The Best Health & Fitness Apps (2019)

It’s that time of year again.

Where we make promises we can’t keep…

New Year’s Resolutions!

But don’t worry, you’re not alone…

Here are the top health & fitness apps to keep you on track.

BUT BEFORE WE GET STARTED

Here’s a handy tip: Don’t make such hard to keep promises!

How to Get in Shape

I’m serious…

Most of us make resolutions that are beyond impossible to keep even if we lived like a monk in a monastery.

The problem with resolutions is they’re usually so restrictive that we are destined to fail. We all know it before we start.

HOW TO SEE REAL CHANGE

The trick is to make small, easy changes over weeks and months. Slow, steady and consistent always wins.

How to Eat HealthilyUnfortunately, that’s not very sexy compared to a fad diet that promises to help you lose 2 stone in a week!

SO LET’S GET REAL

I’d like to share with you some of the best health and fitness apps you can download for 2019.

These are designed to make your life healthier, one step at a time and keep you stay on track this year.

FIRST A SUMMARY, THEN A FULL REVIEW

EXERCISE APPS

NUTRITION APPS

MINDFULNESS APPS

NOW TO THE REVIEWS

I have personally used and reviewed each app.

There are a mix of FREE and Paid for apps, some have premium versions.

For each one, I talk about “why it works“, “how it works” and “is it worth it?

If you think it sounds like what you’re after, hop on over to the App Store or Google Play to download it to try out yourself. You can thank me later…

30 Day Fitness Challenge

30 DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE

Change can be challenging…

So starting with a 30 day challenge can help get over that initial hurdle.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so this could be your next healthy habit.

PRICE: £4.49 per week

PROS

  • Creates a training plan for you

  • Easy to follow

  • Good selection of 30 day challenges

CONS

  • Quite expensive

  • No free workouts to try without paying

THE REVIEW

I know what I said about not having a new year’s resolution, but having a time limited challenge is definitely a good way to start off your new year.

You could try this out for the month of Jan, for example. Couple it with a dry Jan and you’ll be dropping fat like a turkey at Christmas time.

WHY IT’S GOOD

Having a set schedule to stick to is a sure fire way to make things happen faster. Having a schedule with an end in sight (30 days) is even better because it helps you think it’s not going to last forever.

Example Workout Plan

Although the price is quite high, perhaps that will mean you’re more likely to stick with it? After all, who wants to be throwing money away? With free apps it’s easy to forget about them and not really care.

With each workout you can see how many minutes it’s roughly going to take you and how many calories you can expect to burn.

That information is really handy to help you plan what sessions to do and how many you have to do to burn off the Christmas pudding you had two portions of…

HOW IT WORKS

You set up some details about how often you workout, how many push-ups you can do, etc and then you can sign-up for the free trial for 1 week.

Warning: The free trial automatically rolls over into full payment so you need to remember to cancel your subscription if you don’t want to keep it.

Example Workout

Once inside, you can choose from a few different options:

  • 30 Day Challenge
  • Library
  • Your Plan

30 days challenges tackle common goals like 6-pack abs, lower-body power or cardio blast.

The library contains over 400 workouts that you can choose from to do at home, in a hotel, at the gym or wherever you are.

It also contains the individual exercises that you’ll be doing so you can practice them easily before you do them in a workout if you’re unsure of how to do them properly.

Your plan is what you can set-up to help keep you on track. It delivers specific training sessions for you to complete over several days of the week.

All of it is customisable, so you can change how many times a week you train, the difficulty level, etc.

30 Day Workout Challenge

IS IT WORTH IT?

It’s hard to justify the £4.49 price tag when you compare it to other apps, such as the Nike Training Club which are 100% free and work in almost the exact same way.

However, with the added pressure of knowing you are paying for something and not using it maybe that is the psychological pressure you need to use it more often.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Nike Training Club

NIKE TRAINING CLUB

Motivating you from day 1…

These high quality, highly motivating workouts should inspire you to start.

Either that or make you feel like you need to buy more Nike sportswear.

PRICE: FREE

PROS

  • Lots of social activity to keep you motivated

  • Super easy to get started

  • Very effective sessions

  • 100% Free

CONS

  • No app will keep you 100% accountable

  • Might be intimidating for complete beginners

THE REVIEW

Not a new app, but definitely a good one.

The Nike Training Club app has everything you need and best of all it’s totally FREE! The options are incredible, yet you can also just get going straight away.

Workouts in FeedWHY IT WORKS

First of all, the app keeps things really simple and easy to use. There’s something to do straight out of the box and the option to create a training plan is great to hold you accountable to a weekly workout.

