We could list a million reasons to love fall and winter, but one not-so-loveable side effect of these two seasons is that as the temperatures drop and the sunlight starts to dwindle earlier each day, you might find that your motivation to work out begins to take a dip, too.
Don’t worry, though. You’re totally not alone. Your drive to snuggle up on the couch with a hot chocolate and your favorite Netflix series is only natural. Not that you can’t or shouldn’t do that, just that you don’t want to end up neglecting your exercise routine as a result.
That’s where these apps come into play. Whether you’re looking for a tool that can help reboot your current workout routine or you want to kick-start a totally new plan, using an app is one of the best ways to make sure you’ll stay on track. Quite frankly, though, browsing through fitness apps can be fairly overwhelming. There are so many to choose from that by the time you weigh all of your options you’ll be too exhausted to even think about working out.
OK, we’re totally exaggerating. But there are a lot to choose from, so to help make finding the best one for you just a tiny bit easier, we rounded up this list of 11 apps (some brand new and some that have been around for a while) that will easily help keep your fall and winter workout plan on track all the way through spring and beyond.
Saying goodbye to summer means most runners will soon be headed for the “dreadmill.” Maybe running indoors isn’t your favorite, but when you’ve got no other option RunSocial will help cure your winter running boredom and make your treadmill workouts exponentially more enjoyable (yes, you read that right — enjoyable). How is that possible, you ask? The app features a virtual reality-esque function that blends HD real-world video, 3D virtual world capabilities and social connectivity — essentially allowing users to run almost anywhere in the world. Designed specifically for devices with larger screens (like your iPad), RunSocial lets you visualize an outdoor run (in places like Italy, the Swiss Alps and Sequoia National Forest) while you log miles on the treadmill. Plus, for even more motivation you can “run with your friends” in real time and share your goals and accomplishments within the RunSocial community and beyond.
Remember those Tamagotchi toys from the 90s? Well this app is just like that, only better, because it helps boost your motivation to stay active and fit. Tep features an adorable virtual pet giraffe named Teppy, who relies on you for survival. For example, if Teppy is hungry, you’ll get a push notification — to feed him you have to earn coins by logging exercise. The longer you’re active, the more coins you earn. Tep also offers other motivational features, like a virtual coach and a diary so you can log and keep track of your progress.
Sworkit’s goal is to help you simplify exercise. With this app you can work out anytime and anywhere, without any equipment. In other words, when the weather is frightful and the chance of you leaving home is zero, this app allows you to still get an effective workout in. Sworkit features 20 pre-built routines and allows you customize each based on how much time you have to exercise. Plus, it caters to exercisers of all levels by providing video instruction and audio cues throughout the workout so it’s easy for anyone to follow along.
If keeping a very detailed log of your goals, activity and progress is what helps keep you on track, then this app is absolutely for you. Using Record, you can track everything from your workouts (pretty much any type of exercise) and daily step count, to your sleep habits and even stats for sports like basketball, baseball and golf. And the app helps you analyze it all by the day, week, month or year, pinpointing patterns and cross-comparing data so you’ll have a 360-degree view of your goals and how to surpass them.
Lifesum is the ultimate app for anyone aiming to build healthier habits in all areas of life. Not only will this app help you keep your exercise goals on track with an activity overview and “body summary” for keeping track of progress and identifying obstacles, but with features like a hydration reminder and nutritional feedback, it can also help improve your diet. The main objective: to help you build healthy habits in small, realistic steps so you’ll stick with them long-term.
Maybe abs aren’t on our minds as much once we say goodbye to summer, but core strength should always be a priority — which is why Runtastic’s Six Pack Abs app is essential. Users can choose to work with one of two trainers (Daniel or Angie) and opt for different types of programs, lasting anywhere from 10 days to a whole month.
At first glance, Fitocracy might seem like you’re run-of-the-mill activity-tracking app, but really, it’s so much more than setting goals and logging workouts. What makes it so unique? Its incredibly enthusiastic community of users. Becoming part of the Fitocracy crowd is like having your own personal cheer squad and trainer in one. With this app you can plan and log workouts, follow other users for inspiration and motivation and unlock achievements based on your goals to help visualize your progress. That’s not all, though. You’ll gain access to free workout plans for all levels and you can join virtual teams that are led by real trainers who will provide personalized workouts and nutritional guides.
Crunched-for-time exercisers will adore this scientifically formulated workout (as featured in the New York Times), which yes, is just seven minutes long. The easy-to-follow app breaks the workout down step by step, telling you what exercise to perform and for how long. It also provides a timer for your rest periods and voice prompts that make it easy to keep moving without having to look at your phone. The best part? Science shows that seven minutes a day can in fact help keep you fit.
For iron-pumpers who plan to spend most of their winter working away in the gym with weights, Bodybuilding.com’s BodySpace app provides some of the most helpful strength training tools available. Lifters can use it to make up their own routines or to follow plans designed by expert trainers. However you choose to use it, with thousands of programs to choose from and a buzzing, supportive community you’ll easily avoid boredom and keep your training on track.
Another excellently-designed app for working out at home (and with little to no equipment), Nike Training Club was designed specifically for females and has an impressive database of exercises and follow-along workouts. The network boasts over 100 full-body routines and structured four-week programs, each inspired by elite Nike athletes and designed by Nike Master Trainers. Each workout provides a detailed video tutorial for every exercise and you can also use the app to track your progress and share your stats on social media.
For runners willing to embrace the cold, but who need just a little bit of extra motivation to help get their butts out the door and into the wintery weather, Charity Miles allows you to make a difference with your fitness — like, literally make a positive difference in the world. For every mile you track while running or walking using Charity Miles, 25 cents is donated to a charity of your choice (10 cents is donated for every mile biked). Exercisers can choose from more than 30 different charities including the ASPCA, Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity and the Ironman Foundation. Plus, not only does the app help to raise money, but awareness too. When you’re finished with your workout you can share your good deed with followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook. We can’t really think of a more meaningful way to spark that motivational fire inside.