10 fitness apps to encourage physical activity

  • Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal

    Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal

    The Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker app uses prompt self-monitoring of behavioral outcome to encourage healthy habits. Every day, users can log their foods and the app will provide calorie counts. The app generates charts that let users see their progress over time as they work toward their customizable goals.The app is free for both Apple and Android devices.

  • RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk

    RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk

    RunKeeper tracks users’ workouts by using GPS to track their distance, elevation, and speed. It provides a prompt review of outcome goals by showing a detailed report of calories burned immediately after a workout is completed. The app features training plans with audio coaching and provides audio updates of your total mileage, calorie count, and pace during workouts. The app is free for both Apple and Android devices.

  • Strava Running and Cycling GPS

    Strava Running and Cycling GPS

    Strava Running and Cycling GPS is similar to Runkeeper – it provides GPS tracking of distance, elevation, and speed. Users can join monthly challenges that encourage them to surpass their current fitness levels. Strava also allows users to compare their results to other users, with the premium version letting users filter by age and weight to see where they stand among similar people.The app is free for both Apple and Android devices and offers in-app purchases.

  • JEFIT Workout

    JEFIT Workout

    JEFIT Workout touts over 1,300 exercise tutorials complete with descriptions and animations to teach users proper execution. The app provides prompt feedback on behavioral goals by creating customized fitness plans and providing graphs to measure progress. Users can track their daily workouts and view community-created fitness plans to help them stay motivated.<The app is free for both Apple and Android devices and offers in-app purchases.

  • Yoga Studio

    Yoga Studio

    Yoga Studio features a variety of HD video yoga classes from beginner to expert levels and a database of over 280 poses. By using demonstrations of behavior, the app allows users to effectively and correctly perform yoga moves. The app provides yoga classes for strength, flexibility, relaxation, and balance. Classes can be customized to suit personal needs and range from 10 to 60 minutes. The app costs $3.99 and is only available for Apple devices.

  • 5K Runner: 0 to 5K Run Training

    5K Runner: 0 to 5K Run Training

    5K Runner uses shaping, starting slow and gradually increasing in difficulty. It’s designed to allow even the most beginning runners to succeed, with 30-minute workouts on 3 days a week over an …

  • Just 6 Weeks

    Just 6 Weeks

    Just 6 Weeks trains users to accomplish one of 5 goals, with detailed statistics providing immediate feedback. Over a 6-week period, users will work towards accomplishing 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 150 dips, 200 squats, or 20 pull-ups in a single workout. The app prompts users to complete a fitness test and assigns them a difficulty level based on their results. Workouts are just 10 minutes long, 3 times a week, and the app has built-in workout reminders. The app costs $1.99 and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

  • FitStar Personal Trainer

    FitStar Personal Trainer

    FitStar Personal Trainer features rewards for progress that encourage users to improve. As a user progresses, the app recognizes the achievements by unlocking badges and new moves. The exercise programs adjust to users’ results to make sure workouts aren’t too easy or too hard. The app features coaching from football player Tony Gonzalez with instructional HD videos. The app is free for Apple devices and offers in-app subscription purchases.

  • MyWOD – All-in-One WOD Log for XF Workouts

    MyWOD – All-in-One WOD Log for XF Workouts

    MyWOD was designed with Crossfit enthusiasts in mind – Crossfit participants complete workouts of the day (WOD), and MyWOD provides a space for tracking these workouts. The app prompts users to exercise more by providing information on the location of gyms in their area as well as phone numbers and websites for each. A calendar features allows users to track their workouts and graphing features measure progress. The app costs $3.99 and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

  • Runtastic Push-Ups PRO

    Runtastic Push-Ups PRO

    Runtastic Push-Ups PRO features a lot of social integration to keep users working towards their goals. The app can connect to its online community, MyFitnessPal, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and email. Users can train at their own pace to accomplish 100 push-ups in a single session. The app features a proximity sensor that counts reps so users can focus on their workout.The app costs $1.99 and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

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Fitness applications (apps) for smartphones have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. A recent study, “Implementationof Behavior Change Techniques in Mobile Applicationsfor Physical Activity” from David E. Conroy, PhD, and colleagues identified behavior other change techniques in the 100 most popular fitness apps. This slideshow breaks down the different techniques used in 10 of those apps. Please note, these apps are currently not endorsed by Conroy or any healthcare provider.

Compiled by Hannah Dellabella, Assistant Editor.

Reference

  1. Conroy, DE et al. Am J Prev Med. 2015; doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2014.10.010.

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