Best Fitness Apps for Staying Active in the City
Big cities aren’t necessarily the ideal places for leading an active lifestyle but with a smartphone in your pocket - or strapped to your arm – and a fistful of the right workout apps, you can turn the urban sprawl into an adventure playground. Plus, with more cities going greener, you can find rail-to-trail bike paths to run on or ride as well as lush parks within or right outside city limits.
Here are seven awesome, active, city apps for working out to help you get up, get out and get in it.
A GPS-tracking app with an extra competitive edge, Strava turns your urban environment into one big race track, breaking up your town into mini competitions. You can set personal records for all or part of your workout and compete with anyone else who’s smashed out the same stretch of trail or tarmac. With this workout tracker app you can clock a time for that killer hill or try to beat another Strava user’s personal record for that bridge-to-bridge run. Every street in your city becomes a chance for glory.
One of the best GPS sports-tracking apps available, Endomondo clocks all your vital stats like time, distance, pace and speed as well as ascent, descent, weather and even how much fluid you’ve lost. On top of that, the workout app maps of your routes across a huge range of city-sports including running, cycling and even fitness walking.
Bonus features let you race against your previous times and make setting up interval training sessions. Plus, for times when you’re feeling unmotivated, there’s a huge online community taking on thousands of competitive challenges with this active app every day. There’s even the option to let your friends fire real-time pep talks directly into your tired brain via your headphones.
7 Minute Workout Challenge
Ok it’s a cliché, but city life has a killer pace that can leave us with less time to get into the outdoors and stay fit. The 7 Minute Workout Challenge is an exercise app that helps solve this. It offers a research-based total body, fat-burning workout that takes just seven minutes.
The workout app gives you twelve super simple exercises to do for just 30 seconds each with 20-second rest intervals. The best bit though, is that all of the exercises are on the app so they can be done absolutely anywhere. There’s no other equipment needed. So it’s ideal for squeezing in a lunch break workout session in one of your city’s green spaces.
If you’re looking for ways to spice up your road runs, you might have heard of Zombies, Run!. It’s a running app that uses GPS tracking and sound broadcast over your headphones to make you feel like you’re being hunted by an army of brain eaters. It’s a great app as long as you like running. The good news for those who don’t like to run is that there’s now an alternative.
The Walk is an active app that follows Zombies, Run!’s lead by using audio to bring adventure to your walking workouts. A story unfolds as you powerwalk your way around the streets and are tasked with completing different missions. But be warned, not many of them are a walk in the park.
A social network, a lifestyle, and city exercise extravaganza rolled into one app, Ingress gets you moving through the real world using your smartphone to unlock secrets while playing a mysterious strategy game. The aim of this city-gamification app is to roam the streets trying to tap sources of a ‘mysterious energy,’ acquiring objects to aid in your quest. You can deploy technology to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of either the Enlightened or the Resistance in this global battle of good and evil. For those not necessarily looking for a workout app, but just a way to get out and explore their city in a different way, this is a great active app for the urbanite, sci-fi enthusiast or conspiracy theorist.
There are plenty of city cycle tracking apps to choose from, but Social Cyclist isn’t just about logging miles, it’s about two-wheel warriors working together to make cities better places to ride. With over 7,000 bike stations mapped, Social Cyclists can report problems with stations to warn fellow riders, create and share the perfect bike routes, and add photos and advice on the best way to pedal from point A to point B. Whether you're riding your own bike or a rental, each time you track and share a ride through this exercise app, you help your city create better bike infrastructure.
GymSurfing is a simple app for working out when you’re away from home. Whether you’re traveling for business or just want to find the best day-pass deals, this is the best fitness app for finding offers from exercise facilities nearby. The workout app features everything from the state-of-the-art fitness centers down to old-school body building haunts across New York, LA, Philadelphia, Miami and San Francisco, with more U.S. cities set to follow soon. Book workouts direct from the app and get your city sweat on without having to negotiate cumbersome contracts.