I. The Best Health and Fitness Apps for 2021

8Fit – Best Overall

8Fit gives users access to weekly fitness classes and workouts, meal-planning tools, meditations, and more, all with the goal of helping users create healthy, lasting, body-positive changes.

FitBit – Best Activity Tracker

With or without a Fitbit device, users can rely on this app to help them track their steps, monitor their heart rate, keep a food log, measure hydration, and more.

MyFitnessPal – Best App Compatibility

MyFitnessPal is a weight loss app that helps users meet their goals by tracking calories, providing information about food, and integrating with other health and fitness apps customers use.

SWORKIT – Best Customizable Workouts

Starting with users’ individual fitness goals and preferences, SWORKIT focuses on creating customized workout and exercise plans, while providing encouragement and tips from certified trainers.

FitPlan – Best Pre-Designed Workouts

FitPlan gives users access to over 100 workouts designed by personal trainers, fitness experts, and professional athletes, complete with step-by-step instructions and progress tracking tools.

Aaptiv – Best Classes

For people who prefer the structure and accountability of class-based workouts, Aaptiv makes it easy to access thousands of classes across multiple categories, from any location at any time.

Endomondo – Best for Personal Training

Described as a “personal trainer in your pocket,” Endomondo lets users choose what kind of physical activities they prefer, and designs a personalized fitness plan based on those activities.

Lifesum – Best Meal Planning App

Lifesum helps people change their eating habits and improve their health with easy meal-planning tools, a variety of diet plans, and simple, nutritional, and affordable recipes.

Fooducate – Best Healthy Eating App

Fooducate seeks to empower users to make better choices about the foods they consume, and establish healthy eating habits through educational tools like its food grading system.

Headspace – Best Mental Health App

Headspace focuses on meditation as a way to improve mental and physical health, and provides users with guided meditations and other tools for increasing mindfulness, lowering anxiety, and more.

Runkeeper™ – Best for Runners

Designed by athletic apparel and shoe company Asics, Runkeeper acts as a virtual coach for users by creating customized training plans based on the runner’s goals.

Strava – Best for Cyclists

The Strava app is designed primarily for cyclists and runners who want to track progress towards their goals, connect with other fitness enthusiasts, and find and share new routes.

Charity Miles – Best for Philanthropists

Charity Miles motivates people to exercise by using their activities, like running, biking, or hiking, to raise money for a variety of national and global charities.

Nike+ Run Club – Best for Guided Runs

The Nike+ Run Club app helps runners stay active and focused with a variety of tools, including Guided Runs, Apple Music playlists, personal coaching, activity and progress trackers, and more.

Fit Radio – Best for Music Lovers

FitRadio is a personalized playlist making service that strives to make exercising exciting and fun by providing users with the musical inspiration they need to stay motivated.

II. How We Chose the Best Health and Fitness Apps

With so many health and fitness apps available, choosing the ones that best suit your needs can be overwhelming. To curate our list, we looked at the most common features customers want, including availability on multiple platforms, robust functionality, and customer satisfaction.

Functionality

The phrase “health and fitness” encompasses many different elements of personal well-being, including diet, exercise, mental health, and more. An optimal app encourages users to stay healthy in multiple ways, so we sought apps that have different tools for promoting a healthy lifestyle. We also looked for apps that have social networking components, integrate with other apps, and can be synced with smart devices, to ensure maximum functionality.

Availability

To ensure that the apps on our list are available to the widest possible audiences, we only included apps that are available on multiple platforms, including Apple and Android devices.

App ratings

Apps will always promote themselves as the best solution for whatever need they are addressing, but actual users will provide firsthand knowledge of whether an app lives up to its promises. We used customer reviews and app store ratings to find the most highly regarded, reliable, and bug-free health and fitness apps for our list.

III. The Best Health and Fitness Apps

 

8Fit

8fit logo

8Fit’s mission is “to transform the concept of fitness from the pursuit of perfection to a liberating journey of healthy, body-positive and lasting changes.” To that end, this app gives users access to weekly fitness classes and workouts, meal-planning tools, meditations, and more.

8Fit tailors workouts and nutrition planning based on a user’s goals, which can include losing weight, building muscle, or getting toned. 8Fit takes into account a user’s age, height, and weight to recommend a safe, practical plan that is also sustainable. Users can track their progress within the app, and set weekly goals to help them stay motivated.

