Accessorize Your Workout
Add a new spark to your workout routine with these apps to help you plan, track, and enjoy your exercise!
1. Nike+ Running
"This is just so simple to use, which makes it my favourite app for running," explains celebrity trainer Dalton Wong, founder of TwentyTwo Training . "Compared to all the other running app companions I've tried this is the easiest, and most encouraging of all. You don't need to tap in anything - it just starts up, tracks your route using GPS, and records your distance, time and speed. Plus, you can also challenge friends - or one of the other seven million other members. I love it."
2. Pzziz Sleep
"Without doubt my favourite app of all. The Pzziz sleep app uses binaural beats and sounds, including the sound of the ocean say, to lull your brainwaves into a relaxing, restful sleep - and when you consider that most of us are sleep deprived, an app like this that can recharge our batteries is the one that actually will end up giving us better workouts. I use it for power naps whenever I can - my favourite trick is to have a small espresso, use Pzziz for a snooze - 20 minutes later, I'm recharged and the caffeine starts kicking and I have THE best workout. It's amazing."
Voted app of the year by Men's Journal , think of Fitocracy as the social network of fitness enthusiasts - both those who share your pain, and those experts who can teach you a thing or two about turning it into gain. Ultimately an app to motivate yourself, Fitocracy is designed like a game whereby you log your progress, list your challenges and then smash them - using the guidance and help of the other members who regularly post videos and tips on how to get fit.
4. Train Trip - Weight Off Your Mind
The thinking man's guide to getting fit and getting the weight off, this app uses the power of the mind to reach your dream body - in theory. Hypno-therapeutic audio tracks and neuro-linguistic programmig techniques work on your mind muscles, so that you'll remedy the cause of your weight gain, and not the symptoms.
There isn't one fitness expert who doesn't rate this app - free and easy to use, Myfitnesspal counts your calories by recognising thousands of foods and drinks (down to your specific Starbucks brew of choice) to keep tabs on the eating plan that is accompanying your fitness one. Introduced to us first by the expert team at W10 Performance , it's the only calorie counter we'd use.
6. Workout Hero
"A good choice for crossfit inspired workouts - with some nice tough ones in the mix if you're fit enough," says Jean-Claude Vacassin, health, fitness and performance coach and founder of W10 Performance. It includes 700 workouts with videos, allows you to log your sessions and upload them to Facebook and Twitter, as well as track your friend's training, and now has the healthy addition of over 100,000 Paleo recipes too.
7. Interval Pro
If you're into interval training (constantly changing the tempo of your workout, and the key to burning fat while exercising according to some experts) then you'll be into this app which helps you keep track of work and rest periods, without having to click a stopwatch. It sounds simple - it is - but the way it buzzes when your work, rest or play allocation is over is effective. It comes recommended again by Vacassin, who also put forward the Tabata Pro, £1.99, timer if the four minute workout phenomenon bug has bitten you too.
8. Nike+ Training Club
Yes it's our second Nike nomination, but with a serious team of Nike Master Trainers (many of them at Olympian standard) behind the 100 full body workouts on this app, as well as some know how from Nike's research team, we had to include it - plus it just got an update (with customised content, four week programmes and bonus athlete workouts included for anyone, 'Maria Sharapova's New Year Crush' workout anyone?). We also really like the app navigation, and the way the 15, 30 or 45 minute drills are broken down into simple stints of functional training for the entire body. If you're already a member of a gym, this app is a great little personal training partner as Nike Training Club workouts often include weights and machines for maximum output. Don't forget to share your hard earned efforts with friends using the app too.
9. ViewRanger Outdoors GPS & Maps
If you prefer the great outdoors to the confines of a studio, then let this off road app locate your nearest cycling, hiking, swimming, running and horse riding routes - and even bird watching spot if you have a mid run twitch. Not that we want to put you off, but it also lists the nearest rescue organisations.
10. Tempo Run
Scientists at Brunel University proved that listening to music while exercising could increase your endurance by up to 15 per cent. However, there's a catch - it's not just about playing your favourite song, it's about getting the tempo right (of about 120 to 140 beats a minute according to Brunel's sports scientists). Step up Tempo Run: this app looks at all of the music on your smartphone and categorizes it all by tempo. Tempo Run allows you to sync your run (or jog, or walk) with the most tempo sensitive of your songs so that the beat is neither too slow (too boring) nor too fast (exhausting).