There is a feed as soon as you log into the app showing the activities like “Workout of The Week“, which you can complete, comment on and “like“.

There’s also featured content like “Athlete Sessions” which show famous athletes who have trained with members, etc.

It’s really motivating and way more engaging than just you and your app. It’s like Facebook for Fitness people.

HOW IT WORKS

It’s perfect for body-weight workouts, especially if you’re at home or travelling with work and don’t have access to a gym.

Nike Training Club Plan Set-upYou can create plans which are tailored to your current ability and activity levels. You simply put in the details in and you’ll be given workouts to complete each day.

The workouts combine cardio, HIIT and body weight training either with or without equipment.

There are workout collections, such as “get leaner stronger abs” which contain multiple workouts you can do to target those muscles.

This is a great feature if there is a specific area of your body you want to target. Just remember, though, that if you want visible abs it’s not just about doing lots of ab workouts.

Featured Session Leaner AbsGetting visible abs is all about having a lower body fat, which is best achieved by doing exercises which burn the most about of energy; fat is just stored energy after all.

You can also link your workouts to your favourite music direct from your phone. I have apple music and it easily allows me to pick an album or playlist to use.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Short answer, YES.

It’s free and so easy to use. If you’re looking for a quick workout to complete at home or without any equipment it’s very motivating and effective.

I’m confident that if you follow along with these workouts consistently, you will get results. You’d have to try hard not to!

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Sweat Coin

SWEAT COIN

Earn money while you walk…

A simple concept which is a great idea. To get you moving more each day through walking.

You can then use the coins you earn to spend them locally on health and fitness products and services.

PRICE: FREE & paid (payment in Sweat Coins)

PROS

  • An easy way to burn extra calories

  • Helps motivate you to walk more often

  • No extra workouts to do

  • Free to use with upgrades available

CONS

  • Only tracks outdoor steps using GPS

  • Limited number of places to spend the coins

  • Earning cap unless you’re a paid member

THE REVIEW

Crypto-currencies were massive last year and even though the news stories have moved on, the currencies are still around.

This innovative way of earning currency by walking is such a great idea and so easy to do that it seems like a no-brainer app to use.

Sweat Coin Steps TakenWHY IT WORKS

Once you have installed Sweat Coin, you can just leave it running when you walk outside and start earning cryptocurrency tokens for it.

It’s not real money, but it can be used to purchase certain services and goods. For example, you can get a free day gym pass in London, among other things.

HOW IT WORKS

You get 0.95 sweat coins for every 1,000 steps you take. On a good day you could take around 10,000 steps so 9.5 sweat coin tokens.

A free gym pass for the day is 5 tokens, so that’s pretty good going.

However, using the free version of the app means you can only earn a maximum of 5 sweat coins per day.

Free Sweat Coin MoverTo get all the coins you actually earned you’d have to pay, but not in money in sweat coins.

There are 4 levels you can choose from, each allowing a high earning potential per day:

  1. Mover: Free, earn up to 5 sweat coins per day
  2. Shaker: 4.75 sweat coins per month, earn up to 10 sweat coins a day
  3. Quaker: 20 sweat coins per month, earn up to 15 sweat coins per day
  4. Breaker: 30 sweat coins per month, earn up to 20 sweat coins per day

There is a 5th option called “Trouble Maker” but that is not yet available.

It links into your Apple Health data app to get information on how many steps you’ve taken. One downside is that it will need constant access to your location which will reduce battery life on your phone.

There is a way to switch this off but it will not track how many steps you are taking. Maybe you can use the sweat coins to purchase an additional phone charger…

IS IT WORTH IT?

Quaker Plan Sweat CoinOn the face of it the idea is pretty good. You’re going to be walking around anyway so why not earn some coins for it?

The other thing to note is that I’m sure it will help motivate you to walk more often. If you are going somewhere and know that you’re potentially earning from it, you’re more likely to walk than get the bus.

Will those coins be valuable? Who knows, but there are certain places you can spend them now and the I’m sure that with the popularity of the app there will be more places to spend them in the future.

My opinion is that it’s worth having on and seeing if you like it or not.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Esquared

ESQUARED

Find local classes…

A pay-as-you-go local gym and class, allowing you to try out new activities.

Similar to class pass but without a monthly commitment. Simply pay and play.

PRICE: FREE to view, paid passes (£6-£14)

PROS

  • Great way to discover local classes and gyms

  • Mix up your training with new activities

  • No commitment, just pay for a class or gym use

CONS

  • Works out expensive if you use it multiple times a week

  • Classes don’t seem that cheap

THE REVIEW

Class Pass was the first mover in this market place to offer this kind of flexibility, or at least that was the first one that went mainstream.

