The 49 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Today there’s an app for just about anything, whether you’re looking for a playlist with the best bumpin’ beats for your run or the easiest way to not wake up feeling groggy every morning. The problem then becomes: How do you determine which apps are worth your time (and precious storage space on your phone)? Sure, you can look at ratings from previous users, but those stars (or lack thereof) only tell part of the story.

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We tested hundreds of health and fitness apps to find the best of the best. Some of the apps appeared on last year’s list—yes, they’re that good—but there are plenty of newcomers in the mix as well.

Note: This list is presented in no particular order. To check out the methodology we used to determine which apps made the cut, scroll to the bottom.

Fitness

FitStar Personal Trainer You no longer have to cough up the big bucks for a personal trainer to get workouts tailored directly for you. FitStar personal trainer assesses your needs and fitness level by asking you a simple set of questions at the end of every workout. That way every workout is challenging but doesn’t crush you. And the program's offerings are a good fit for beginner to fitness fanatics—after all, it was created by former NFL star Tony Gonzalez. (Free; iOS)

Nike+Training Club This is the easiest way to feel in control of your fitness destiny. The app offers more than 100 workouts crafted by Nike master trainers for people of all fitness levels. Select your specific fitness goal (get lean, get toned, get strong, or get focused) and find easy-to-follow workout plans—don’t worry there are plenty of rest days. Each individual workout comes with beautiful video tutorials, so even beginners never feel left in the dust. (Free; iOS and Android)

Runtastic Six Pack Abs Getting six pack abs isn’t easy (trust us, we tried). But strengthening your core has never been easier, thanks to Runtastic Six Pack. Choose Daniel or Angie as your avatar trainer, and then select from workout programs that last anywhere from 10 days to almost a month. The best part? Slo-mo videos of the virtual trainers means you learn each exercise right the first time around and avoid injuries. (Free; iOS and Android)

Fitnet Your device's camera isn't only good for selfies—it can now help you get a leg up on achieving your fitness goals. As you follow workout videos from personal trainers, the Fitnet app uses the camera on your smartphone or tablet to measure how well you’re keeping up with the workout. (Did you need to stop in the middle? Did you fall out of step during the high-intensity part?) Fitnet also provides realtime feedback, so you can always be improving your performance. (Free; iOS and Android)

WOD Deck of Cards If you thought the WOD (workout of the day) at your local CrossFit box was difficult, we’ve found a way to make it even gnarlier. Choose the four exercises you want to focus on—one for each suit—and then see what comes up first in the deck. (We always hope it’s not 10 burpees!) Keep drawing new cards until you finish the deck or you reach a point of exhaustion. (Free; iOS and Android)

Sworkit No gym? No time? No problem! Sworkit is designed with busy people in mind with high-intensity bodyweight workouts that you can make as short as five minutes and as long as an hour. Choose the style of exercise you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and discover dozens of different workouts—or go ahead and use the app to create a custom workout. Every workout set is super easy to follow with high-quality videos and a countdown clock of the number of reps you have left. (Free; iOS and Android)

Strong Lifts 5x5 This is the best gym companion when you hit the weights. The app prompts you to complete three lifting exercises with five sets of five reps—hence the name 5x5. StrongLifts coaches you along to give proper breaks in between each set and suggests when it’s time to add more weight. Follow the workout three times a week and you’ll notice a stronger you in the mirror in just a few weeks. (Free; iOS and Android)

Pump Up Not all of your friends want hear about your PRs or your #beastmode workout. That’s where Pump Up comes in. It’s Instagram meets Facebook for the health and fitness set. The social platform is the perfect place to post progress photos and motivate other like-minded people to meet their fitness goals. (Free; iOS and Android)

Fitmo Personal trainers can be expensive—that’s probably why most of us haven’t done more than the complimentary session we get when signing up for a new gym. But personal trainers can be instrumental in helping us meet our fitness goals. Thankfully Fitmo has made personal training accessible to everyone. For $40 a month, a personal trainer sets up a fitness schedule, suggests meal ideas, and constantly checks in with text messages and video calls. The app also connects with wearables to better track steps and sleep (and keep you honest). ($8.77/month; iOS)