The app’s workouts are brief, typically 10-15 minutes, making it easier for users to fit them into busy schedules. Their nutrition tools also focus on convenience; users can easily exclude “problem” foods or ingredients, and choose from different meal-planning approaches to find the one that best suits their lifestyle.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $59.99/year
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Available in multiple languages
-Weekly classes
-Meal planning tools
-More features at 8Fit

Pros & Cons of 8Fit Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • 8Fit’s biggest pro is its emphasis on creating a personalized fitness plan specific to the individual. Not only does this make it easier for users to actually achieve their health and fitness goals, it means the app’s recommendations are safer and more sustainable, leading to long-term use.
  • 8Fit recently added a classes feature, where users from all over the world can join in on expert-led classes for cardio, core, and other types of workouts.
  • The app’s meal-planning tools are convenient and easy-to-use. Users can choose from pre-set food plans, such as vegetarian, Paleo, pescetarian, or standard, or customize their own food plan based on their unique preferences and restrictions.
  • When users choose their recipes, the app automatically creates a shopping list, making it even easier for users to stick to their diet.

Cons:

  • The most significant con of 8Fit is that users must pay for a full year’s subscription to the app upfront. There is no option to pay by the month. At $59.99 for a year, 8Fit is not the most expensive app on our list, but since there’s no option to pay monthly, users who do not like the app, or can’t use it for any reason are out the full price.
  • Currently, 8Fit separates users’ goals into three categories – lose weight, get fitter, and build muscle. There’s no option to combine goals, or customize goals, which may limit its appeal to some users.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers are fans of 8Fit for providing convenient tools that make health and fitness easier. “I’ve been on a search for a fitness app that is easy to use, fits with my busy schedule, and is effective at helping me achieve my goals. 8fit is all of these and more,” says one user.

 


 

Fitbit – Best Activity Tracker

fitbit screen capture

While more than 63 million Fitbit trackers have been sold, these devices are not required to use the app, which is available for Android and Apple devices. Without a Fitbit device, a user relies on their smartphone to track their steps, monitor their heart rate, keep a food log, measure their hydration, and more.

The Fitbit app breaks down activities by time, so during the day, users can view their progress towards their daily goals for steps, distance, calories burned, and more. At night, Fitbit will record users’ sleep patterns, and help them achieve their sleep goals by setting bedtime reminders and alarms.

Fitbit also includes a number of motivational tools to help users stay on track, including notifications, badges, challenges, and social networking with other Fitbit users.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $9.99/month
$79.99/year
Apple: 3.6 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Smart device compatibility
-Sleep tracker
-Social media components
-More features at FitBit

Pros & Cons of Fitbit Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • Fitbit’s primary perk is how feature-rich it is. This app lets users track many different facets of their health, including their steps and activity, exercise regimen, sleep patterns, nutrition, and more.
  • Another pro of the Fitbit app is its social component, which connects users to family, friends, and other users, helping them to stay motivated to achieve their health and wellness goals, and celebrate their accomplishments.
  • Fitbit also partners with companies, enabling them to offer Fitbit devices and services as part of their corporate health and wellness initiatives. Through these partnerships, employees may be able to get Fitbit devices at a discounted price.

Cons:

  • The main con of Fitbit is that, even though the app can be used on a smartphone alone, in order to really get the most out of it, users must also purchase a Fitbit device, like a smartwatch or tracker. These devices range in price from $70 to $330, presenting a potential cost barrier to some users.

What Customers Are Saying

Fitbit has a loyal following for making it easier to track activity, food intake, and more. “I am absolutely hooked on my Fitbit!” says one user. “I love the notifications it sends if I haven’t moved, and the fact that you can track your own performance. It’s got me more motivated than any personal trainer.”

 


 

MyFitnessPal – Best App Compatibility

myfitnesspal screen capture

MyFitnessPal is a weight loss app that helps users meet their goals by tracking calories, providing information about food, and integrating with other health and fitness apps.

The service is available via the platform’s website as well as a mobile app available for Android and Apple devices. There is a free version, which lets users track food and calories, weight, activity, and other basic metrics. With a paid account, users get access to many other features, including nutritional content, additional customization options, and exercise and motivational videos.

One of MyFitnessPal’s unique features is its compatibility with more than 50 other health and fitness apps and devices. Users can link their MyFitnessPal account to apps like Fitbit, Endomondo, MapMyRun, Strava, and more, allowing them to have a comprehensive picture of their health and activity.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $9.99/month
$49.99/year
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 4.5 stars
-Compatible with over 50 apps
-Meal planning tools
-Exercise tracker
-More features at MyFitnessPal

Pros & Cons of MyFitnessPal Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • One of the significant benefits of MyFitnessPal is that it integrates with many popular wearables and activity trackers like Fitbit, Garmin, Strava, Nokia Health Mate, and more. Integrating information about exercise and activity into MyFitnessPal helps users get a more accurate, comprehensive picture of their health and weight loss progress.
  • For users who just need a simple way to count calories and track other basic metrics, the free version of MyFitnessPal is likely sufficient. There are some more advanced features that are only available with a paid subscription, and the free version of the app includes ads. However, as free apps go, MyFitnessPal is fairly robust and user-friendly.
  • Among diet and weight loss apps, MyFitnessPal has one of the largest food databases, containing over 11 million products. This feature helps users find the calorie counts, serving sizes, and nutritional information for their food.
  • In addition to the mobile app, users can access their MyFitnessPal account via their website, for additional convenience.

