When it comes to exercise equipment, the most valuable piece of gear might be right in your back pocket. Whether your workout routine involves strength training, yoga, running, or some other form of fitness, you can find a great workout partner simply by downloading an app on your phone. However, the problem I run up against is that there are literally hundreds of fitness apps to choose from and the choices easily become overwhelming. Plus, many apps ask for a paid subscription before using their product. Do I really want to pay $9.99 a month for a product I don’t really enjoy? Fortunately, I’ve done the research and narrowed down the 7 best free fitness apps for 2019.
These seven free workout apps provide awesome motivation, more variety in your workouts, digital nudges, and even accountability buddies. The apps I’ve chosen below are based on research from multiple aggregate review sites and can be used on your Apple iPhone (iOS) or Android smartphone. However, not all apps are compatible with the Apple iWatch.
#1. & #1.5 — Fitbit and/or Fitbit Coach (iOS, Android)
Whether you own a Fitbit tracker or not, you can use the Fitbit or Fitbit Coach app. The basic Fitbit application functions as an activity and sleep tracker, with running, walking, and hiking monitoring included. You can record your workouts manually, log your meals, monitor hydration, and set your own personal goals for motivation.
The FitBit Coach app is a separate download, but allows you to watch short exercise videos that you can perform virtually anywhere. This adds more variety as instructors talk through each exercise and provides visual demonstrations for each routine. Audio cues also help coach you along and you can even add background music or songs from your own playlist. The FitBit or FitBit Coach is available for the iOS and Android, but at this time is not compatible with the Apple iWatch.
#2. Sweatcoin (iOS, iWatch, Android)
Sweatcoin is billed as “the app that pays you to get fit!” While it’s essentially a “step counter”, the concept is revolutionary. Sweatcoin uses GPS to convert your outdoor steps into currency that you can then use to spend on goods, services, and experiences. For example, you may eventually “earn” 600 sweatcoins that may be redeemed for $8 in PayPal cash. It may not be very much, but “Hey, free money!” Plus, the more “Sweatcoin” currency you build the more you can earn. At the time of writing an iPhone XS is available to earn for 20,000 sweatcoins. It’s a novel way to keep you engaged in physical activity and will definitely motivate you to take more trips around the block. Best of all — this fun new app is absolutely for free.
#3. Runkeeper (iOS, iWatch, Android)
As the name suggests, Runkeeper provides a simple way to establish a routine and to stick to it by tracking your run progress. The app also works for tracking cycling and walking, as well as hiking, various forms of skiing, and even ice skating (among others). With access to your location and motion data, RunKeeper can track and plot your progress on a map. You can opt to have frequent audio updates on your progress and play music from Spotify (for an optional subscription fee).
#4. Strava (iOS, iWatch, Android)
Strava is like Runkeeper, but with an emphasis on cycling. The Strava app records distance, speed, routes, and pace so your stats are always a touch away. It also has a social aspect, so you can compare and share your workouts with fellow road warriors for a little motivation and healthy competition.
#5. Keelo (iOS, iWatch, Android)
Keelo is a high intensity interval (HIIT) workout-on-demand app. When you browse the app’s catalog of 16 free workouts, you’ll see a preview of each session before you start. It’s best suited for use in a gym, but one of the great benefits of Keelo is that it provides you alternatives for some exercises if you don’t have the proper equipment available.
#6. Asana Rebel (iOS, iWatch, Android)
A yoga-inspired fitness app, Asana Rebel provides guided yoga flows alongside “regular” workouts. In the app, you can input your goals, track your progress, and choose classes and programs based on how much available time you have or the intensity you’re after.
#7. Nike Training Club (iOS, iWatch, Android)
I’ve saved one of my personal favorites for last. Nike Training Club includes over 180 workouts covering a range of workout types – all for free. From strength training exercises, to cardio and endurance, to mobility and yoga, it’s all here. While some workout-on-demand apps stick to short sessions that are around 10 minutes long, Nike has some that are 30 minutes or longer. The workouts are in the form of videos with trainers who talk to you throughout the session about form and the benefits of each exercise.
A friend of mine lives by the Nike Training Club app and follows each workout religiously. The trend is catching on and many professional athletes, such as Serena Williams, are beginning to share their workout routines through this incredible application.
Are there any fitness apps that you personally recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts and to see if there’s anything I should include on a future app list. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to register for future articles at the newsletter sign-up below.