Spring Cranking up some bumpin’ beats is just what the doctor ordered to help you work out faster, stronger, and longer. Spring is an app that builds off that simple principle. DJs curate playlists with songs that have a similar range of beats per minute. All you have to do is run to the beat of the music. Your workout will be done before you know it, and you might even discover a new favorite song. (Free; iOS)

Zombies, Run! 3 The zombies are still on the loose in this third version of the wildly popular app. Users get rewarded for every step they run or walk by earning supplies and tools that help save the human race from the impending zombie attack. Join more than a million runners (and sci-fi fans) who have discovered this fun and super motivational way to work out. ($3.99; iOS and Android)

C25K This app delivers on its name and gets people off the couch (pause that Netflix marathon) and whips them into shape for their first 5K. The eight-week training plan starts slow by alternating between walking and running before working up to more intense workouts. C25K fits into even the busiest schedules with just three half-hour workouts every week with rest days in between. An audio coach helps you through each workout and motivates you to keep on running. (Free; iOS and Android)

Charity Miles Running, biking, and walking can do way more than just helping you stay healthy and fit. Every mile of exercise can earn money for dozens of different charities. With the help of corporate sponsors, Charity Miles donates 10 cents for every mile biked and 25 cents for every mile walked or ran. As those miles add up, you can make a big difference for an organization that matters to you. (Free; iOS and Android)

CARROTfit Sometimes we all need a little tough love to get us jumping and jiving. And that’s exactly what CARROTfit brings. The weight-tracking app uses some serious sass to keep you moving through its seven-minute workouts. It doesn’t hurt that moves have names like “territory marker” for a lunge and “dragon mating dance” for a push-up into a side plank. The app’s virtual trainer will have you laughing so hard you'll hardly realize that you're plowing through a series of difficult bodyweight exercises. ($2.99; iOS)

MINDBODYconnect Belonging to a gym is a great way to keep a fitness routine. But sometimes that routine gets, well, routine. An easy way to spice things up is to try out a bunch of different fitness classes. That’s where MINDBODY Connect comes in. Discover classes happening nearby (everything from yoga to Zumba), and then book and pay right on the app. (Free; iOS and Android)

Tracking and Analytics

Argus This is the app for people who are obsessed with tracking everything in their lives. And the coolest part is Argus tracks most of those things without making you lift a finger. The app stays on in the background of your smartphone and can tell if you’re changing elevation or speed to track things like stairs and runs. Argus also develops colorful charts based on all of the data it collects, which can show trends you otherwise haven’t noticed. (Free; iOS)

MapMyFitness There are dozens of tracking apps out there—and now Apple and Google have thrown their hats into the ring with Apple’s Health Kit and Google Fit. But this is one of those cases when it’s best to stick with the tried and true. MapMyFitness has been tracking activities and logging food since 2007 with an easy-to-use interface and some of the most accurate tracking capabilities out there. The app now lets you set challenges (for yourself or friends) and even tracks you gear, so you know when it’s time to buy a new pair of running shoes. (Free; iOS and Android)

Endomondo This app is the perfect motivator to get you moving more. Users start by taking a fitness test to assess their fitness level, and then the app makes a suggested plan based on their favorite forms of exercise. Endomondo uses the GPS on your smartphone to track fitness activities from walking to running (and yes, even cross country skiing). In the middle of a workout, Endo (the app’s virtual trainer) chimes in to tell you if you’re about to set a personal record, or if you should pick up the pace. There’s also a community aspect to the app where you can challenge friends to different activities and cheer them along as you follow their progress. (Free; iOS and Android)

Strava There are plenty of great running apps out there (and this is even one of them), but few apps focus on cyclers. Strava is the perfect app for those bike enthusiasts. It allows you to easily track rides by time, distance, and speed. But the best feature is the Strava’s challenges that connects you with a community of cyclers who compete for things like climbing the highest or snapping the best photos mid-ride. (Free; iOS and Android)

Food and Nutrition

MyFitnessPal Counting calories has never been easier thanks to this robust app. You can log most meals in under a minute by searching MyFitnessPal’s extensive database of brand name foods. If you made something from scratch, you can input the recipe, and the app will estimate it’s nutritional information too. And once you start regularly using the app, it gets to know your diet and saves a list of your favorite foods that can be added to your daily intake with just the tap of a button. (Free; iOS and Android)