Cons:

  • MyFitnessPal doesn’t offer much in the way of support or guidance for creating a different, long-term relationship to food. The tools are mostly focused on counting calories, tracking food intake, and measuring weight loss, but it lacks a holistic approach that can help users understand and change their eating habits in the long-term.

What Customers Are Saying

Users praise MyFitnessPal for helping them manage their diets and eating habits in a convenient way. Says one user, “The MyFitnessPal app allows anyone to compile a detailed log of nutritional and fitness info into an easy to use, easy to interpret, easy to afford, and simple to navigate system.”

 


 

SWORKIT – Best Customizable Workouts

sworkit screen capture

When it comes to exercise and fitness, everyone’s needs and preferences are different. SWORKIT focuses on creating workouts and exercises that are tailored to their users’ unique, individual needs.

SWORKIT starts with users’ personal fitness goals, which can include weight loss, muscle gain, increased endurance, and more. Users can also indicate how much time they have to exercise, and SWORKIT will recommend workout plans based on their goals and availability. SWORKIT comes with over 400 unique workouts and 800 different exercises. Users can also create and save their own workouts for a truly customized experience.

This app also provides users with a significant amount of support. Certified trainers are available to answer users’ questions about fitness and nutrition, and provide tips for more productive workouts. Users can also connect with other members of the SWORKIT community to get encouragement and provide motivation.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $9.99/month
$59.99/year
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 4.0 stars
-Support from certified trainers
-400 unique workouts
-800 exercises
-More features at Sworkit

Pros & Cons of SWORKIT Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • SWORKIT’s biggest pro is how customizable it is. The app offers users a huge variety of workouts and exercises, which users can further tailor and save for future use. Users can also set parameters, like their fitness goals and the amount of time they want to exercise, and the app will recommend workouts based on this information.
  • SWORKIT partners with employers to offer the app to their employees as part of their corporate health and wellness initiatives, providing users with discounted access to the app and its features.
  • This app is ideal for users of all experience levels, with beginner, intermediate, and advanced programs. SWORKIT also has a library of activities designed specifically for kids.

Cons:

  • Although users can try SWORKIT for free, there is no free version available for long-term use. Subscribers can pay for their membership on a monthly or yearly basis, but a paid membership is required.

What Customers Are Saying

According to users, SWORKIT is great at helping them stick to their fitness routines. “I have tried numerous fitness apps and this is hands down my absolute favorite,” says one user. “Every time I use this app, I can’t help but feel like they thought of everything.”

 


 

FitPlan – Best Pre-Designed Workouts

fitplan screen capture

For fitness app users who want an expert personal trainer to design an ideal workout for them, there’s FitPlan. This app, available for Android and Apple devices, gives users access to over 100 workouts designed by personal trainers, fitness experts, and professional athletes.

Users can choose their workout based on how much time they have to exercise and their fitness goals, like toning and tightening, losing weight, building muscle, or increasing athletic performance, or simply try something new.

FitPlan’s workouts are designed to be done at home, in a gym, or wherever the user happens to be. The app’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to stick to their exercise regimen, so they can achieve their goals. FitPlan’s workouts include step-by-step instructions and progress tracking tools. The app also features educational resources, including a blog and an app feed with fitness and nutrition tips, motivational content, and more.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $15.99/month
$69.99/year
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Instructional videos
-Apple Watch compatibility
-Available in Spanish
-More features at FitPlan

Pros & Cons of FitPlan Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • FitPlan’s most significant perk is the wide variety of pre-designed workouts it has available. Users can narrow down the selection by choosing the kind of workout they are looking for based on their fitness goals and gender, and get an expertly-designed workout suited to their needs.
  • Most of FitPlan’s workouts are designed to be done anywhere, making it easy for users to stay on track with their routine, even if they’re on the go. Many of the workouts currently available on FitPlan are specifically designed to be done at home, while gyms and fitness centers are closed.
  • All videos include step-by-step instructions, so users can feel confident that they are doing exercises safely and correctly.

