Get Mobile Fit: The Best Running Apps for your Smart Phone
Do you live near landscaped parks, the beach, scenic lakes, reserves, bushland or established path ways? Do you see active people jogging every morning and evening while you’re driving, wanting that same motivation to be like them?
Running for some of us, is hard work. Whether it is a motivational thing, a mental thing, or a physical thing – some of us have a hard time committing to running. Although exercise is a pain, it’s what we need to do regularly to be healthy and strong.
This is where apps come in to make it all better. Enter the ‘Mobile Fit’ era – where taking your smart phone walking, jogging, cycling or running is not just for listening to music or being on standby to text and call friends. It’s also for monitoring your progress and keeping you up to date with your improvements. These apps can help you grind through the exercise showing you how far you’ve come, how far you’ve got to go and most importantly – when you’ve reached your goal.
Here are some of the more popular running apps on the market at the moment. Some are hard-core, others are just a way to get started, and some are interactive and game-like. Check them out below:
“A perennial favorite among runners, Runkeeper (Android, iOS) uses your phone’s GPS to track your running, cycling, hiking and other distance activities. The app records your pace, distance, total exercise time, calories burned and other useful metrics, while also allowing you to take and tag pictures on the go. Users can go freeform, or download and follow popular running routes. You can measure your progress and workout history, as well as sync with numerous other apps and services and receive detailed reports of your tracked activity.” – Toms Guide
“If you’re using a FitBit to count your steps, there’s a good chance you’re using the FitBit app. It’s not a traditional running/walking app in the sense that it helps guide your exercise. The FitBit app is more about counting than it is tracking, we suppose. But it does a great job with pure distance and calories burned, and it’ll separate active minutes from the minutes in which you’re just milling around.
The app is free, and some phones can take advantage of it without having to buy into FitBit’s accessories line.” – Android Central
“Runtastic (Android, iOS) uses GPS to track and map your distance exercises, monitoring time, speed and distance, and plots your route in real-time. A personal exercise diary keeps track of your running metrics, and your routes can also be viewed in a Google Earth-style view. A configurable dashboard, detailed graphs of your exercise information, progress sharing over social networks and numerous training plans round out this neat exercise app.” – Toms Guide
4. Nike+ Running
“Nike may have stopped developing the FuelBand, but the company still makes a mean running app in Nike+ Running (Android, iOS). Whether on a treadmill, trail or track, the app accurately records your pace, distance traveled and time, complete with audio feedback and a route map. The app also comes with a host of gamified social elements such as sharing runs, achievements and the option to challenge your friends to beat your time or distance run. A neat feature is the ability to load a “Power Song” of your choice, for when you need some extra mid-run oomph.” – Toms Guide
5. Zombines, Run!
“Now in its third season, Zombies, Run! (Android, iOS) is a run tracker app that gamifies your exercise routine by adding a zombie apocalypse narrative to your workouts. You are a Runner, evading zombies (ever present in the ambient sound that plays in your headphones) while trying to fulfill your mission goals. The story unfolds over a series of 30-minute-long episodes, with users accompanied by a narrative story track and spurred to sprint by the sound of approaching zombies. As you complete runs, you gather items and achievements that can be used to develop a home base. Purchasing the app unlocks the whole first season, with additional seasons available as in-app purchases.” – Toms Guide
6. Charity Miles
“Running for fitness is in many ways its own reward, but those looking for more reasons to push themselves harder and faster can check out Charity Miles (Android, iOS), a running tracker that lets you turn your miles into donations for your favorite charities. Users simply select a charity they want to run or bike for, and then off you go. Every mile earns your chosen charity 25 cents for running or walking, or 10 cents for biking, with the money pledged by various corporate sponsors”. – Toms Guide
“Active.com’s Couch-to-5K (Android, iOS) is designed to gently ease couch potatoes and casual runners and joggers into running 5K courses over time. Users are provided a training course of 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week over nine weeks, to build up a runner’s stamina from wheezing wreck to race-winner. Users can choose from four virtual coaches, complete with accompanying audio cues to help motivate them on the run, with automatic or manual logging for easily keep track of your progress.” – Toms Guide
Endomondo Sports Tracker (Android, iOS) is a fitness app that allows you to record and track progress with just about any distance-based sporting activity, such as running and cycling. Endomondo Sports Tracker tracks duration, distance and calories burned, and diplays your route on a map. You can schedule exercises and goals, complete with feedback from an audio coach. An added social dimension allows you to post workouts, compare progress, and send and receive pep talks. – Toms Guide
Which of the above would be one you would use?
Featured Image Credit: Android Central