Noom Putting together a food diary is one of the easiest ways to improve healthy eating habits and aid in weight loss. But that can involve a lot of math with estimating the portion size and calories. Noom does all of the heavy lifting for you, thanks to its extensive food database that knows exactly how many calories are in your Chipotle burrito or steakhouse burger. After tracking your food intake, Noom suggests simple changes for a healthier lifestyle. And it invites you to join Noom groups that are made up of people on similar weight loss journeys, making it easy to share struggles and motivate each other. (Free; iOS and Android)

AllergyFT Food allergies make grabbing dinner at a local restaurant stressful enough. (Are you really sure the kitchen is peanut-free?) But trying to eat out in another country where you aren’t fluent in the local language can send your blood pressure through the roof. Thankfully Allergy FT (the FT stands for Food Translator) exists. Just create a profile with a list of your allergies, select the country you’re visiting, and the app translates your allergy into the local language, so the waiter can help you steer clear of harmful dishes on the menu. ($2.99; iOS)

HealthyOut When it comes to choosing what’s for dinner, it always feels like you need to make a choice between eating out or eating healthy. But this app proves there can be a happy marriage between the two. Just plug in your address and add filters for dietary restrictions, cuisine, ingredients, and even the type of dish you’re looking for. Then the app will offer dozens of restaurants to choose from and even note the healthiest food on the menu. (Free; iOS and Android)

Rise Here's the clean eating cheerleader that will help you stop at just one cookie and find ways to actually enjoy sauerkraut. Rise is so effective because the app pairs you one-on-one with a registered dietician. First you talk goals with your nutrition coach and then start snapping photos of every meal and snack you have. The next day, your personal dietician checks in and offers suggestions for healthier changes you can make. ($20/week; iOS)

ShopWell Take the mystery out of staring at nutrition labels. (Sure, this says it’s low sodium, but is it low enough for me?) ShopWell users create personal profiles with their age, gender, health goals, things they find important to their diet, things they want to avoid, and things they’re allergic to. Then head to the nearest grocery aisle and start scanning barcodes. The app will give each item a score—avoid foods with low scores and scoop up the ones closest to a perfect 100. (Free; iOS and Android)

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Ingredient1 It’s almost too easy to fall in a food rut where you’re constantly eating the same ingredients day after day. Ingredient1 makes is super easy to discover new foods that you’ll absolutely love. The app has users fill out a food ID with questions about their diet, food allergies, certifications (organic, grass-fed, GMO-free), and the ingredients they like and dislike. Then Ingredient1 gives a list of recommended foods to try and lets you search within that list for something you’re craving (veggie burgers, anyone?). Best of all: The app helps you put together a grocery list and tells you where you can find these brands nearby. (Free; iOS)

OpenTable Some days you just want to have a nice sit-down meal. But finding the perfect restaurant (cuisine, location, price) can be so stressful that you throw in the towel and order takeout again. OpenTable takes all the guesswork out of planning the perfect dinner with features to search for restaurants nearby and then make a reservation right from the app. (Free; iOS and Android)

Amount Quick: How many tablespoons are in a cup? You no longer have to guess those crazy conversions anymore thanks to Amount. The app comes with conversion tools for everything from currency to clothing sizes, but we found the cooking section the most useful. This sure takes the guesswork out of halving or quartering recipes when you’re cooking for one. Oh, and the answer is 16 tablespoons, for those culinary math minds out there. ($0.99; iOS)

Mixology We all have our go-to drink, whether it's a classic gin and tonic or a summery tequila sunrise. Now it’s easier than ever to expand your (alcoholic) horizons. Open the Mixology app’s liquor cabinet feature, input the alcohol and mixers you have on hand, and voilà, the app tells you the drinks you can make. Mixology also comes with a super helpful bartending guide complete with information on glassware, tools, terminology, how to stock a bar, and tips and tricks of the trade. (Free; iOS and Android)