Cons:

  • The primary con of FitPlan is that it may be too niche for some users. Since it focuses specifically on workout plans, users who also want to track more free-form activity like running, cycling or swimming will still need to download another app.
  • Although users can try FitPlan free for seven days, they must pay for a monthly or yearly subscription for continued access to all of FitPlan’s content.

What Customers Are Saying

FitPlan users recommend this app to others who need encouragement to stick to their exercise routines. I need structure, guidance, and lots of push during my workouts and this plan does exactly that,” says one user. “I go to the gym with a plan, purpose, and a goal in mind!”

 


 

Aaptiv – Best Classes

aptiv screen capture

For people who prefer the structure and accountability of class-based workouts, Aaptiv makes it easy to access thousands of classes across multiple categories, from any location, at any time.

Whether users are looking for running, cycling, strength training, high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, pilates, or meditation, Aaptiv has a class available. Users can browse classes based on their fitness goals, like losing weight or gaining strength. Classes are delivered in audio format, although Aaptiv does include visual workout guides for common movements across the different workout categories. New classes are added weekly, so users will always have something fresh to keep them motivated.

Another unique Aaptiv feature is Team Challenges, in which app users form small teams based on a shared fitness goal, and compete against each other for points. Team Challenges allows Aaptiv subscribers to connect and encourage each other, creating a fun social component to exercising.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $14.99/month
$99.99/year
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 3.8 stars
-30+ weekly classes
-Specialized training plans
-Integrated playlists
-More features at Aaptiv

Pros & Cons of Aaptiv Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • The sheer variety of classes available on Aaptiv is the app’s main pro. Users can choose from cardio workouts like running and cycling, stretching-based workouts like Pilates and yoga, or strength training. Aaptiv also adds 30 new classes per week, so always have plenty of options available.
  • Through Aaptiv, users get access to professional fitness trainers who provide tips, techniques, and encouragement to help them make the most of their workouts and achieve their fitness goals.
  • Another unique Aaptiv feature is its curated music playlists, designed to pace perfectly with the user’s workout, and based on the user’s musical genre preferences.
  • To help recreate the class experience, even when students are in different locations, Aaptiv offers the Team Challenge feature, which enables users to work together and encourage each other in their fitness goals.

Cons:

  • One potential drawback of Aaptiv is that classes are delivered in audio format, not video format. While some users may prefer listening to the trainer’s instructors, others may prefer a video class to follow.
  • At $99.99 for an annual subscription, Aaptiv is among the more expensive apps on our list. This high price point may present a barrier to some users.

What Customers Are Saying

Aaptiv is a popular app among fitness enthusiasts. “This app has breathed new life and motivation into me,” says one user. “The trainers are amazing, the soundtracks are amazing and the convenience is amazing. Not to mention I am working harder than if I had to do these workouts on my own.”

 


 

Endomondo – Best for Personal Training

endomondo

Endomondo, another app developed by Under Armour, is described as “the personal trainer in your pocket.” The philosophy behind this app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, is to make fitness fun, so people are more likely to stick to their exercise regimen.

The app lets users choose what kind of physical activities they prefer, from an extensive list that includes aerobics, cycling, dancing, hiking, running, and more, and then designs a personalized fitness plan based on those activities. Users create targets for themselves to work towards, and much like a real-life personal trainer, Endomondo will offer encouragement and feedback to help users achieve those goals.

The app also gives users a central place to track their progress and improvement, as well as stats like miles logged and calories burned. Endomondo users can connect with each other through the app’s social networking features, adding another source of inspiration and motivation.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $5.99/month
$29.99/year
Apple: 4.2 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Available in multiple languages
-Activity and training log
-Workout goals
-More features at Endomondo

Pros & Cons of Endomondo Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • Although there is a premium version of Endomondo available, the free version has a significant amount of functionality, making it one of the most appealing free apps on our list. With the free version of Endomondo, users can track, log, and analyze their workouts, sync the app with their wearables, and use Endomondo’s social features.
  • For those who want to upgrade to the premium version of Endomondo, another perk is that it is a very affordable app. A yearlong subscription is $29.99, making it one of the more affordable apps on our list.
  • Another benefit of Endomondo is that it gives users a lot of activities to choose from when building their exercise plan. This includes sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer; cardio activities like running and cycling, and outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking.

Cons:

  • The main drawback of Endomondo is that its functionality is somewhat limited. While it functions excellently as a personal training app, it doesn’t do much more, meaning users will need to download other apps if they want to integrate other aspects of health and wellness into their routine.

What Customers Are Saying

Many users say Endomondo is effective at helping them stay on track with their exercise routines. “I love the fact that it keeps the training history so you can check the progress you make,” says one user. Adds another, “I like the training plans and the connectivity with my Apple Watch.”

