go all advanced on us)
Described by the brand as ‘the ultimate personal trainer’ the Sworkit app allows you to create your own workouts based on exercises and timeframes to fit around your routine. So, if you only have time for a 10 minute workout a day, so be it. The app allows you to complete exercises at home so no equipment is required and you can target specific things you’d like to do, like cardio or yoga.
- Make custom exercise routines to suit you
- Video guides show you how to do exercises
- Target specific areas you’d like to improve, for example upper body, lower body etc.
Available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. EDIT: App no longer available)
Bodeefit’s mission is to get the world moving. What better way to do that than providing a free app with daily intensive workout tips that don’t require any equipment? Makes sense to me. You can get a new routine to follow each day, no repetitiveness here!
- The apps has GIFs to show you how to do each exercise
- No equipment is needed so you can work out at home
- The exercises are high intensity, while that may be a bonus to some people others may struggle
5. Nike Training Club
(Available on iOS and Android)
The Nike Training Club app is another for beginners. It creates a four-week fitness plan that’s based around your own levels of fitness. It’s perfect for people who want to get fit but aren’t sure where to start. Workouts are between 15-45 minutes and can vary between focusing on getting stronger, leaner or more toned.
- Great for beginners
- A handy voiceover guides you through workouts
- You can unlock recipes, bonus tips and extra exercises as you progress
Don’t be fooled by the name, Runkeeper can also be used if you enjoy walking or cycling. I suppose ‘Run-cycle-walk-keeper’ doesn’t have the same ring to it. The app allows you to keep track of exercise routes, your speed and average calories burned whilst exercising. There are training plans available to choose from, or you can create your own.
- Find new routes for walking, running or cycling or add your own
- Track your progress
- Motivational feedback to spur you on
Get your health points up
Feeling all healthy and smug after doing some exercise? Hold your horses. Here are some of these free health apps to make you even healthier.
Water Your Body
Drinking water has many benefits for your health. It’s a super liquid, a king among non-solids. So, why don’t we drink more? We forget. Luckily, Water Your Body reminds you to keep hydrated. So, when you’re blissfully unaware of your dehydrated state, Water Your Body reminds you to drink up and continue your day as a hydrated being. (Available on Android.)
Hopefully if you regularly exercise you’ll be sleeping like a baby. This isn’t always the case though. Enter Sleep Better. This app keeps track of your sleeping patterns and allows you to see how your daily habits could impact your sleep. For example all that coffee you had might be to blame. (Available on Android or iOS.)
My Fitness Pal
Now that you’re all healthy, you might not want a poor diet to ruin your hard work. My Fitness Pal allows you to keep track of what you eat and even sends you motivational notifications. Just don’t get too obsessive about counting calories and recognise what’s right for your body. Sometimes we need a burger and that’s OK, no matter what My Fitness Pal says. (Available on Android or iOS.)
Phew! What a roundup. I hope you’ve found some of these app suggestions useful and together we can start to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Probably would have been better if I hadn’t been eating cookies while writing this but hey, what can you do?
The above apps were free at the time this article was written. You might get charged for additional extras such as in-app purchases so always double check the terms and conditions of the app to avoid unwanted charges.