A resolution to exercise and get or stay in shape is beyond a cliche at this point -- we all know how those die an ignoble, silent death sometime in the middle of February every year. But hey, we still need to focus on our health. It's important, though it is so difficult.
The trouble, of course, is following through. Planning and talking about a fitness regime is easy -- even exciting. All the research, the feeling that you're entering a new age of fitness. You imagine how ripped you'll be, how impressed everybody else will be.
Following through? Not so fun.
Mentally preparing yourself to go to the gym or begin your exercise is a difficult task. And even if you go ahead and get that gym membership, after a few days, monotony sets in. Your body is screaming for a few days off with pizza and no workouts. You feel less motivated to continue. What do you do now?
One piece of advice that fitness coaches and experts give people is to get a gym buddy or personal trainer to work out with you. And for some people, knowing that somebody's counting on you to show up is encouragement enough to keep going!
That's one kind of accountability, but for a lot of people, the "social" part of social fitness tends to take over the main goal, which is to exercise consistently. If you're one of these people, then you simply need to find another way to stay accountable to your fitness goals.
Why not try using a dedicated workout accountability app?
Why you need a workout accountability app
While personal wearable devices like your Apple Watch already let you track your health data, here are some compelling reasons to use a workout accountability app. You can use them either as an alternative, or to supplement a wearable device.
A fitness tracker may not always be comfortable to wear, especially if you're attempting a high-energy workout or planning to sweat off the extra carbs in a sauna room. Personally, I like to keep aside all wearables while working out so nothing gets in the way or starts feeling itchy or constrictive. But no matter what, I am going to have my phone with me or nearby, so an app is a better option for me to track my fitness levels.
Plus, data collected by a wearable is best viewed in its paired-up app on your phone or PC (like Apple Health for iWatch users or Samsung Health for Android users). So isn't it just better to be able to have your fitness journey accessible at any time, so you can track progress?
Workout apps also come with multiple cool features -- workout videos, live classes, personal training, and new exercises to try out -- apart from tracking your body stats, weight loss, personal bests, and overall fitness progress. And, you can also set up the app to send you alerts and reminders so you stay motivated and don't slack off!
The Best fitness apps to keep you accountable
Fitness Apps that track your activity
Some fitness apps keep you accountable just through the stats and information they provide. Oh yes, just data -- seeing how you've been performing over the past few weeks is enough to serve as a wake up call sometimes! Other apps use social accountability to keep you on track.
Strava is one of the most popular workout accountability apps, for a variety of activities such as cycling, hiking, running, and other outdoor exercises. Through GPS, it can show you some popular activity spots or routes anywhere in the world so you can keep your workout interesting. It also has a library of challenges you can try and has group features to let you share activities with others.
Nike Training Club
The Nike Training Club app is for serious users who want a personalized workout regime. It's an old, tried favorite, with thousands of loyal fans, and definitely is a strong contender for the title of the best free fitness app out there. Based on what you're looking for, the app recommends four-week to eight-week training programs with a variety of workouts like yoga, weight loss regimes, the works. You can also check out advice from certified trainers and access exercise videos.
The best part is, since 2020, the Nike Training Club app offers premium features including its multi-week training programs for free!
Like Strava, Stridekick lets you track physical activity outdoors by connecting with your GPS and wearable devices. It also has a busy social fitness community so you can exchange notes, learn of new activities, take part in group challenges and keep each other motivated.
As a fitness app, Jefit offers two kind of services – its free version lets you track your body stats and contains a database of over 1,300 weight training exercises to help you set up your workout schedule. It also comes with ready training programs for all fitness levels, so you don't have to build a workout routine from scratch.
Its paid version has even more features – advanced training reports, exercise demonstrations from experts, customized workout options, and access to a social fitness community.
Squaddy is for those who are really into social fitness, especially with large groups of people. The app lets you set up your own or choose a template for regimes comprising strength training, weightlifting, bodybuilding, and more. You can track all your targets and progress using a journal, and then share your awesome workouts with friends, colleagues, or anyone else you want in your squad.
Tip: Looking for more social accountability? Check out our article on accountability apps with friends.
For time management nerds, Love HIIT focuses on interval training exercises. Just add the total rounds of workouts you want to do, set a timer for each exercise and time to rest between workouts, Once you start, the app behaves like the best countdown timer -- calling your times out loud! Plus, once you've figured out the perfect interval training set, you can share it with others for inspiration too!
If your exercise philosophy is to just get some peaceful, calming yoga done at home, download Pocket Yoga. The app shows you hundreds of poses with instructions and benefits and keeps an eye on your progress to know when you're ready for the next level.
If you know you look good during exercise and want to inspire others, Fit Snap is a quirky app for you to use. The app helps you create motivational images of yourself exercising along with your stats so you can share them with others and keep yourself motivated to keep going!
If you don't want to share photos on social media but still want someone to keep you accountable, try My Goals. This app is pretty straightforward – set a goal of say, a 5-mile run, and then upload a picture proving you've done it. This accountability might just be enough to keep you going.
Caliber is for people who are interested in the science behind fitness. The app gives you access to workout videos and training programs scientifically designed for different fitness levels, along with expert tips and weekly lessons. You can also track nutrition through this app.