ESquared Fitness ClassesEsquared have come up with a similar concept but it allows you to just book in for the odd class here and there rather than tie you into a monthly, paid contract – that’s what Class Pass does.

WHY IT WORKS

Having plenty of options for training helps keep boredom at bay.

If you’ve ever wanted to try out a boxing or cross fit class, now is your chance without any pressure of signing up.

You can easily book through the app and just turn up on the day. Gone are the days where you have a free trial and then change your phone number!

This means you can check out a variety of classes, gyms and training facilities with a clear conscience and then decide where you’d like to train more frequently.

HOW IT WORKS

You just just into the app and see what’s around. The app is easy to use and intuitive.

Esquared Gym Pass

One thing that I did notice is it automatically shows you the classes only for that day so if it looks like there’s not much on, select a venue and change the date to see what’s available on other days.

The prices seem to vary from around £6-8 for a gym floor pass, so just normal access to a gym for 2 hours, to £12-14 for most classes.

I imagine as a one-off £14 isn’t too bad to try out a class, but if you’re doing this regularly it would soon add up to way over the cost of a normal gym membership.

Ultimately, the goal is to get you to become a paying member which makes sense from the gym’s point of view. This way at least you get to try before you buy.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Yes, for those who don’t want to be tied into a monthly contract and want flexibility it’s very good.

Perfect if you’re travelling around and want to get a session in but don’t know the area or where to train.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Nutrifix

NUTRIFIX

Find local food to match your diet goals…

A handy app to have when out and about and stuck for food ideas that match your goals.

See instantly the cals, carbs, fats and protein values of dishes near you.

PRICE: FREE & paid (from £1 a month)

PROS

  • Find local meals that meet your macros

  • Customisable macro and calorie levels

  • Shows restaurants and shops nearest to you

  • Easy to use, intuitive traffic light system

CONS

  • Premium membership required for detailed nutritional info

  • Only looks at calories and macros, not quality of food

THE REVIEW

The idea behind the Nutrifix app is very cool. It will help you find food nearby that meets your goals in terms of calories, fats, proteins and carbohydrate content.

Nutrifix Pret SandwichThis makes it easy to stick to your target calories and macronutrient split per day.

WHY IT WORKS

Most of us understand more clearly when we get a visual to help us. Using the Nutrifix app you get exactly that. A traffic light system of red for bad, green for good and amber for ok.

By using this system, you can easily see what will help or hinder your daily calorie goals without having to think too much.

I’m sure that you’re already overworked with enough things to worry about so taking food choices away from that list is a good thing.

HOW IT WORKS

Daily Calorie Requirements

Once you put in your details, such as gender, height, weight, activity level, goals, etc you get an estimated daily calorie target to hit.

You also get to see what kind of split of fats, carbs and protein you can have. These are fully adjustable so you can easily change them to your specific requirements.

Then, whenever you look through the food options nearby the app rates the meals against your targets and gives it a score out of 100. The closer to 100 the better.

Nutrifix calculate this by dividing your overall calorie count and macronutrient split by 4 as they assume you’ll have 3 main meals and a couple of snacks.

Hopefully you won’t use this option, but you it is linked to Deliveroo so you can even get your meal delivered. Walking to get it is advised…

Nutrifix ProIS IT WORTH IT?

Yes, it’s really handy and easy to use to find food nearby that will help you hit and not go too far over your calorie target for the day.

It also helps you become more aware of what foods are high or low in protein, fat and carbs. I’m a big believer that once you become more aware of what you are eating it will help you make better decisions.

Also, the free version works well to try it out and then you can upgrade if you’re finding it useful.

The premium version is kind of a necessity as you can’t see the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins without it. But you can see the overall score out of 100.

It’s a great app to have to hand when you’re out and about and aren’t sure what to eat nearby. It will guide you to a choice which is not going to destroy your diet in one sitting.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Tasty

TASTY

Inspiring video recipes…

If you’re not that into cooking, Tasty makes it easy to follow new recipes.

The high quality videos make it seem simple to follow and very inspiring.

PRICE: FREE

PROS

  • Easy to follow video guided recipes

  • Very handy shopping list feature

  • Suitable for beginners, with lots to choose from

  • Very inspiring and makes you want to cook

CONS

  • Looks easier in the video compared to when you do it

  • Can take longer than in the guides

THE REVIEW

The Tasty App is all about food. Bringing you tasty, nutritious and delicious recipes to your phone.

The simple, step-by-step video guides really bring the recipes to life and make it super simple to follow along at home.