 


 

Lifesum

lifesum

Meal planning is easy with Lifesum, available for Android and Apple devices. Users can plan their meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, up to three weeks in advance. For added convenience, Lifesum builds a digital shopping list and includes a barcode scanner, so users can easily keep track of the nutritional value of what they eat.

Lifesum gives users a variety of diet plans to choose from, including high protein, clean eating, Keto, and Mediterranean, as well as hundreds of recipes that can be customized based on the user’s goals, allergies, and preferences. Many recipes are five ingredients or less, and Lifesum also strives to make sure recipe ingredients are affordable as well as nutritional.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $3.75/month
Apple: 4.6 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Hundreds of recipes
-Barcode scanner
-Activity tracker
-More features at Lifesum

Pros & Cons of Lifesum Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • The most significant pro of Lifesum is how easy it makes it to plan meals and track food intake. Users can plan up to 21 days of meals at a time, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, so users can always feel confident that they are prepared with healthy meals to stay on track with their diets.
  • Another perk of Lifesum is that, at $3.75 per month, it is one of the more affordable apps on our list. The app also strives to make sure that its recipes include ingredients that are affordable as well.
  • Users will also appreciate that Lifesum integrates with other health and wellness apps, like Fitbit, Endomondo, Apple Health, Google Fit, and more.

Cons:

  • A key drawback to Lifesum is that it does not offer any kind of social networking or community features, which some users may want for support in their food-relationship journey.

What Customers Are Saying

Many users say Lifesum is the best diet and meal-planning app they have used. “This is the only app I have wanted to stick with,” says one user. “Lifesum is short, sweet, and simple. I give the creators and developers major props because this app has kept me focused and excited to use it.”

 


 

Fooducate – Best Healthy Eating App

fooducate

Fooducate seeks to empower users to make better choices about the foods they consume and establish healthy eating habits through education.

A key feature of this app, which is available for Android and Apple devices, is its food rating system. Fooducate has an extensive database of foods graded by algorithms developed by nutrition professionals and dietitians. The algorithms are based on nutrient density, and take into account the product’s category, nutritional information, and ingredients.

When users track what they eat, the app takes into account the foods’ grades, giving users an overall picture of their diet, as well as specific measurements for the types of calories they are consuming. Fooducate will also track users’ activity, so users can see how many calories they are burning, in addition to how many they are consuming.

Other Fooducate features include recipes submitted by users and diet tips from Fooducate’s staff.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $4.99/month
$74.99/lifetime
Apple: 4.7 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Calorie counter
-Food database
-Discussion board
-More features at Fooducate

Pros & Cons of Fooducate Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • The biggest perk of Fooducate is that the basic, free version of the app is rather robust. Subscribers can use Fooducate to track their diet, calories, and activity; get recipes and diet advice, and check the nutritional value of the foods they consume.
  • Fooducate’s extensive database of foods graded according to the app’s algorithm is another key pro. This database gives users insight into the types of foods they are consuming, and offers healthier alternatives.
  • Fooducate has a user-friendly interface that is similar to some social media apps, with options for liking and following posts. This familiarity may make the app more appealing to some users.
  • For users looking for a sense of community as they go on their food journey, Fooducate offers ways to connect with other app users, including discussion boards and recipe sharing.

Cons:

  • There is a premium version of Fooducate available, for $4.99 per month, or $74.99 for a lifetime subscription. However, the features that are included with a premium subscription are somewhat limited, which may make it less appealing to some users.
  • Fooducate also features diet tips from staff members, although it doesn’t provide any additional details about who staff members are and what their qualifications are for providing diet advice.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise Fooducate for being an effective resource for food education. “I like that it helps me understand more about the quality of ingredients and nutrients I’m consuming,” says one user. “ I also like the diet tips, and the notifications help me remember to log each meal before I forget what I ate.”

 


 

Headspace – Best Mental Health App

headspace

Health and fitness apps don’t exclusively refer to physical fitness. Mental health is equally important to an individual’s overall well-being, and Headspace is here to help users find more peace and clarity through meditations, mindfulness, and better sleep.

The app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, focuses on meditation as a way to improve mental and physical health. There are courses that teach users how to meditate, as well as guided meditations of different lengths designed for various purposes, like waking up, falling asleep, exercising, relieving stress and anxiety, and more.

A premium subscription gives users access to hundreds of different meditations, as well as music playlists curated by Headspace’s Chief Music Officer, recording artist John Legend.

