This is without a doubt the age of the smartphone. Everybody has one. We’re contactable 24/7, wherever we are, and that can often mean that we never switch off and engage with the real world around us. But although there are certainly cons to being glued to a phone all day, there are also plenty of benefits. One of the best things about smartphones is that they enable us to manage our time effectively. Got a spare 5 minutes? Sort out your online banking. Time to kill on the train? Read an e-book or order your granny’s birthday present.

The same goes for fitness. These days, staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to mean spending hours slogging it out on the treadmill. I mean, who has time for that anymore? Even if you can snatch a quick 20 minutes during your lunch hour, as long as you do it consistently, you can get your daily exercise fix and make a real difference to your strength, flexibility and fitness levels.

That said, there are literally hundreds of apps out there, making all sorts of grand claims about being the ultimate exercise tool or optimum calorie cruncher. But not all apps are created equal. So how do you know which ones to download and which ones to delete? To save you even more precious time, we’ve put together a list of the very best fitness apps out there. There’s quite a few to get through though, so we’ve split them out over two separate articles.

Best for newbies – Aaptiv

Access over 2500 workouts on demand from Aaptiv. You’ll find sessions for every level, including beginners, and you can change up your routine whenever you fancy. Sessions include running, cycling, yoga, strength training and much more. They’re all led by a trainer, so even if you’re new to working out you can easily follow the moves.  What’s more, some workouts are as short as 7 minutes long – making this the ideal exercise app for the time-poor. Get a free 30-day trial, then upgrade to the membership.

Best all-rounderNike+ Training Club

This popular, free app from sports giant Nike, offers over 100 workouts ranging from quick 15-minute blasts to longer endurance sessions. Need extra motivation? With this app, you’ll be exercising alongside a host of ‘celeb’ athletes including Serena Williams and Rory McIlroy.

Training for a big run? Try the Nike+ Run Club app, and your runs will automatically sync to your Nike+ Training Club account too. Just do it, as somebody once said.

Best for equipment-free workouts – Freeletics Bodyweight

Don’t have weights or exercise equipment at home? Try Freeletics Bodyweight, which offers workouts that utilise your own body weight, so you can exercise any time and anywhere. The free version of this app features 900 equipment-free workouts, from 5 min HIITs to 30 min strength training sessions.

Best for running and riding – Strava

You’ve probably seen your (mildly annoying) friends sharing their runs and rides online. They’re probably using Strava. It tracks your route, monitors your miles and lets you share your progress with the Strava community (and anyone else you think may be interested!) It’s a great tool, if slightly addictive. Just be careful not to overshare, as you may find yourself with fewer FB friends as a result! Free, with in-app purchases.

Check back next week for recommendations on yoga, circuits, nutrition and more!

Disclaimer

All views are our own, and we don’t act as affiliates for any of the products featured in this article. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. Fitness information provided by The Primal Pantry is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action.