With warmer temps, springtime blooms, and longer days finally here, I’ve been using any excuse to get outside and soak it all in. Whether it’s taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood, moving my lunch break to the patio, or getting a walk around the block while I take a conference call, there’s something to be said about taking a break for some fresh air. Usually a die hard attender of my favorite group workout classes, the quarantine has forced me to change it up and move my workouts to the great outdoors, and I am loving it. At first, I was enjoying just running the trail, but after a couple weeks, I quickly got bored and missed that extra push of motivation I always felt in my group workout classes. So, I started looking to a few workout apps to help me stay motivated, no matter where I am.
The best workout apps make it easy to take my workout anywhere –especially when traveling, or when life gets busy. They also provide awesome motivation, whether you need more variety in your workouts, convenient ways to exercise, accountability buddies, or just a digital nudge to stay committed.
There are so many apps out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But once you find one that fits your workout style and wellness goals, they make it easy to stay on track, no matter where you are. Scroll on for 7 of the best workout apps to try in your own backyard or local park this Spring that will help you stay trim, toned, and balanced with little to no equipment.
Use Fitbit Coach to get a personalized workout based on your FitBit data.
If you never leave home without your trusty Fitbit, this ones for you. The Fitbit Coach app takes the information from your wearable tech to the next level. Through the app, you receive a personal coach that recommends exercises and provides personalized fitness guidance based on your FitBit data. Plus it’s chock-full of on demand workout videos with step-by-step directions and technique tips. You can also customize each sweat session to the best workout music with Fitbit Radio. If you have a Fitbit Ionic, you can access the app right on the watch screen, otherwise you can use your phone, which will use all information synched from your Fitbit to personalize your workout. (iOS and Android, $40/year).
Combine your workout and nutrition goals into one app with 8fit.
For the person who wants to outsource all of their fitness and nutrition planning, 8fit is up to the job. Like having a personal trainer and nutritionist wrapped in one, it creates custom exercise and meal plans based on your goals, your current stats, and—to a degree that other apps don’t—your fine-grained preferences. It asks probing questions (like how many weekly workouts you can handle, how many meals you want per day, how much variety you require in a diet, and how you prefer to meal prep) then spits out an achievable, step-by-step plan—with at-home HIIT workouts and delicious, nutritionist-created recipes—to help you become your fittest self. (iOS and Android, $60/year).
Test your local trails with REI’s Trail Run Project.
Designed for runners of all levels, REI’s Trail Run Project app provides a guide to the best outdoor running trails in your area. While the sidewalks around town can be great to get in a few miles, trail running gets you on softer surfaces, meaning your knees don’t take as much pounding (and you get to see some beautiful scenery while you’re at it!) Use Trail Run Project to see just how many trails are near you, find loops, view images of the trail, and check out the elevation. The best part is that the app works offline, too, which is a life saver if you’re out in an area that’s off the grid and have zero service. There’s no shortage of trails listed in every state, plus Canada, South America, Central America, and Europe. (iOS and Android, free).
HIIT it hard with short, high-intensity workouts on Keelo.
Keelo keeps it simple with pre-programmed HIIT workouts under 20 minutes so you can get in, get sweaty, and get out. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) seems to be all the rage lately, as it’s a great way to get more done in less time, and Keelo makes it easy to get started. There’s no need to keep track of your work and rest intervals or which exercise comes next—all you need to do is concentrate on working hard and the app does the rest. You can also reach out to a coaching team via email for advice and recommendations. The best part? There’s no routine longer than 20 minutes. (iOS and Android, free).
Use Bvddy to get your game on with other sports fans.
Set up a profile on Bvddy to start playing sports and other games with other active people you match with in your area (think Tinder for sports). Your Bvddy profile takes into account your location, skills, and the sports you like and suggests matches who have similar interests. Once you’ve “swiped right” on each other you can coordinate a meet-up, whether it’s a tennis match or ultimate frisbee. You can also join other people’s events or create your own for a group of people, like a hike, kickball league, or a soccer game. (iOS and Android, free).
Try a variety of music-packed workouts on Aaptiv.
Part of the draw of boutique fitness studios is that they combine attentive instructors, sweaty AF workouts, and a perfectly in-sync and instructor-curated soundtrack—and Aaptiv lets you get reap the power of that trifecta right from your phone. For $9.99 a month, you get access to hundreds of “classes” at varying styles, lengths and levels of difficulty. It’s way cheaper than IRL boutique fitness classes but just as stimulating. And with over 2,500 workouts to choose from (and more than 30 new ones
Customize your no-equipment training videos with Sworkit.
Sworkit gives users custom no-equipment training plans, complete with guided videos for each workout. Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session. If you opt for premium ($4.99 per month), the app lets you get even more personalized, by setting the number of reps and the areas of the body you want to focus on. (Free with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android).