Discounts on gym memberships can be tempting, but working out at home can be as easy as pulling out your smartphone.
A host of fitness apps can spare you the cost of a gym membership — not to mention the time and cost of driving to the gym.
In fact, they enable you to get an effective workout in as little as seven minutes. Many of these apps are free, too.
To help you get into shape this year, following are some of the best free fitness apps.
Just note that while each app is free or has a free version, some of these apps also offer in-app purchases or have a sister app that is not free. Each app is also available for both Android and Apple mobile devices unless otherwise stated.
If you’re competitive like me, HealthyWage is the perfect app for losing weight. You could win big — real-cash big.
You can place a bet on your own weight-loss goal, and if you win your challenge, you win money.
To learn more about HealthyWage, check out “How to Earn Money by Losing Weight.”
2. 7 Minute Workout
This app is one of the best options for short but effective workouts. It was designed by Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.
I’ve used 7 Minute Workout myself, and it’s the real deal.
I’ve used MyFitnessPal for several years to track my calorie intake. It’s one of the oldest and most trustworthy health apps around.
Logging calories is as easy as doing a quick scan of the packages of foods you’re eating. You can also track your water intake and exercise to make sure you’re burning enough calories.
Apple’s Health app tracks your activity and nutrition like many other apps do. It also helps you keep tabs on your body measurements, reproductive health and health records.
It’s probably the most comprehensive wellness app — and it comes pre-installed on many iPhones.
5. Charity Miles
If you ever want to quit exercising because you don’t think you can do enough, think of what you could be doing for others.
Charity Miles donates to a charity of your choice through corporate sponsors. There are more than 40 charities to pick from.
The more miles you move, the more you earn for your charity.
In two months, you’ll be off your couch and crushing 5K runs with this app. C25K isn’t designed for longtime runners but instead targets first-time runners, to help them prepare to compete in a 5-kilometer run.
Try to carve out some time in the mornings for this one, as most workouts are about 30 to 40 minutes.
7. Zombies, Run!
What better way to get your run on than by escaping from zombies? If you suspect the world will eventually come under attack by the undead, Zombies, Run! is the perfect app to help you get prepared.
In short, you will hear music and also receive post-apocalyptic missions through your headphones. When the app says you’re being chased by zombies — which you’ll hear, too — you must speed up.
What are your favorite workout apps? Share them in the comments or on our Facebook page.