Maintaining a fit, healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to prevent foot or ankle injuries in the first place. Sure, sometimes injuries are unavoidable — we all have slipped on ice in the winter or missed the last step on a flight of stairs — but keeping our bodies in shape does reduce the chance of an accident leading to serious surgery.
The fitness revolution has come a long way since the days of leg warmers and Olivia Newton-John. Today, our phones can track a seemingly endless number of data points about our bodies and our habits. This allows us to work out more intelligently and get in better shape faster.
Here are 40 new and newly updated fitness apps for smartphone and tablets that are great for measuring your own progress, keeping track of what you eat, keeping you safe when out biking or running, and getting you motivated to meet your fitness goals. Even if you don’t have access to a gym or the resources to spend money on equipment, there is an app that will help get you in shape.
ARGUS (iOS): Free
ARGUS verges on science fiction with the way it tracks everything you do automatically. From your sleep rhythm to your workout to what you eat, ARGUS lets you keep tabs on (and improve upon) everything in your life with a touch of a button.
PUMATRAC (iOS): Free
You will learn a crazy amount about yourself using this free app from Puma. The app will track your calories and performance as well as circumstantial conditions such as weather or even day of the week. Then, it will give you specific insights such as what songs are best for your workout, and under which weather conditions your perform better.
Reporter (iOS): $3.99
Reporter tracks data points in your life by randomly sending you a few survey questions throughout the day. Over time, it builds a profile of your activities: How much you exercise, who you spend the most time with, what you are eating. With those insights, you can begin to make healthier decisions on a day-to-day basis.
LittleBit (iOS): $2.99
LittleBit reinforces good habits by reminding you to do whatever it is you need help with. Whether that’s flossing or doing crunches, LittleBit will remind you. The app also has a points system to incentivize good behavior.
Fitbit (iOS / Android / Windows): Free
Fitbit is one of the best free activity trackers, and it is available on multiple platforms. Fitbitallows you to manage your weight, sleep better, stay motivated and get in shape through logging and analytics.
Reps & Sets (iOS): $1.99
Because it’s clunky to carry a notebook around with you at the gym, Reps & Sets lets you track your gains easily and precisely on your phone. Inputs are easy, often with just a swipe, and after your workout you’ll find charts and analytics so you can perfect your routine.
8. StrengthCalc Natty Edition (Android): Free
Log your numbers as you lift weights, and this app will select weightlifting exercises just right for your level of strength. The interface might not win any design awards, but the information is spot-on.
FitnessFast 3 (iOS): $1.99
FitnessFast tracks your gym results, your body metrics (think BMI and lean body mass) and your daily sleep. It then combines this data to help you put together an optimized fitness program. The app also comes with a library of workout and exercise videos that you can tailor to your own program.
MapMyFitness (iOS / Android): Free
MapMyFitness is one of the most robust trackers available, with some 600 types of activities available for tracking. Keep tabs on time, distances traveled and calories burned.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock (iOS): $0.99 | SleepBot Sleep Cycle Alarm (Android): Free
Both of these apps track your sleeping rhythm so you can know when you entered certain sleep cycles. The best part is you can set an alarm that will anticipate which stage of sleep you are in, and it will wake you up before you settle too deeply into sleep right before you need to wake up.
Fitocracy Macros (iOS): Free
Fitocracy Macros is perhaps the best food monitoring app available. It is intuitive to use and clear in its instructions. Use this if you need to lose weight.
Lose It! (iOS / Android): Free
Lose It! makes tracking calories a breeze. When you enter a weight-loss goal, the app will measure your current intake and give you advice on what to do to meet those goals.
Noom Weight (iOS / Android): Free
Noom tracks what you eat and what exercises you do, and as it builds a profile for you, it can begin to recommend health-related articles and advise you on your dietary choices.
Fooducate (iOS / Android): Free
When you are at the grocery store, simply scan a bar code with Fooducate, and it will give you a more in-depth nutritional profile of the item, plus it can recommend healthier options. Fooducate can also track your diet and exercise.
HealthyOut (iOS / Android): Free
If you are on a special diet, just plug your restrictions into this app and tell it where you are dining. HealthyOut will recommend something on the menu you can eat and also give you an estimated caloric breakdown of the dish.
Rise (iOS): $15/week
Rise turns you iPhone into a nutrition coach … or at least it connects you with one, live. Your coach will be available around the clock to help you with meal plans, give you feed back and inspire you to make healthy choices. The price sounds steep for an app, but it’s a bargain compared to what hiring a nutritionist locally would cost you.
Walking / Running
Zombies, Run! 5K Trainer (iOS / Android): $1.99
This app features an audio program that works over the course of eight weeks to get you trained properly to run a 5K. There are 25 workouts in all, plus a horde of zombies you will have to evade.