Kitchen Stories You don’t need to have chef skills to craft restaurant-quality cuisine thanks to Kitchen Stories. Select from the dozens of recipes in the app (we love the savory dumplings and the zucchini brownies), and you’ll find photographed step-by-step instructions and quick videos to make sure you know how to master the harder techniques. Each recipe also comes with a difficulty rating, prep time, nutritional information, and a quick way to make a list of the ingredients you need to buy. (Free; iOS)

Mind and Brain

Duolingo Learning a new language is usually a daunting task. But Duolingo makes the process a lot less scary by turning learning into a series of games. The lessons teach reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. And they’re designed to be bite-size, making it easy to learn a new language on-the-go, whether you’re in line at the grocery store or in the middle of your morning commute. (Free; iOS and Android)

Coach.me It's great to have goals like getting fit, learning to play guitar, or becoming more productive. To nail these goals, however, it helps to have expert guidance and someone motivating you along the way. This aptly named app sets you up one-on-one with a pro who helps you put together a plan of attack and then messages you to check in on your progress and help you with any bumps in the road. Pick from dozens of possible goals, each with an expert in that field. ($14.99; iOS and Android)

Calm Part of the reason meditation can be so challenging is because it’s hard for us to really tune out from all that’s around us. You start to focus on your breathing, but then remember that email you forgot to send or that bill you meant to pay—and so long to any sort of inner peace. The guided meditations from Calm will have you breathing easier with quick daily sessions. The meditation exercises focus on everything from releasing anxiety to building compassion to feeling more confident. ($9.99/month; iOS and Android)

Talkspace There are high and low points in all of our lives, and while we can talk through breakups and weight fluctuations with friends, sometimes it’s nice to get an outsider’s advice. That is, until you realize that therapy can quickly drain your bank account. Talkspace aims to make therapy more affordable by connecting users with licensed therapists for unlimited messaging. That means you can message your therapist the moment a problem comes up instead of waiting for your next session. The app has been so popular that the company just added a couples therapy. ($25/week; iOS and Android)

Headspace This is the app for meditation skeptics. Get in the groove with Headspace’s free 10-day challenge where the app’s founder (and Greatist expert) Andy Puddicombe guides you through 10-minute meditations. If his charming British accent doesn’t keep you coming back every day, the app's adorable animations and vibrant community will. ($12.95/month; iOS and Android)

Yoga Studio This app offers something for everyone, from namaste newbies to yogis who can bend in ways we only thought pretzels could. Yoga Studio comes with 24 hours of video classes shot in crystal clear HD. But you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to be a renegade with the apps's create-your-own-class feature. Select the poses you want to master, and the app stitches them together into one seamless flow. Plus, it downloads all the videos to your device—and doesn’t hog too much of your phone's precious memory—so you can head off to your personal sanctuary to practice yoga without worrying if you’ll have Internet access. ($3.99; iOS)

Lumosity Many of us spend plenty of time each week exercising our bodies, but what about exercising our minds? Lumosity takes traditional tasks used by neuroscience researchers and turns them into fun games designed to improve everything from memory to attention to problem solving. Just set aside 15 minutes three times a week, and see how learning can be all fun and games. (Free; iOS and Android)

Overall Health

SleepCycle What if your alarm clock didn’t jolt you out of bed every morning and leave you feeling groggy? That’s where Sleep Cycle comes in. Select the time you want to wake up, place you phone facedown on your bed, and then the app will wake you up sometime in the half-hour window before your alarm when you’re in your lightest sleep. Sleep Cycle uses magic (OK, your phone's accelerometer) to measure movement in bed and pinpoint REM cycles, so it doesn’t wake you up when you're in deep sleep. ($0.99; iOS and Android)

Sleep Bug Can’t fall asleep to the sound of noisy neighbors or honking cars? Sleep Bug is the perfect on-demand white noise machine. Get transported to the beach, a zen garden, or the middle of a jungle with the push of a button. There’s also a custom timer and even the ability to add noises—like rain or a whale’s call—to the scene. (Free; iOS and Android)

Glow Ladies, this is the perfect app to get more in tune with your body (and specifically your menstrual cycle). Glow is a super sophisticated ovulation calendar that tracks ovulation, mood, symptoms, and even medications to help pinpoint your next period, whether you’re attempting to get pregnant or trying to avoid it. Then it can help give recommendations of when is the best time to hit the sheets. (Free; iOS and Android)

