5 Mobile Apps for Working Fitness Into Your Busy Schedule

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on March 5, 2013

You’re probably not getting as much exercise as you should be. According to Bank of America’s 2012 Small Business Owner Report, 37 percent of entrepreneurs regularly sacrifice exercise in order to spend more time running their businesses.

To maintain physical fitness and good overall health, it’s important to build an exercise habit that you can keep up while you’re on the go. These five mobile apps can help.

  1. C25K (free; iOS) — The popular “Couch to 5K” program has helped thousands of couch potatoes transform into runners over an eight-week period. The app uses run-walk interval training to help you build up your endurance, allowing you to play your own music as you listen to the prompts. By the end of the eight weeks, you should be capable of finishing a 5K race.
  2. Nike+ (free; iOS and Android) — Once you’re up and running, Nike+ keeps you motivated by tracking your distance, pace, and time for every run, creating route maps that you can view when you’re done. The app also lets you add friends and compete with them: A leaderboard shows which one of you is logging the most miles. Friends can cheer you on in real-time, via Facebook or Path. If you purchase the Nike+ FuelBand ($149), you can use the app to track your all-day fitness activity, even when you’re not carrying your smartphone around.
  3. Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer ($1.99; iOS) — If you don’t have the budget for a personal trainer to help you find the workout routine that’s right for you, this app provides a far cheaper solution. Full Fitness provides hundreds of photo and video tutorials that demonstrate specific exercises. You can follow recommended programs based on your fitness needs, or you can create your own custom regimens and track your progress as you perform each step. Some of the exercises require gym equipment, but you can also plan cardio-only workouts.
  4. Gorilla Workout (99 cents; iOS and Android; pictured) — No time to get to the gym? No problem. This app gives you all the tools you need to put together a powerful workout using nothing but your own body. The app provides routines that combine cardio and strength training, focusing on one specific muscle group at a time. The exercises can be done anywhere — even your office (take care not to kick your computer).
  5. RunKeeper (free; iOS and Android) — RunKeeper isn’t just for running. The app uses your smartphone’s GPS to track your routes and speeds for runs, walks, and bike rides. Set your fitness goals and measure your performance improvements over time with the app’s automated log. You can also integrate your data with other apps and fitness tools, such as Fitbit and Garmin devices, for deeper insights on your physical fitness.