Let’s be honest, who doesn’t take their cell phone with them everywhere they go? When booming technology meets a spike in Americans trying to live healthily, something great happens. Or, in this case, several great things happen. With the thousands of calorie counting, step-tracking, heart rate monitoring apps available, Life Hacker listed their favorite tried and trusted apps for iPhone and Android. Many of the apps work behind-the-scenes, so your fitness can be calculated without even thinking about it. So, hop off Instagram and Pinterest and head over to one of these apps below…just long enough to log a great sweat sesh!
If You Just Want to Track Your Daily Steps
Pedometers have been around for a long while and your smartphone is a great way to keep track of your daily steps since you probably always have it in your pocket. That said, the key to a good pedometer app is simplicity. While many apps can track your steps along with all kinds of other things, an app that just tracks steps saves on battery life.
Our favorite pedometer is Runtastic Pedometer for both Android and the iPhone. It keeps track of all your daily steps, compiles that data into pretty graphs, and still manages to keep things simple. That said, for iPhone 5s owners, we like Pedometer++. Since it uses the iPhone motion sensor, it barely uses any of your battery life and it shows your daily step count right from the app’s badge on the home screen.
If You Want to Track Your Runs
You have a ton of options for different apps to track your runs, but your favorite (and ours) is Runkeeper. The reason is pretty simple: it’s free, it tracks your GPS, allows you to create workouts, create routes, make your own music mixes, and just about anything else you’d want from a running app. Importantly, it’s also cross-platform, so if you jump ship from iPhone to Android (or vice versa), you can keep all the data you collect over the years.
What’s nice about Runkeeper is that it does everything it needs to do without a lot of effort from you. If you want, you can simply turn the app on and then go for a run. But if you’d rather dig in and personalize things, Runkeeper allows you to do that. It also supports a ton of third-party accessories if you decide your smartphone isn’t enough.
If You Want to Track Your Cycling
Like tracking your runs, tracking your cycling is all about a solid GPS app that doesn’t kill your battery. For that, we like Strava. Strava works on both Android and the iPhone, as well as a few different GPS devices. It’s also super simple, so it’s easy to use right away. Just launch the app, and you’ll start tracking your location. From there, you can go on a bike trip and Strava will log that data. When you’re done, you can look at where you’ve been, your average speed, and plenty more.
What sets Strava apart from the rest of the options out there is the community. With Strava, you can set up a network of friends and challenge each of them to races. You’ll also find a ton of different public challenges with various routes, inclines, and more.