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7 best fitness apps

What fitness tribe do you belong to? Whether walker, runner or gym-bunny there’s an app for that – and here are seven of the best

1. For THE TRAVELLER : Sworkit, Free

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SworkitIconSworkit is the new circuit-training app taking mobile fitness by storm. Designed and created by Ryan Hanna, an ex-officer in the US Army, its iTunes reviews are awash with stars. There’s also been a great reception with the press, and it was recently named one of Gizmodo’s iPhone Apps of the Week. Sworkit provides its users with workouts that can be done anywhere, no equipment required. They range from five minutes to sixty minutes, and can be tailored to which part of your body you want to work on. The app itself is sleek and stylish with an easy-to-use interface (you can try it for yourself on their website now). With 106 workouts to choose from, Sworkit randomizes your routine to keep you healthy and having fun. There is also Sworkit Pro, downloadable for £0.69. Read Healthista’s review of Sworkit

 2. For THE TIME-PRESSED : Hot5, Free

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Hot5iconIf an hour-long gym session isn’t your thing, or you just simply don’t have the time, Hot5 could be your app. It’s being proven more and more by emerging workouts like Tabata that exercising hard in a short space of time can increase the calories you burn, as you carry on burning even after the workout is over. This is Hot5’s method. The five-minute video tutorials have been designed to suit a hectic lifestyle, but yet still give you great benefits. The tutorials are taken by one of seven trainers, who specialise in areas from functional strength to getting your hot bikini body. When downloading the app you are given 500 credits and you can unlock new workouts as you go along. The idea is that if you keep coming back, if only for five minutes a day, you should never run out of credits. It suits a range of abilities and has a leader board function too. Bring on the competition. Read Healthista’s review of the Hot5

3. For THE WALKER : Citymapper, Free

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CitymapperIconReviewers have named Citymapper ‘most useful’ and ‘best transport’ app around, but I can tell you from first hand experience… it’s so much better than that! After downloading it, purely for research purposes, I haven’t been able to put it down. Who knew planning routes across London could actually be amusing? The fastest of any transport-planning apps I’ve used, Citymapper plans your journey from A to B helpfully using places as well as street names and postcodes. It generates a route for walking, cycling, public transport and even taxis. All come with a calculated duration and from health a point of view, the walking and cycling options also have calories burned. There’s a ‘Rain Safe’ option and if you’ve always wondered long it would take to get to Big Ben by catapult… Oh no, I’m not joking! These quirky modes of transport only appear randomly, but so far we’ve found catapult, jetpack and teleporting.

4. For THE BEGINNER : Prime Mover, £0.69

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PrimeMoverIconNamed App of The Week by The Sun and The Guardian Online, as well as winning Best New Fitness App 2013 at the SM4B Business Awards, Prime Mover is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. It starts at a basic level and works its way up; perfect for encouraging the fitness novice. The app’s zero-to-hero features also include motivating messages, special designed music tracks, precise resting times, progress trackers, and even a ‘Before and After’ photo feature. Like Hot5, the three levels of difficulty also have a game-style interface, so you can challenge yourself and your friends. Prime Mover has a great social media presence, meaning support from professionals and other users is easy to obtain. Read Healthista’s review of the Prime Mover

5. For THE GYM BUNNY : Nike Training Club, Free

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NikeTCIconWant to work out with the stars? The Nike Training Club app has more than 100 custom-built workouts to get you lean, toned and strong, and as you go, you can unlock extra workouts with Hope Solo, Serena Williams, Paula Radcliffe and Rihanna’s personal trainer Ary Nuñez. You start by choosing your goal and level, and then select from a list of workouts that meet your criteria. One customer who gave the app five stars said the ‘workouts are easy to follow. But’s it’s challenging too. It’s giving my muscles a run for their money!’. And when you’re ready to show off, you can share your achievements on Facebook and Twitter for even more rewards. Read Healthista’s Sports Ed. Adele Norris’s review Take a live Nike Training Club Class at Be:Fit London

6. For THE RUNNER : RunKeeper, Free

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RunKeeperIconOn paper, RunKeeper certainly looks like a great app, with more than 20 million users, 86 per cent positive feedback and an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 from nearly 23,000 reviewers. But for Healthista, the confirmation came when it was recommended by one of our readers. Not a running fan, this reader found RunKeeper kept her motivated: ‘I like everything about it! I’m training for the RPF Half Marathon and being able to see how I’m doing as I run really pushes me.” RunKeeper has so many great features – Detailed statistics for pace, distance and time, heart rate monitors, settings for personal bests, targets and goals, and you can integrate all of your data with many other apps including MyFitnessPal. There’s a social interface built into the app too so that you can like and share activities with your friends. RunKeeper is also suited to walkers, hikers and cyclers.

7. For THE YOGI : Yoga Studio, £1.99

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YogaStudioThere’s so much competition out there for yoga apps, but it’s important to get a good one. As well as being runner up for Best App Ever, it comes with recommendations from Apple, Gizmodo, Fox, MSN, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. Yoga Studio is beautifully designed, with an elegant and easy to follow interface. Follow one of the 30 ready-made HD videos (which features a real person rather then a creep 3D animation) or create a class for yourself by building in poses from their vast list. Each pose has a thorough description and you can add them the best to Favourites. Once you have created your personalized class, you can also schedule it into your phone’s calendar. Another great app if you travel.


lydia headshotLydia Jones blogs at

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