5 top free fitness apps


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5 top free fitness apps

Fitness apps are a convenient way to keep you motivated and active, and there's something to suit every fitness level and taste. We take a look at a few of the best free fitness apps available for iPhone and Android.


Physical inactivity remains a big problem for Australians, with obesity on the rise for both children and adultsi. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 62 per cent of adults did not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week in 2007-08ii.

Incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your day has numerous health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reducing stress, helping to maintain a healthy weight and improving your general mental and physical well-beingiii.

Apps for your smartphone can be great tools to help you boost your daily activity and fitness levels, and with a wide range availableiv to download, there is something for everyone, no matter what your current fitness level is. Here are 5 of the best free fitness apps available for Android and iPhone.

C25K

The C25K app for iPhone or Android.

Couch to 5k is for couch potatoes who aspire to one day run 5km without breaking a sweat! This free app's simple training sessions require a commitment of 30 minute workouts three times a week for eight weeks, and involve alternating between walking and running as you build strength and endurancev. After the two month period, C25K app-users will be able to run 5km with ease and take part in fun runs in no time! With over 50,000 app-users in Australia and over 2,000 new users a day worldwidev, C25K is proving to be a very popular way to get running and get fit. Couch To 5k is available for iPhone and Android.

The Nike Training Club app for iPhone and Android.

Nike Training Club

Like having a personal trainer, Nike Training Club makes it easier to exercise with a variety of planned workout sessions and audio guidance to keep you on trackvi. The app is designed for women looking to improve their fitness levels by focusing on strength, cardio, interval and core training, either with 30-45 minute full-body workouts or 15 minute targeted training sessionsvii. There's also motivation to stick to your fitness goals, as when you reach a milestone, the app offers rewards including exclusive professional athletes' training advice and workoutsvii. The Nike Training Club app has over a hundred different workouts, as well as plenty of great features like video demonstrations and the ability to set workouts to your own musicvii. Nike Training Club is available for iPhone and Android.

The MapMyWalk app for iPhone and Android.

MapMyWalk

If walking for fitness is your preferred exercise, then MapMyWalk might be the perfect app for you. MapMyWalk automatically maps your walking route and records all of its details including duration, pace, speed and distanceviii. The app also records the amount of kilojoules burnt throughout each walk so that you can keep track of weight loss targets and fitness goals. MapMyWalk also lets you share your walking details with others via email or social media so that you can get friends and family involved too, or even set them a challengeviii! MapMyWalk is available for iPhone and Android.

Ivory Consulting's 7 Minute Workout App for iPhone and Android.

7 Minute Workout

If you're low on time but want to see the benefits of a high intensity fitness regime, the 7 Minute Workout is for you. The 7 Minute Workout is based on research which found that exercising at an intense level in short bursts can result in similar benefits to going for a long run or bike rideix. The training session consists of 12 different exercises including push-ups, squats, abdominal crunches and triceps dips, which are performed for 30 seconds at a high intensity with a 10 second interval between eachix. This results in 7 minutes of intense exercise that will leave your heart racingix. Although it might be a gruelling 7 minutes, its advantage is that in less than 10 minutes you can complete a comprehensive full-body workout. Plus, you can do it practically anywhere as all you need is 2m of floor space and a chair or benchix. The free 7 Minute Workout app (also for both Android or iPhone) has illustrated instructions on how to do each exercise and is voice prompted to guide you through the workoutx.

The Nexercise app for iPhone or Android.

Nexercise

Nexercise is built on the principle that exercise and weight loss shouldn't be just hard work, but should be rewarding - in every sense! With this fun and social app, you log your daily exercise activities, whether it's walking, dancing or even doing housework, and earn points for completing it, even if it's only 10 minutes worthxi. Nexercise offers app-users the chance to win rewards after completing an activity, including discounts and gift vouchers to retailersxi. You can also add your friends on Nexercise, and seeing which activities they're doing as well as comparing points and accomplishments adds a healthy level of competition to the appxii. Nexercise makes exercise feel more like a game, so have fun and get active today! Nexercise is available for iPhone and Android.

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i Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013, Overweight and Obesity, Australian Government, viewed 15 October 2013,
http://www.aihw.gov.au/risk-factors-overweight-obesity/

ii Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011, 4835.0.55.001 Measures of Physical Activity in Australia, viewed 16 October 2013,
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4835.0.55.001Main%20Features32007-08?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4835.0.55.001&issue=2007-08&num=&view=

iii National Heart Foundation of Australia 2013, Why active living?, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/why-active-living/Pages/default.aspx

iv McCracken H 2013, 'Who's winning, iOS or Android? All the numbers, all in one place', Time: Tech, 16th April, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://techland.time.com/2013/04/16/ios-vs-android/

v Zen Labs 2012, Exercise for PINK!, factsheet, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://www.exerciseforpink.com/

vi Nike 2013, Nike Training Club, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://www.nike.com/au/en_gb/c/womens-training/apps/nike-training-club

vii Google Play 2013, Nike Training Club, viewed 15th October 2013,
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nike.ntc&hl=en

viii MapmyFitness Inc. 2013, mapmywalk, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://www.mapmywalk.com/app/

ix Reynolds G 2013, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout, 9th May, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?_r=0

x Google Play 2013, 7 Minute Workout – Scientific, viewed 15th October 2013,
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=icab.sevenminuteworkout.android&hl=en

xi Look M 2012, 'Nexercise turns your exercise into rewards', iPhone.AppStorm, 12th December, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://iphone.appstorm.net/reviews/lifestyle/nexercise-turns-your-exercise-into-rewards/

xii Nexercise 2013, About Us, viewed 15th October 2013,
http://www.nexercise.com/about-us/