Getting fit is ultimately about time, effort, and determination — you can do it without any technology — but there are a number of iOS apps out there that can help keep you on track past that critical first month.
Couch to 5K
Couch to 5K ($2.99) is a popular starting point for sedentary people who want to get healthy quickly. The app not only includes a nine-week training plan with voice-guided workouts, but Apple Watch support, route mapping for outdoor runners, and treadmill functions for gym-goers. For the diehard, there are matching 10K and half-marathon apps to follow up with.
People beginning strength training should take a look at StrongLifts 5x5, which takes one of the most popular weightlifting regimes and not only teaches it but handles a lot of the menial tasks, such as recording sets and reps, and automatically increasing weights in subsequent workouts. The core app is free and without annoying ads, but in-app purchases add things like data export and extra arm exercises.
FitStar Personal Trainer
Those who want help but can't afford gym rates might want to consider an app like FitStar Personal Trainer. Although it requires a Premium subscription to truly be useful (costing $7.99 a month or $39.99 per year), it includes a variety of adaptive bodyweight workout programs for different goals, with demonstration videos and platform support including HealthKit, Fitbit, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal, with weight as well as activity data.
Runtastic is well known for its flagship running app — which is certainly worth trying — but the new kid on the block is Runtastic Results, which focuses on customized bodyweight workouts organized into 12-week plans, incorporating video for each exercise. Results carries even more expensive subscription fees than FitStar ($9.99 per month/$49.99 per year), and its platform integration is limited to HealthKit, but the format could still be what some people are searching for.
Now technically known as "Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker," MyFitnessPal covers the aspect of fitness that's just as important as exercise, if not moreso. It makes it ridiculously easy to record meals, set gain and loss goals, and keep track of both calories and individual nutrients. Because it's integrated with every fitness platform under the sun, it can even factor in workouts and real recorded weight. Essential features can be used for free, though a Premium subscription ($9.99 per month/$49.99 per year) is needed to unlock everything.
Strava is all about GPS tracking and mapping — more importantly, for both running and cycling. Cyclists will often swear by the app, and it's not hard to see why, since it lets you create your own routes and track data that some similar apps lack, such as elevation and heart rate. There's an Apple Watch app, challenges and social hooks, and various Premium subscription perks like leaderboards and instructional videos. Those cost $5.99 per month, or $59.99 a year.