Using Your Smartphone to Get Fit

Our picks for the top 10 mobile fitness apps.
Using Your Smartphone to Get Fit
Just as your smartphone makes it easy to find healthy recipes and track everything you put in your mouth, so too can it help you learn new exercises, train for an upcoming goal (5K, anyone?), map your routes and monitor your progress. We sampled an assortment of mobile exercise apps, determined to find the most useful and motivational programs in the bunch. Our top finds follow:

1. Best virtual treadmill:iTreadmill(iPhone, $1.99)
No time or money for the gym, and no desire to exercise outside in the winter weather? There’s an app for that. Walk or run in place at home, at work, during business travel — with your phone in hand or in your pocket — and the impressively accurate iTreadmill will tally your steps, distance, time, calories burned and current and average speed and pace.
Hundred PushUps
2. Best push-up trainer: Hundred Pushups(iPhone, $1.99; Windows Phone 7, $0.99)
Want to quickly increase your upper-body strength and tone your chest and shoulders? Train to do 100 consecutive push-ups. This no-frills app promises to get you there in six weeks — with just a 30-minute weekly commitment. Tailoring the increasingly difficult push-up sets to your ability, Hundred Pushups features a rest timer between sets and tracks your daily progress.
3. Best abs workout: ABtastic (iPhone, $1.99)
If you need someone to talk you through those tough abdominal reps, ABtastic can help. Featuring clear-cut instructions and high-quality, trainer-led videos, this app walks you through 15 gut-busting exercises, no matter what your experience level. Why bore yourself with the same old sit-ups day after day when you could mix it up with vertical leg crunches, exercise-ball crunches, hanging knee raises and more?
4. Best on-the-go personal trainer: iFitness Pro (iPhone, $0.99)
This database of 300-plus exercises — organized by body part, muscle group and required equipment — is like having your own digital personal trainer. Try one of the 20 goal-specific routines (from body-toning to business travel), or create a routine yourself. Easy-to-follow exercise descriptions, photos and videos are complemented by extensive tracking features, including a stopwatch, a BMI calculator and progress logs.
5. Most comprehensive exercise database: FitnessBuilder (iPhone, $9.99)
Though pricier than most fitness apps, this one’s worth every penny. Choose from more than 2,300 instructional photos and videos and nearly 300 workouts. Then customize your workout by gender, location (home, hotel, gym, outdoors) and goal (losing weight, toning up, improving heart health and so on). You can also build your own workouts, bookmark favorites, share them with friends and track your progress.
 All-in Yoga
6. Best yoga routines: All-in Yoga (iPhone, $1.99)
This app boasts both a sleek interface and great customization features. Choose a prefab routine for your experience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, guru). Use the 200-pose database — featuring text, photo and video instructions — to create your own. Or enter your age, weight, experience level and goal (balance, flexibility, core-strengthening and so on) to have the app personalize a routine for you.
7. Best motivation for new runners: Ease into 5K (iPhone, $2.99)
Get off the couch and across the 5K finish line! This nine-week training program builds you up from brisk walks and quick jogs to full 45-minute runs, complete with audio prompts for switching between walking and running. Check your progress, create a music playlist and update Twitter and Facebook friends on your growing endurance — all within the app.
 Ski & Snow Report by REI
8. Best app for checking the slopes: REI Snow Report (iPhone, free)
Skiing and snowboarding buffs, this one’s for you. Check snow conditions, weather reports and number of trails and lifts open at your favorite mountains. Follow your favorite resorts’ Twitter feeds and webcams, and get pinged automatically when there’s fresh powder. Once you arrive, use Google Maps and trail maps to get the lay of the land.
9. Best phone-based GPS: RunKeeper (iPhone, Android; free)
Forget investing in a pricy GPS to track your runs, walks, hikes, bike rides or days on the slopes. Using your phone’s GPS capabilities, RunKeeper records the distance, time, speed, route and calories burned for any outdoor activity. Once you hit "save," your data — which include a map of your route — magically sync to the RunKeeper website, where you can track your progress and share it with friends.
10. Best real-time maps: Endomondo (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Garmin devices and more; free)
Not only does this app use GPS technology to track your outdoor-sports stats, it uses Google Maps to display your current route and offers feedback as you progress toward your daily mile count. Besides storing your synced workout data, Endomondo’s website doubles as an exercise community where you can follow friends’ fitness routines and challenge them to healthy competitions.
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