Staying active now ensures that you’ll feel fabulous on New Year’s Eve and that January won’t be a month of pure pain or regret. Totally worth it! To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of the best apps across exercise types that will keep you moving whether you’re an outdoorsy type, a solo sweater or a class fanatic.
For hikers, bikers and trail runners: All Trails
What it is: All Trails provides an international inventory of over 50,000 hiking, biking, running, and dog friendly trails. You can quickly find an ideal trail in your area by filtering for length, rating, difficulty level, and views.
Why we love it: Tons of trails and easy searching make it the perfect resource for planning an active outdoor outing! The app clearly lists the trail’s length, elevation gain and if it’s a loop; this makes it easy to organize an activity that meets your expectations. We also love that you can filter for dog-friendly trails, and track your monthly, annual, and lifetime stats for recorded distance, elevation gain, and moving time. For a refresher on why tracking your progress in this quantifiable way is so important, see our post Get The Body You Want By Focusing On This.
Suited for: Folks eager to discover new outdoor trails, or arrange outings with family or friends in any state!
Downsides: This is the number #1 outdoors app for a reason (it’s great!), but it could improve on the following:
- Park access / hours information is lacking for some routes, so if you planning an excursion in off hours or on a holiday, be sure to check before setting off.
- Only PRO users can download maps so you can track your location (i.e. make sure you’re on the correct path) even when out of cell range.
Cost: Free for basic, or $30/year for PRO.
For the Busy Bee: 7- Minute Workout
What it is: The 7 Minute Workout Challenge is just what it sounds like — a 7 minute workout that you can do essentially anywhere and that doesn’t require equipment. During the 7 minutes of each workout cycle, users are guided through 12 unique movements that together deliver a full body workout. Each exercise is meant to be performed at your highest level of intensity, after which you’re given 10 seconds to rest before the next exercise. Demonstration videos, photos and written instructions are provided for each movement in case you need pointers.
Why we love it: Proven exercises and perfect for busy people! The app provides a solid, quick workout you can literally do anywhere using solely your bodyweight and common props, like a wall or chair. If you seek a slightly longer workout you can repeat the 7 minute circuit 2 or 3 more times (this is what we and the app developers recommend).
Suited for: People who are traveling or short on time, or want to add a little more strength training into their cardio-heavy exercise routine.
- It’ll work in a pinch but it’s not long or varied enough to be a sufficient daily workout all on it’s own.
- The initial app download comes with 3 circuits of 12 exercises. If you want more, you have to purchase the bonus packs for $1 and $2 which is not much but after those two bonus packs, there are no more new packs.
Cost: $2.99 for basic access, bonus packs available for $1-2.
For Class Junkies: ClassPass
What it is: ClassPass is a membership based app that allows you to visit a variety of workout studios in your metro area, without having to create new accounts, or directly purchase or sign up for classes with each individual studio. Membership also gives you access to online workout videos you can do in your own time! Classes offered through ClassPass range from yoga, dance and pilates to crossfit, boxing, spin and more. You can easily search for classes offered in your area according to desired activity, time, or number of spots open (key if you want to attend with a friend), and read reviews of particular instructors.
Why we love it: I seriously don’t know what I’d do without ClassPass. It offers esy access to amazing classes for a fraction of the price you pay as a ‘drop-in’ client! And thanks to the flex membership option, I can rely on it to find good workout studios while traveling. Over the past year many of my friends started using the app; by ‘following’ each other we can share our favorite classes and plan workouts together to keep each other motivated. It’s the only app I use in such a social, community oriented way and I am addicted.
- Class junkies who like to mix it up or want to train at a studio for a discounted rate. ClassPass limits the number of times you can visit the same studio in a given month, so it’s best for people that like to visit a variety of places;
- Folks who want to try out new studios in their area; and
- People who travel a lot throughout the US and like to workout on trips.
Downsides: All the FIT editors really love ClassPass but there are two elements of the membership that can cause frustration:
- Quick bookout – Many studios limit the number of spots they make available to ClassPass clients to ensure that students who book directly through them can always make it to class. This means that popular classes/studios get booked out really quickly via ClassPass. If you find a studio that you are simply in love with, your best bet is to buy a class package through them instead of driving yourself crazy trying to get into the most desired classes.
- Cancellation timeline – If you cancel your class within 12 hours of class, you incur a $15 fee. I hear a lot of complaints about this but secretly think it’s a good way to keep you accountable to your planned workouts. Just a note that these fees can add up and the no-show fee is $20, so plan accordingly.
Cost: As a member you can take classes for about $7-13/each! The cost of membership depends on the metro area you live in and the number of classes you want to take per month. Note that ClassPass may soon switch their system to a credits based monthly cycle in efforts to account for more technical classes and incentivize people to take classes outside of peak times. They are currently testing this out in a beta mode with some users – we’ll keep you posted. For now, here is the cost breakdown you can generally expect:
- 3 classes per month = $20 (lowest cost cities) or $40-45 (high cost cities like NYC, SF, LA)
- 5 classes per month = $35 (lowest cost cities) or $65-75 (high cost cities like NYC, SF, LA)
- 10 classes per month = $70 (lowest cost cities) or $115-135 (high cost cities like NYC, SF, LA)
For Curious Runners: Map My Run
What it is: Map My Run was developed by Under Armour to help runners create custom running maps and discover routes that are popular amongst other users in a specific area. The app also integrates with My Fitness Pal for nutrition tracking and FitBit syncing.
Why we love it: It is an awesome tool for planning training runs, discovering scenic or challenging routes in your area, and getting in good runs while traveling.
Suited for: Runners interested in exploring new routes or cities, and runners interested in mapping their routes to understand exact mileage, elevation gain, etc.
- Custom mapping tools can feel cumbersome at first
- To share a custom route with a friend, they have to have the app too.
For Yogis or Tense Travelers: Daily Yoga
What it is: Daily Yoga provides users with well-narrated yoga movement and mindfulness series that are typically 10-35 minutes long.
Why we love it: The app offers legit mantras and yoga flow series if you buy the All Access package! The 12 Day Yoga Foundations series that comes for free with download is a great teaching tool for folks who are just getting into yoga that prefer to practice on their own.
Suited for: Basic membership is great for beginners to yoga or chanting but will be boring for more experienced folks. The silver and gold level memberships are more costly but a good investment if you’re an intermediate to advanced yogi interested in having access to quality yoga resources while on the go.
Downside: Downloading a series when not connected to wifi ranges from unbearably slow to downright impossible.
Cost: Free for basic, $40/year for Silver level, $240/year for Gold level and $400 for lifetime access.
Images by HonestlyFIT and Andrea Posadas for HonestlyFIT