Headspace also focuses on the science behind the efficacy of meditation, conducting research studies with institutions like the University of Southern California to measure the impact of mindfulness on mental health, and improve their offerings.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $12.99/month
$69.99/year
Apple: 4.9 stars
Google Play: 3.6 stars
-Specialized meditations
-Music playlists
-Articles and resources
-More features at Headspace

Pros & Cons of Headspace Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • A significant pro of Headspace is that it focuses exclusively on users’ mental health by providing a research-backed approach to meditation and mindfulness. Users can choose from hundreds of different meditations tailored to different purposes, and learn about mindfulness practices through Headspace’s extensive collection of resources.
  • Another unique feature of Headspace is the app’s music playlists, which are specially curated to help users focus, and include instrumental music, soundscapes, and lo-fi beats.
  • Headspace is committed to the science behind meditation, measuring why and how it works, and integrating those findings into the app to improve its effectiveness. To date, there are 25 published studies showing the impact of the app on outcomes such as stress, focus, and compassion. They also have an in-house team of scientists, and are participating in multiple third-party research studies to validate their approach to meditation and mindfulness.
  • Users can also sync the Headspace app with other smart devices, like Google Assistant and Amazon Echo, so they can access meditations whenever and wherever is most convenient for them.

Cons:

  • Although Headspace has some resources available for free, in order to access the full library of meditations and playlists, users must have a paid subscription, which costs $12.99 per month, or $69.99 per year. This may present a cost barrier to some users.
  • Headspace does not offer an option to pause a subscription, meaning a user must fully cancel and then renew their subscription if they want to pause their use of the app for any period of time.

What Customers Are Saying

Headspace users praise the app for helping them find more peace and clarity in their daily lives. “Headspace has been a revolutionary discovery for me,” says one user. “As someone who has tried similar apps, I can say that no other app matches the sophisticated design, ease of use, and mindfulness encapsulated by Headspace.”

 


 

Runkeeper – Best for Runners

runkeeper

Whether you are running alone, with a group, or for a specific goal like a marathon, the Runkeeper app can help you stay motivated and on track towards achieving your running goals.

Designed by athletic apparel and shoe company Asics, Runkeeper acts as a virtual coach by creating customized training plans based on the runner’s goals, which can include things like frequency of runs or a target number of miles. When creating the training plan, the app will take into account the user’s fitness level and schedule, providing them with a safe, achievable plan that will help them reach their goals.

Runkeeper helps users stay motivated with a tracking feature and audio cues that help users monitor their pace and distance. Users can track their progress over time with the app’s insights tool. Runkeeper™ also connects users with each other, creating a broader community of support and motivation.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $39.99/year
Apple: 4.8 stars
Google Play: 4.3 stars
-Goal-setting tools
-Pace and distance tracking
-Progress tracking
-More features at Runkeeper

Pros & Cons of Runkeeper Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • Runkeeper is a robust app that gives users all the tools they need for a healthy running regimen. For many users, the free version is likely sufficient, but users who want more can upgrade to a Runkeeper Go account for more personalized training recommendations and motivations.
  • Another benefit of a Runkeeper Go account is that it has a relatively low price point. Upgrading costs only $39.99 per year, which is much less than some other health and fitness app subscriptions.
  • A Runkeeper account doubles as a OneAsics membership, meaning users have access to special offers, free shipping, and 90-day returns on Ascis’ footwear and clothing.
  • The Runkeeper app is available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, German, French, and more, making it accessible to a wide audience.

Cons:

  • According to user reviews, some users experience a glitch with the Runkeeper app where it will stop recording activity before a user indicates that they have finished, forcing users to update their activity log manually.

What Customers Are Saying

Runkeeper has many dedicated users thanks to its functionality and user-friendly interface. Says one user, “I’ve used this app for many years now. It is reliable and functional. Every time I’ve experimented with other fitness apps I’ve found myself comparing them to Runkeeper and never found them comparable.”

 


 

Strava – Best for Cyclists

strava

The Strava app is designed primarily for cyclists and runners who want to track progress towards their goals, connect with other fitness enthusiasts, and find and share new routes.

Strava turns users’ smart devices, including Apple and Android phones and wearables, into a sophisticated cycling computer, letting users track all of their performance stats from their rides and analyze their data over time.

One of Strava’s unique features is its huge network of trails and routes, mapped out by other app users. Thanks to its global community, Strava has trails and routes all over the world, so wherever users happen to be, they can use the app to find the perfect local trail for their run or bike ride.

