A 2016 Nielson Company report revealed that the average American spends almost 11 hours a day staring at a smartphone, tablet, computer and other media device screens.
When it comes to fitness, a deluge of apps makes it easy for you to spin some of that screen time into gold. Whether you’re looking to ditch excuses for not exercising or want to change up your workouts, there’s an app for that. Thousands of them, actually.
Here are a few to help you focus on the exercise piece of fitness and good health. Though most of them are free to download, there’s often a monthly fee to unlock a wider variety of workouts and information — still a sliver of the cost of a gym membership.
When you could use a push to make the most of your workout time, PEAR offers real-time personal training to help you reach your fitness goals. Choose from hundreds of workouts and sports training for any fitness level in a wide range of categories. A personal coach — a real human voice — talks you through your workout, as much or as little as you like. $3.99 per month ($29.99/year).
2. Couch to 5K
If you’ve wanted to try running but feel overwhelmed by where to start, C25K will take you from your couch to completing a 5K (3.1 miles) in just eight weeks. The training plan takes only 30 minutes three times a week and allows you to track your runs by distance or by time. Free
This app brings an indoor cycling class to you. At home or at the gym, jump on a bike, choose your instructor and ride time. Then pedal away when you want. Experienced instructors and music playlists motivate you to push hard to reach your goals. $9.99 per month ($89.99/year)
Whether you’re getting your exercise habit started or you’re an exercise veteran, Fitstar (which can sync with Fitbit devices) builds custom workouts to help you hit your fitness goals. Your feedback about workouts creates routines to challenge you based on where you are and where you want to go. Videos show you the moves and provide step-by-step coaching, motivation, and tips. $7.99/month ($39.99/year)
Helping others may be all the inspiration you need to work out. Earn money for a charity you choose with every mile you walk, run or bike. Free
This app turns “no time, no equipment” into no excuses. Choose one of the no-equipment workouts (strength, cardio, yoga, stretching) and your time (five to 60 minutes), or design your own. Free, or $4.99/month premium ($39.99/year)
If you need motivation to get moving, this app’s horde of zombies on your tail will do it. As Runner 5, you choose your mission and earn supplies and tools to help save humans from the zombie apocalypse, all while working up a real sweat. Free, or $2.99/month, premium $19.99/year.