10 Free or Cheap Apps to Get Fit in 2017 Without a Gym


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Hoping to get in shape this year? Before you fork over the cash for a gym membership, read this.

Hands down, the single most common New Year’s resolution — every year — is to lose weight/get in shape.

With all that motivation at the start of the year, gyms typically see a spike in memberships. I always get bombarded with online ads and even snail-mail promos telling me about discounted gym offers that are going on the first couple of months of the year.

Tempting, isn’t it?

But don’t sign up just yet. Why not skip the gym and work out at home? You could start by doing chores, but you can also carve out a bit of time a few days a week with at-home exercise options at little or no cost.

Try the Daily Burn, an at-home workout streaming service where you can watch hundreds of videos anytime, anywhere, from any device. You can set up workouts that are tailored to your schedule and body by certified trainers. At $15 a month, it’s much cheaper than many gym memberships. Plus you get the first month free!

If streaming services aren’t your thing, here are 10 of the best apps, free and cheap, to help get you into shape in 2017.

1. HealthyWage

7 minute workoutVGstockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

If you’re competitive like me, HealthyWage is the perfect app for losing weight. You can challenge your friends, family or co-workers to lose weight and you could win big — like real cash big. If you win your challenge, you win money. Getting paid will help keep you on track with your workouts.

2. C25K (Couch to 5K)

Couch to 5Kdotshock / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

In two months you’ll be off your butt and crushing 5K’s. C25K isn’t for longtime runners, but made for those just starting out as competitors. Try to carve out some time in the mornings to get going on this one, as most workouts are about 30-40 minutes.

3. Zombies, Run!

Zombies Runcharnsitr / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

What better way to get your run on then by escaping from zombies? If you suspect the world will eventually come under attack by zombies, this app is perfect for getting prepared. In-app purchases unlock hundreds of stories and missions for you to keep running from zombies and getting your fitness on in an awesome, fun way. “Don’t look back. They’re right behind you!”

4. Pocket Yoga

Pocket Yogafizkes / Shutterstock.com

Platform: Apple and Android

Cost: $3-$5

I love Pocket Yoga. When the weather keeps me inside and I can’t seem to find any motivation, I use this. No matter your device — from mobile to desktop — you can grab this app and a yoga mat to get moving. This is for beginners and advanced yogis alike. There are dozens of variations for your level of expertise, from short 15-minute workouts to hour-long moves. I had never done yoga before downloading this app, and now I love it.

5. FitBit

FitBitKIRAYONAK YULIYA / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

FitBit sells a ton of wearable trackers and any one of them will do, but you’ll need smartphone to get all your data on how you’re crushing your workouts. Whether you’re just looking to track your steps or check your heart rate, the app is customized to the tracker you have, plus it documents your water and food intake and your weight loss over time.

6. Charity Miles

Charity MilesKayaMe / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

If you ever want to quit because you don’t think you’re doing enough, think of what you’re doing for others. Charity Miles donates to a charity of your choice through corporate sponsors, whose ad appears while the app is open. The more you move, the more you earn.

7. 7 Minute Workout

Healthy WageLopolo / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

In seven minutes, you’ve done an entire workout for the day! You can double up if you have it in you, but with limited time, this is one of the best options for short but truly effective workouts. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it: I’ve used this myself, and it’s the real deal!

 8. MyFitnessPal

designer491 / Shutterstock.comdesigner491 / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

I’ve used this app for a few years to track my calorie intake, and it’s one of the oldest and most trustworthy health apps around. It’s easy to use on desktop or mobile devices. With a quick scan of the food you’re eating, you’ve added your calories! You can also track your water intake and exercise to make sure you’re burning enough calories.

9. Health

Health appJacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone

Cost: Free

Good news for iPhone users: The Health app is automatically installed on your phone, just like Safari, Weather, and Mail! It tracks your activity and nutrition like many other apps do, but it also stays up on your body measurements, reproductive health and your health records. It’s probably the most comprehensive health app you’ve ever used.

10. Spotify Running

SpotifyGlebStock / Shutterstock.com

Platform: iPhone and Android

Cost: Free

Chances are you’ve already got a music streaming service on your phone, and some of us may actually pay for it. Spotify Running pairs music you love to your running style. There’s a genre and playlist for every occasion. If music pushes you to get moving, this app is for you.

Bonus: Swagbucks Exercise Video

Iokov Filimonov / Shutterstock.comIokov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

If you’ve never heard of Swagbucks, it’s an online rewards program that will pay you for watching videos, taking surveys, using its search engine and playing games, as well as give you cash back for online purchases at thousands of retailers including Amazon and Walmart. Click here to see everything it offers.

But the reason we’re mentioning Swagbucks here is that they have a collection of fitness videos, so you can earn while you burn!

What are your favorite workout apps? Share them in the comments.

Stacy Johnson

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