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Free and Easy: Five of the Best Fitness Apps for Your Smartphone

If you’re looking to start a fitness regime, but aren’t so keen on the idea of joining a class or hiring a personal trainer, consider going it alone with a smartphone app that puts you in control. Of course, you’ll need to find the motivation required to stick at it, but with sophisticated progress reporting, plenty of community support and a host of prompts and alerts, today’s generation of fitness apps provides every reason to stay focused, attain your goals and even surpass them. Here are five great free apps to get you started:

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Nike + Running

Slick graphics boldly detailing the stats you need to know and great functionality make this the app the winning choice for many runners. Run anywhere and the software captures your route, distance, time, splits and pace. Your progress is even voiced to you as you run. Set up auto sync and your device will also find routes near you, and send details of your runs to the web to enable you to compete with runners around the world. Post your start to facebook and get real time ‘cheers’ every time someone comments or likes your status. There’s further encouragement in the form of Nike Fuel: the more you move, the more you earn, and it makes for a fun way to compare your progress with friends. Android and iphone.



This ‘personal trainer in your pocket’ is one of the most popular fitness apps on the market by a long shot, and deservedly so. This app has a simple interface that’s easy to use, and will have you set up with a training schedule in just a few minutes. Users can choose from a selection of desired goals – from simple one-off workouts or weight loss programs, to specialized training schedules for half or beginner marathons. The app can store an impressive amount of data, and you can also track a whole range of activities such as skating or rowing. Simply add a few basic statistics; gender, weight and age along with your desired goal or plan, and you’re good to go.

Plans are designed by qualified fitness professionals and include an outline description. For outdoor, tracked activities, the software uses your phone’s GPS location to calculate stats and route, assesses and saves the data to give a workout summary, and charts your progress. Information can be entered manually when using gym equipment indoors or performing static activities. A nifty feature is the inclusion of a “coach” that relays your statistical progress to you via your headphones while you train. Android users can also purchase a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor from the RunKeeper store, to transmit heart rate data to your profile. Android and iphone.

Calorie Count by

What could be easier than logging your calories by voice? This app allows you to utilize your smartphone’s voice software to find nutritional information for over 250,000 foods, and to track your diet and exercise. The interface is easy to use and the analysis charts contain lots of data while providing a visually appealing incentive to stay motivated.

There’s a fantastic support functionality built right into the app, and users can go to the Calorie Camp to share food reports with the community, while receiving positive feedback from supporters to help stay motivated. Upgrade for premium services such as personal consultations and feedback from a registered dietician. Android only.

Daily Yoga from Daily Yoga Inc.

This is a fantastic app that combines simple functionality with clear images and a short video for each pose. Beginners will love the free training sessions, and more experienced users can upgrade to Pro for more advanced techniques. There’s even a selection of relaxing yoga music to accompany your session. Connect with the online community for further tips and support. Android and iphone.

VirtuaGym Fitness Home & Gym

Sign up, let the system sync with your calendar, add your personal stats, then choose from a selection of activities or workouts designed by certified fitness professionals, or tailor your own. There are some unflashy CG animated tutorials to show you how to perform each exercise correctly, and “personal trainer” Brad Fit will voice instruction to you (as well as some oddly flat sounding motivational prompts which you may prefer to turn off). Monitor your progress by viewing the progress graphs. This app is a good choice for beginners; as you improve, you can pay to unlock more complicated workouts and activities. Android and iphone.