WHY IT WORKS

By seeing how the dish is made, the recipes become less overwhelming. Personally, I’m not much of a cook and don’t experiment much with new recipes, but with the videos it makes me think it’s easy to do.

Tasty Meal Options

Giving you the ability to refine your searches by criteria such as “Under 30 Minutes” and by meal or occasion gives you ultimate flexibility in what to make.

HOW IT WORKS

You can easily search through based on your requirements, such as a lunchtime meal that takes less than 30 mins to make.

When you find a recipe that you like, you can see exactly how to make it step-by-step with a short video.

Tasty Meal IngredientsThere is also a written guide and a button to add all the ingredients to your shopping list so you can take it with you to the shop and easily get everything you need.

IS IT WORTH IT?

It’s very good, especially for inspiring those who are not overly comfortable in the kitchen to try out new dishes.

The videos and guides make it very accessible and so convenient. You can easily keep your phone at hand while making the dish to make sure you’re on track, too.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Lifesum

LIFESUM

My Fitness Pal made better…

An engaging, brighter way to track calories and macros.

High quality app with inspiring recipes, cooking ideas and meal plans.

PRICE: FREE & paid (£2-3 a month)

PROS

  • Great looking meal plans for all dietary requirements

  • Inspiring recipe and cooking ideas

  • Visually engaging

  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Can’t see samples of meal plans without premium version

  • No recipes included for free

THE REVIEW

The Lifesum App is like My Fitness Pal but brighter, fresher, more visual and with extra functionality. There are plenty of colourful icons and animations to make it engaging.

Lifesum Food TrackingYou can use it like My Fitness Pal to scan barcodes, track foods, etc but there are also plenty of recipes, food plans and healthy habit ideas to implement.

WHY IT WORKS

By making food tracking more engaging, it’s more likely you’ll stick with it. Tracking is very hard, after all.

By including guides, recipes and healthy habit suggestions it really makes you want to be more engaged with it.

HOW IT WORKS

You can use it for free to track foods, but if you want to check out any of the meals or meal plans it will cost.

It’s not expensive, around £2-3 a month if you subscribe for a year and the meal plans look very good on the face of it.

Meal PlanningI say that because you can’t actually see what’s included, not even a taster (pun intended), which is a little annoying as I’d like to be able to see what I’m getting before making a purchase.

I really liked the sound of the plan “Vegan for a week“.

You can see the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins for each of the meals and how many calories they have. It’s really well laid out and easy to use.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Personally I don’t use My Fitness Pal because I find it too much of a chore to track all the foods I eat, especially when they’re fresh and not out of a packet with a barcode on them.

What I like about the app is that they’ve taken it further, to include recipes and meal plans. That’s a good thing, I just wish they’d give you a sample of what’s included.

I’m sure it’s great and for £2-3 a month you can’t go far wrong.

Meal OptionsWhen you look at the quality of the app, the meal plans and how it’s laid out it does feel very engaging and like it will be motivating to use.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Headspace

HEADSPACE

Bring mindfulness to the masses…

A very accessible way to start including meditation into your daily life.

Easy to use and understand, relaxing and definitely seems to do the trick.

PRICE: FREE & paid (£9.99 a month)

PROS

  • First 10 sessions are free

  • Very accessible and discussed in layman’s terms

  • Only 10 mins per day required

  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Requires the use of your phone to use it

  • Bright light at night can stimulate the mind

THE REVIEW

I was first introduced to Headspace back in 2014. I know this because when I recently re-downloaded it I started where I had finished 4 years ago…

Headspace MeditationsAt that time I was not in the right head space (pun intended) to use it. I was travelling and the last thing on my mind was meditation.

And I think that’s a key point to make. We have to be in the right frame of mind for a particular activity, whether it’s exercise, dieting or meditation.

WHY IT WORKS

The voice of the narrator is very easy to listen to. He has a soft tone and explains everything very well and casually.

The sessions are just 10 minutes long, although if you get the premium version you can make them up to 20 minutes. I feel that 10 minutes is definitely achievable for most people each day.

The animated videos on some of the lessons really help you visualise what they are talking about. Each lesson having a specific focus.

Meditation CategoriesHOW IT WORKS

When you first start using it there are 10 free lessons to listen to. They are an introduction to mindfulness and meditation.

I used them when I was in bed at night before I was about to go to sleep. Sometimes I would fall asleep while listening to them.

In the premium app there are various topics, such as one on cravings. It’s a 30 day set split into three chunks of 10 which cover different topics related to cravings, such as how to notice them and then how to respond.

There are various topics to choose from, such as “movement and sport”, “physical health” and “personal growth”.

You can pick and choose which ones you listen to depending on your mood.