HealthTap As this app’s tagline says, “doctor’s are making house calls again.” But this time they’ll be showing up on your smartphone, not your doorstep. Without shelling out any dough, you can text specific questions to doctors and be a part of the healthy living forums that cover topics like eating healthy and stress management. The prime membership ($99/month) allows you to connect with a doctor via texts or or video calls to discuss in-depth issues and treatment plans—without ever having to leave the comforts of home. (Free; iOS and Android)

iTriage Next time you start to feel under the weather, don’t search your symptoms online (sorry, Dr. Google). Pull up this app instead. Developed by two ER doctors, the app asks you a series of questions to try and pinpoint your possible illness. Once it zeroes in on a few possibilities, iTriage helps you through a plan of action. (Should you just get some more rest, or does this require a trip to the doctor or even the emergency room?) (Free; iOS and Android)

Vida You can now have a personal trainer, nutritionist, and health care professional, all in your pocket. Users start off by selecting their health goals, whether they're losing weight, getting fit, reducing stress, or even managing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. The best feature: Users select the type of health coach they’re looking from rah-rah cheerleaders to drop-and-give-me-20 drill sergeants. The app allows you to both text and video chat with your health coach and even syncs up with Apple's Health Kit to keep track of everything from your steps to the amount of sleep you’re getting. ($15/week; iOS)

Twilight By now we know that staring at the screens on our devices before bed seriously throws off our sleep cycles. All that blue light signals to your body that it’s daytime even when it’s pitch black outside. Sure, we could put away our phones a few hours before bed and read a good book or (gasp!) talk to someone in real life. But sometimes that’s just too hard. For those times, Twilight comes to the rescue by slowly removing the blue light from your phone when the sun starts to set outside. (Free; Android)

Productivity

Sunrise Can you make it to dinner tomorrow night? OK, let me check my work calendar, my Google calendar, and my Facebook events. This app stops all of the calendar madness by seamlessly integrating them all into one space. You can even connect the app with your Evernote tasks and services like Eventbrite and Songkick to keep track of the concerts you’ve bought tickets to. (Free; iOS and Android)

IF by IFTTT This app proves how much time we waste every day doing menial tasks that computers can do way more efficiently. The app centers on setting up what it calls "recipes," which come in the form of “if this, then that” statements—hence the acronym IFTTT. Some sample recipes: If it’s snowing in my zip code tomorrow, send me a push notification. If I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook, save it to my Dropbox. If a new post comes up on Craigslist for the type of couch I’m looking for, alert me with an email. Now you’ll have to figure out what to do with all of this newfound free time. (Free; iOS and Android)

Evernote At this point Evernote is basically your second brain. It creates a virtual workspace for both your personal and professional lives where you can make lists, set reminders, take photos, and write notes. It’s then super easy to share any of these posts to keep your family and everyone on your team in the loop. (Free; iOS and Android)

Pocket A great story pops up on your newsfeed, you click on it, and then it gets lost amongst the sea of tabs already open in your browser. Now you can stop telling people at parties, “Oh yeah, I saw that story, but didn’t have a chance to read it.” The Pocket app makes it a cinch to save any story you come across and provides a single space to read them all later. And best of all: You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to read the stories you’ve saved. Yes, your subway commute just got way better. (Free; iOS and Android)

Google Keep If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night with an ingenious idea only to forget it by the time you get up in the morning, you need Google Keep. The app is the perfect place for note taking, making to-do lists, and filing away any random ideas and inspiration. Say buh-bye to all of those random scraps of paper lying around your home. And the app even supports voice-recorded notes (because we all know the best inspiration comes when we’re in the shower). (Free; Android)

Methodology: We asked a number of questions to determine if each app we tested should appear on our list. Is it highly rated? Does it offer something unique? It is user-friendly? Is it reliable and not buggy? Does it drain a smartphone’s battery? Can it continue to grow and innovate? Apps that scored well on all criteria ended up the final list. Do you think we missed an app? Send a message to tips@greatist.com, and we’ll consider it for next year’s ranking.

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