MyFitnessPal is more for those looking to change their food habits. Whether your goal is to lose weight or just be more mindful of what you're consuming, it allows you monitor your food intake and body weight, to look for nutritional information on any food item simply by scanning the barcode, provides healthy recipes to try and a food journal to track those calories. The app also has features for self-guided workouts and tracking of customized goals.
The Peloton App
Peloton is such a popular form of workout, and now there's an app to make it more accessible! The Peloton App lets you track how you're doing and provides videos of regimes you can follow. The best part is, you don't even need special equipment to get started! Just look at the videos or sign up for a trainer to help you work with what you have.
Burn.Fit has all the features of a good workout accountability app – data tracking, a digital journal, and helpful graphs and charts to let you see your progress. You can also set up a workout calendar and share your progress with friends.
My Workout Group
My Workout Group is another social fitness app, where you can share information with friends, set up calendars so you can see each other's fitness schedule, and remind each other when its time to get to exercising! The app also lets you gamify your fitness by allowing you to compete with your friends to see who gets a higher exercise streak.
Fitness Apps that Help You get in the Zone
Some people are unable to commit to better fitness because of a lack of motivation and focus. Here are a few fitness apps that help you stay on track!
If your roadblocks are more mentally driven, try Noom. While the app doesn't track your workouts, it does help you train your mind to stay focused and positive so you can make better choices. The app offers sessions with coaches and support groups to help you figure out what's stopping you from getting to your goals and how you can overcome the obstacles.
The app tracks your food habits, by suggesting good diet plans and connecting you with an expert to make sure you're implementing them. Though it's primarily known as an app that helps you lose weight, it's got so many features beyond that!
Second Nature is currently available in the UK and Australia and is set to come to the US soon. The app is all about getting to and staying at a healthy weight range to protect yourself from the negative impacts of conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes.
Users are placed in a 12-week class with a mentor to teach them how to build healthy habits, eat new, nutritious food, improve gut health, and get in good physical activity.
If you feel you could benefit from professional help, try Talkspace, an app-based therapy platform. You can get in touch with a certified professional who'll help you organize your thoughts and get in a good mindset to start working on your fitness goals.
Don't feel like talking? No worries, but to get yourself centered if you're feeling overwhelmed, use Headspace for guided meditation. Its short sessions are all designed to help you improve focus, cope with your anxiety, and keep at bay feelings that trigger unhealthy behaviors, like overeating. Use it for stress reduction, improved sleep and a host of mental health benefits.
Fitness Apps That Pay You to Work Out
You read that right! What better way for motivation could there be?
Joining DietBet’s weight loss games is super easy – just place your bet in the bidding pool, reach the weight loss goal, and split the pot with the other winners. There are various levels based on your weight loss goals and you can join one that already exists or create your own. The app also promises to keep things fair with its cheat-prevention methods.
From the same company that owns DietBet, StepBet is another workout accountability app which lets you set your personal goals--in the form of steps--and then place a bid. If you stay on track, you’ll split the pot with other winners!
WayBetter offers a range of weekly challenges, including games to eat and feel better. To get started, you’ll complete a quiz about your health goals. From there, it’ll come up with a plan and timeframe to make your goals a reality, which includes exercise and good food and drink habits. Winners get paid by the app!
If you and the family could use some extra cash, why not all sign up together? Healthy Wage allows you to sign up with friends, family, and co-workers as a team for a weight loss challenge, and the team with the highest percentage of weight loss wins $10,000!
If a team setting isn’t your thing, Healthy Wage also offers personal jackpots and individual challenges. Though if you do encourage others to sign up with you, you’ll all have a bonus added to your prizes!
If you want to do some good for yourself and others, just sign up with the Charity Miles app, pick your cause and get moving! No matter how much you're able to do, you’ll earn money for the charity you chose when you complete each mile.
Oh, we love this! If you have a pupper and you love running around with them, WoofTrax is another great way to raise money. Every time you go for a quick walk or a hike with your pup, you can raise money for a great animal welfare organization.
How to choose the best fitness app to keep you accountable
These are just some of the fitness apps available out there. And choosing the best overall fitness app for you can be a little confusing. But just keep some things in mind:
Does the pricing work?
Some fitness apps don't unlock all their features in the free version, and so you may need to look into buying the pro version for full access or take up a monthly or annual subscription. Make sure the fee works for you!
Is it compatible with your goals?
If you're looking for an app that provides personal training features but what you get is a guide to basic workouts, you're probably not going to keep using it. So before committing (and paying), make sure the features give you what you want.
Speaking of features, make sure they're all to your liking! The workout accountability app you finally pick should have a simple interface and should allow you to see your fitness data in a way you understand.
Is it actually keeping you motivated and accountable?
Having a cool app is fun for a few days, but it actually has to make you work out. Make sure the app always continues to spark joy and keep you focused on meeting your exercise goals.
How You Can Use Boss as a Service to keep you accountable to your workout goals
At Boss as a Service, we love fitness goals! Specifically, we love helping you set workout goals, keeping you motivated and consistent in meeting them, and tracking your health progress with you. While you can always find someone to hold you accountable (here's how to find an accountability partner) – for real, persistent, pushy accountability, we'd recommend signing up with the pros!
Sign up with us and have a boss make sure you're staying on the right track.
We also have fun, quirky challenges where we connect you with a community with similar goals to yours, for extra peer support and encouragement.
And if you need to nudge, we also work with our friends at Beeminder and StickK to make sure you stay regular on your workouts – or pay the price!