Sometimes bailing on a planned workout is inevitable—hey, busy days and bad weather happen. If you’re skipping gym time often, though, there’s an app for that. Wearable activity trackers can help hold you accountable, but you can find sweat motivation straight from your phone, too (no watch, bracelet, or other gear required). Keep reading to uncover seven top apps that monitor your exercise goals and progress to help keep your fitness plan on track.
Want to make a buck from your workout? It’s easy and fun with this free app. Set your fitness or nutrition goals and when you fulfill the pact for a week, you’ll legit get paid—from other app users who didn’t stick to their promises. On the flip side, if you skip out on your healthy goals, you’ll have to dish out some dollars. If the prospect of paying up isn’t motivation enough to get to the gym, we don’t know what is.
Think of this free app as a friendly health coach in your pocket. It checks in with you throughout the day via text—asking questions about your activity and meals and nudging you to make healthier choices—to help hold you accountable. The company says people who chat with Lark for just a few minutes a day improve their healthy habits by 23 percent.
3. STRAVA RUNNING AND CYCLING GPS
If you’re a runner or cyclist, get your hands on this free app to track all your endurance data. It’ll upload your stats from every outing, via your phone or GPS watch, and let you analyze your progress. Consider yourself competitive? Use Strava to look at the performances of others who’ve biked or run the same course you’re about to cover and try to one-up them. Or just check out your previous bests and try to improve on your distance or pace.
4. VIDA HEALTH COACH
Consider this app the next best thing to a personal trainer (but a lot less costly). Enter your fitness and weight-loss priorities and Vida will pair you with a pro health coach who can help you achieve them. Then for $15 a week, you can swap in-app messages with your coach and have weekly one-on-one phone or video sessions (the app itself is free to download).
Get it: iOS
5. POCKET YOGA
Love to do yoga at home but feel like your routine is a little random or disjointed? This app ($2.99) is the perfect solution to elevate your practice and help you stay on track. It comes with hundreds of poses (plus video instructions and info about the benefits of each), and it keeps tabs on your sessions and progress so you'll know when to kick it up a notch and work up to crow pose.
Your workout didn’t actually happen unless you post a pic to prove it, right? Step up your #fitspo game with this free app: It lets you create motivational images of your exercise with overlaid text that describes the move you’re doing or the distance you ran and your pace. Then post said photos to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to inspire others—and yourself, to keep up the good work.
Get it: iOS
7. MY GOALS
This app is nothing if not straight-forward. Set a, well, goal for yourself—say, to bench press 50 pounds or run a half marathon in under two hours—and then select a photo to illustrate said goal. We’re going to bet that seeing a pic of yourself in your top beach-ready shape last summer will be motivation enough to get your butt to the gym.
Get it: Android