Spring (iOS): Free
Spring is great for tracking calories and distance run and everything, but it’s killer feature is it synchs up music to your running rhythm. Spring literally helps you find your groove.
Virtual Runner (iOS): Free, in-app purchases
Running on the treadmill gets old fast. Virtual Runner alleviates that boredom by taking you along running routes in some fantastic places. Routes include through Central Park, through the Australian Outback and through the hills of Bali. The videos even respond to your own speed, making the experience all the more immersive.
The Walk (iOS / Android): $2.99
The Walk is really one big video game disguised as a workout app. As it tracks your steps taken and minutes spent walking, it unlocks new levels in the surprisingly addictive storyline.
Boston Marathon World Run (iOS / Android): Free
Can’t make it to Boston for the marathon? No problem. This app lets you tap into the community of marathon runners, letting you pledge a certain distance run, hooking you up with certificates of participation, and making it easy for anyone to donate to the One Fund Boston, set up in response to the 2013 bombings.
StravaRunning and Cycling GPS (iOS / Android): Free, premium access is $5.99/month
At its heart, Strava is a GPS tracker, but it also connects you with other runners and cyclists to measure your performance against theirs and even compete, if you want to.
Schwinn CycleNav (iOS / Android): Free app, hardware is about $60
Schwinn’s new CycleNav app lets you track your bike rides with GPS without having to worry about hooking your $500 phone to the handlebars. Instead, the company sells a separate device that sends all the data to your smartphone, which you have stored away safely at home.
Road ID (iOS): Free
Road ID lets your family and friends follow your location when you go running, biking or hiking solo. Feel safer knowing you’re never alone.
Fitocracy (iOS / Android): Free
Fitocracy taps you into an inspiring community of other users who will motivate you to meet your fitness goals. This app also comes with 900-plus exercises and nutritional challenges.
Tribesports Training (iOS / Android): Free
Tribesports has a huge online community of people trying to get or stay fit, motivating one another in the process. This app taps into that inspirational resource while also offering tracking and logging of your workouts.
Performance Stretching (iOS): $2.99
This app shows you exactly the right way to stretch before and after any sport or exercise you do. In-app videos demonstrate techniques for more than 150 types of stretches.
Runtastic Six Pack Abs (iOS / Android): Free
Runtastic’s apps dish out tough love and won’t accept excuses for not exercising. The Six Pack Abs app comes with more than 50 HD workout videos. Users are reporting some bugs in the latest versions of both iOS and Android, but look for those to get fixed in the next releases.
Johnson & Johnson’s 7-Minute Workout App (iOS / Android): Free
This app does just what it promises: Gives you a quick, seven-minute workout. Because the app is backed by Johnson & Johnson, no corners were cut in the design or quality of the video. One thing to watch out for: This app is big. The Android version is 43 MB, and the iOS version is 125 MB.
Tabata Trainer (iOS): $1.99
This app is great if you want to burn calories in a hurry. It comes preloaded with a library of training cycles that work on a system of 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest. Seriously, you will be almost out of breath at the 4-minute mark.
Sworkit Pro (iOS / Android): $0.99
Sworkit Pro will help you create a custom circuit-training program for whatever parts of your body you want to train. There are also 12 preloaded routines for general circuit training.
Gym PocketGuide (Windows Phone): Free, pro version is $0.99
This app from Bodybuilding.com lets you track the progress of your workout and create custom training programs. It’s far and away the best workout app for Windows Phone users.
GAIN Fitness (iOS): Free
This is one of the best free personal training apps out there. Even if you have just a roll-up mat and some hand weights, GAIN’s library of 1300-plus exercises will find a fitness routine that is right for you.
FitStar (iOS): Free
Fourteen-time Pro Bowler and certain NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez becomes your personal trainer with this app. It also tracks your progress so it can throw new, surprising challenges at you.
Nike Training Club (iOS / Android): Free
Nike tapped into its network of athlete endorsers and affiliates to create authoritative workout videos for everyone. Choose your fitness goals, and the app will customize workout videos to suit your program.
Charity Miles (iOS / Android): Free
By partnering with corporate sponsors, this free app lets you donate your energy to charities of your choice. Walk, run or bike, and each mile counts as a donation. There is an upper limit of $1,000,000, but if you became responsible for a chunk of that donation, you will have transformed yourself and made the world a better place in the process.
Cody (iOS): Free, in-app purchases
Turn your social network into your own cheering section. Log your activity, share achievements and fitness goals with your friends, and get real support in your progress from others doing the same.
EveryMove (iOS / Android): Free
EveryMove motivates you with real-life rewards for meeting fitness goals. By partnering with insurance companies, charities and big-name brands, EveryMove lets you cash in on some great rewards, including donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.