Strava also emphasizes community, acting as a social network for cyclists and runners, with a feed where users can upload photos and videos of their activities, as well as tools for forming and joining clubs.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $15/month
$60/year
Apple: 4.8 stars
Google Play: 3.7 stars
-Multiple device compatibility
-Social networking components
-Safety contacts
-More features at Strava

Pros & Cons of Strava Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • A key feature of Strava is its integration with other devices, including Fitbit, Garmin, Peloton, Amazfit, and more. Users can also connect other apps, like Endomondo, Runkeeper, and MapMyRide. Users can even upload files from their computers, or enter activities manually, for a comprehensive picture of their activity.
  • Another unique pro of Strava is that it allows users to upload routes and route segments, creating a vast, worldwide network of cycling and running trails accessible to other subscribers. Strava boasts that it has the largest trail and route resource among health and fitness apps.
  • Users will also like Strava’s Beacon feature, which allows users to share their location in real-time with a safety contact, such as a friend or family member, ensuring that their whereabouts are accounted for at all times.
  • Another perk of Strava is that members can use the app to connect to each other and form or join clubs to support their fitness goals and make new friends.

Cons:

  • Strava focuses on running and cycling. While these are two popular activities, the app is not quite as comprehensive as some other health and fitness apps, which means its audience is somewhat limited.
  • While there is a free version of Strava, most of the app’s unique features are only available with a paid subscription.

What Customers Are Saying

Strava users say that the app keeps them motivated and engaged in their fitness activities. Says one cyclist, “This app keeps me accountable and competitive. I love reviewing my rides after I’m done and making my own segments in my neighborhood. [Strava] is a must-have for tracking progress at any skill level.

 


 

Charity Miles – Best for Philanthropists

charity miles

Charity Miles takes a unique approach to motivating people to get active. As the app’s name implies, users don’t just exercise for themselves – their activities help raise money for charities focused on issues like health, education, the environment, animals, and more.

Once users download the app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, they select the charity they want to raise money for from Charity Miles’ list of over 40 organizations, including the ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, the Nature Conservancy, the Malala Fund, and more.

Every time users participate in some kind of athletic activity, whether it’s running, cycling, dancing, or hiking, they raise money for their chosen charities through corporate sponsorship funds. Users can also raise money through pledges and donations from friends and family, or through Charity Miles’ Employee Empowerment Program, which, to date, has raised over $2.5 million for charity.

PriceRatingMore Features
FreeApple: 4.8 stars
Google Play: 3 stars
-40+ charities
-Corporate and friend sponsors
-Multiple activities
-More features at Charity Miles

Pros & Cons of Charity Miles Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • The biggest pro of Charity Miles is that it gives users an empowering and inspirational incentive to exercise – raising money for worthwhile causes. For users who are less enthusiastic about exercising, this may be the push they need to get active.
  • Another perk of Charity Miles is that, unlike many other health and fitness apps, it is completely free to download and use, so there are no financial barriers to using this app.
  • Charity Miles also offers the Extra Mile Club, which gives members access to discounts and deals from companies like Nike, Reebok, JackRabbit, major hotel and grocery store chains, and more.

Cons:

  • In terms of functionality, Charity Miles is more basic than many other health and fitness apps available. It tracks users activity primarily for the purpose of calculating how much money they have raised for charity, but does not include any of the performance stats, personal training tools, or social networking features common in other apps of this nature.
  • While the Extra Mile Club is a nice perk, there is a membership fee. Users can pay $9.99 per month or $99 per year for a membership, which may or may not be offset by the discounts members receive.

What Customers Are Saying

Charity Miles’ users love the app for helping them do good. “If I could give this app 20 stars I would,” says one user. “It’s been a tremendous incentive to exercise more. Every time I use it I know some company will pay the charity of my choice for the miles I walk!”

 


 

Nike+ Run Club – Best for Guided Runs

nike-run-club

Nike+ Run Club (NRC) helps runners stay active and focused with a variety of tools, including Guided Runs. For this feature, NRC partnered with Headspace to create mindful, motivating guided runs that help runners sync up their bodies and brains to achieve their maximum potential.

Users of the NRC app, which is available for Android and Apple devices, can also find motivation in NRC’s custom Apple Music playlists, which include in-run encouragement from elite athletes. The app lets users track their progress across various metrics, including pace, location, distance, elevation, heart rate, and mile splits, so users can see exactly how much they have accomplished, and where they still have room to grow.

There is also a personalized coaching feature, in which the app will design a customized, adaptable running plan based on the user’s goals and fitness level.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $14.99/month
$119.99/year
Apple: 4.8 stars
Google Play: 4.6 stars
-Integrates with Headspace
-Progress trackers
-Customized playlists
-More features at Nike+ Run Club

Pros & Cons of Nike+ Run Club Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • With its personalized coaching feature and detailed stats, the Nike+ Run Club app is ideal for both serious runners training for races and novice athletes looking to build their strength and endurance.
  • Another perk of NRC is its integration with other apps like Headspace and Apple Music to provide guided runs and customized playlists, both designed to give runners more inspiration and motivation.
  • NRC users can build up their community of support with the app’s social networking features, including leaderboards, posts, photos, and more.