Coping with CravingsIS IT WORTH IT?

Definitely. It really helped me to relax more, especially before going to sleep. I find that just a 10 minute session per day seems to add up so that after a week of doing it you feel a lot more relaxed in day to day life.

Obviously you have to make the time to fit it in, which can be hard when there are distractions like Facebook, Instagram and Netflix.

That’s why just 10 minutes seems very reasonable to fit in and why I think it works so well.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Yoga Studio

YOGA STUDIO

Home based classes to follow…

Yoga Studio is a well produced, high quality app to help you practice more often.

There are a big range of sessions to do which are very varied, too.

PRICE: FREE & paid (£9.49 a month)

PROS

  • Excellent voice commentary explaining each move

  • Good selection of classes

  • Caters for beginners to advanced levels

  • Very calming music

CONS

  • Quite expensive but is good

THE REVIEW

I’m a big fan of yoga, but it’s not something I do enough. I also feel quite intimidated going to classes because most of them are full of women.

Having an app that guides you through is not quite as good as a class, but it’s a second best option and if it means you do it more often that’s a big win.

Yoga Class OptionsYou can use the Yoga Studio App from the comfort of your own home or bedroom, in a private place so you don’t feel so self-conscious.

Or if you’re busy with children or don’t have the time to go out to a class, this is a perfect way to squeeze it in.

WHY IT WORKS

Knowing that the classes are not too long means you’re more likely to do them. 15 minutes is quite reasonable to fit into your day.

There are also longer sessions to complete and build up to.

The classes are varied in what they aim to achieve, from “beginner essentials” to “yoga for back pain”. They really have a lot of areas covered.

HOW IT WORKS

Let’s say you decide to take on a beginners class. You have plenty of different classes lasting varying amounts of time.

You can select one by duration, difficulty or focus of the session so it’s totally up to you what style of session you want to have.

Every class shows you exactly what you will be doing in that class and for how long, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

When you’re ready to start, you download the session and then hit play. This is a good option because it means you can turn your mobile data off when you’re using the app instead of being distracted by messages and alerts.

Yoga Sessions for BeginnersWhen playing the video it goes into full screen, landscape mode so that it’s easier to follow along and nothing else will appear on the screen at the same time.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Yes, it’s really well done and professional. The classes seem to cover almost everything you can think of and the variety in length makes it suitable for those who don’t have much time to do yoga.

Just a 15 minute session is going to help with relaxation, stress relief and flexibility.

Being able to do it at home really is a big win and it feels like you have a very knowledgeable instructor in the room with you talking you through all of the movements.

Although it’s quite pricey, if you compare it to the cost of a yoga class it’s well worth the money.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play
Lumosity

LUMOSITY

Addictive brain training…

This is an engaging and addictive brain training app, based on science.

The aim to to help you improve your memory, focus and how calm you are by completing puzzles and games.

PRICE: FREE & paid (£3 a month)

PROS

  • New, free workouts to try each day

  • Excellent selection of different styles of training

  • Very well designed, easy to use and engaging

CONS

  • Monthly cost is quite high (£8.99) so annual membership seems like the best option (£3 a month)

THE REVIEW

Lumosity is a brain trainer, with the emphasis on solving puzzles and using your mind to give it a workout.

Lumosity Brain Training App

There are a variety of different types of workouts, from visually having to remember combinations of colours to actively directing trains into train stations…

WHY IT WORKS

The games are really addictive, yet based on a simple idea. This helps to keep you engaged.

They also start off easier and gradually build in complexity as you move through the game. It feels like you’re just playing a game really.

Lumosity Player ScoreIt also gives you feedback on how well you did vs other people so you can see what percentage of people you scored better than.

HOW IT WORKS

There are a variety of different styles of game to help develop different areas of your brain. Some are for memory, some for attention and problem solving.

When you play the game you start off by getting a tutorial of how to do it, with a bit of a practice. Then you get thrown into the game properly.

You can pick and choose what games you tackle and you get insights into how well you did so you know where you are stronger and weaker.

Premium Brain Training GamesIS IT WORTH IT?

It’s definitely fun, and it makes you want to continue playing it for quite a while. The selection of games does seem good so I think it would hold your attention for long periods of time.

It’s also been designed by scientists to ensure it’s effective, which is reassuring.

DOWNLOAD NOW

Download from the App Store
Download from Google Play

IN SUMMARY

OK, so that’s a wrap for a review of the best health and fitness apps you can start using today to make you healthier tomorrow!

Which ones will you choose to use?

Share this post with your friends who you want to train with. Sharing is caring…

2019-01-01T19:32:42+00:00