Cons:

  • As the name implies, the Nike+ Run Club app focuses on running, meaning all of its tools and tracking functionality is focused solely on this activity. While this may work for individuals who only want an app to help them with their running regimen, those who want something with more robust functionality may want to look elsewhere.
  • A subscription to the Nike+ Run Club app costs $119.99 per year, making it the most expensive app on our list. This high price point may present a barrier to some users.

What Customers Are Saying

Experienced and new runners alike appreciate the encouragement they get from the Nike+ Run Club app. “Nike+ Run Club is the perfect companion to someone who struggles to get out and go run,” says one user. “The support the app offers through the guided runs is just what I’ve been searching for.”

 


 

FitRadio – Best for Music Lovers

fit-radio

Regardless of activity, many people turn to music to keep them motivated when they are working out. However, if curating your own workout playlists is too time-consuming, FitRadio is here to help.

This health and fitness app, available for Android and Apple devices, is a personalized playlist-making service that strives to make exercising exciting and fun by providing users with the musical inspiration they need to stay motivated.

With a FitRadio subscription, users get access to thousands of DJ-made mixes designed specifically with workouts in mind. Users can browse playlists by music genre or workout category, to find the perfect playlist for their activity. FitRadio also consistently adds new music, so users will never get bored listening to the same songs again and again.

The app also features audio-guided workouts for cardio and strength training. There are also no ads to interrupt users’ mental and physical flow.

PriceRatingMore Features
Basic: Free
Premium: $9.99/month
$27.99/quarterly
$99.99/year
Apple: 4.8 stars
Google Play: 4.4 stars
-Audio-guided workouts
-Strength-training workouts
-Pace-matching audio technology
-More features at FitRadio

Pros & Cons of FitRadio Health and Fitness App

Pros:

  • The most significant pro of FitRadio is that it provides users with a convenient way to get playlists specifically curated for exercising, searchable by genre, exercise type, beats per minute, and more. For users who can’t work out without music, this can save them the time and effort of making their own playlists.
  • FitRadio adds new playlists and songs every day, so users have access to an ever-changing library designed to keep their workouts fresh and invigorating.
  • Rather than relying on algorithms to recommend songs, FitRadio’s playlists are created by handpicked professional DJs who understand how to blend songs for maximum flow and impact.

Cons:

  • While FitRadio’ premise is strong, it is also rather simple, which makes its $99.99 per year subscription fee seem a bit high. This is especially true when considering that users may already be paying subscription fees for other streaming music services like Apple Music, Spotify, or Pandora.

What Customers Are Saying

FitRadio has a loyal customer following thanks to its effectiveness in keeping users engaged in their workouts. “The music is great!” says one user. “It keeps me going. I like that everyone can pick a type of workout and their own playlist for that workout rather than it being linked.”

IV. What You Need to Know About Health and Fitness Apps

According to market reports, there are a staggering 231,000 health and fitness apps currently available to consumers. Choosing the one that’s right for you can feel overwhelming, so it’s important to start by having a clear understanding of what your health and fitness goals are and how apps will help you achieve them.

Health and fitness apps generally fall into one of a few categories, including activity and fitness tracking; personal training; nutrition and weight loss, meditation, and sleep. Some apps may have overlapping functions, but when you know which areas you specifically want to focus on, it can help you narrow down your options.

While health and fitness apps can help users stay motivated, increase their activity, and pay more attention to their overall health, recent studies have shown that they can have their downsides as well, including encouraging unhealthy attitudes towards weight loss, calorie-counting, and exercise. Moreover, health and fitness apps are not meant to be a replacement to regular check-ups with a primary care physician.

V. Latest News

The availability of health and fitness apps continues to grow at a breath-taking pace, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to forgo gyms and fitness classes.

  • In the first half of 2020, the use of health and fitness apps grew 46% globally. India saw the highest rate of adoption of these tools, with downloads increasing by 156%; downloads in the U.S. increased by 21%.
  • In response to apps and influencers that promote quick fixes over sustainable approaches to healthy living, two women created the Her Spirit app, which is designed to help users look at their health and well-being through a holistic, long-term lens.
  • At the end of 2020, Apple launched Fitness+, a fitness subscription service that delivers workouts and instructions to users via their Apple devices.

VI. Sources