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Top 5 Fitness Apps for Beginners

by | Apr 18, 2019 | Activity

You know those annoying motivational gym posters? The ones with words like “SUCCESS” and “ACCOMPLISHMENT” splashed across a cheesy photo of some dude sprinting along a beach at sunset? That kind of tackiness is disappearing fast thanks to the motivational power of fitness apps.

That’s great news, but there’s another reason why fitness apps are so effective: They make it easier than ever to track and monitor your fitness goals. In fact, there are so many free (or really cheap) fitness apps out there that we thought we’d save you some time by hand-picking our Top 5:

1. Johnson & Johnson Official 7-minutes Workout (Free; Android, iOS)

This app gets top marks for providing easy-to-follow workouts that can be done at home (think push-ups, burpees and jumping jacks). Routines vary in duration and intensity and the short videos and countdown clocks keep you motivated. The app also lets you control your music folders to create heart-pumping playlists.

2. Nike Training Club (Free; iOS and Android)

With more than 100 workouts crafted by professional Nike trainers, this app is a powerhouse of useful (and dare we say, sexy) videos to light a fire under your couch-locked butt. Beginners can set specific fitness goals, like strength, toning or weight loss, and use the tutorial library to get each exercise right and avoid injuries. Feeling competitive? Link your profile with your buddies for extra accountability.

3. FitBit Coach (Free; iOS and Android)

Getting kudos for working out feels great, to be sure, but there’s more to wearable fitness tech than showing off your new exercise regime. Using a wireless FitBit device you wear on your wrist, this app recommends walking, running and bodyweight exercises tailored to your daily activity levels. The workouts are shared on your smartphone or computer and range from 7 to 60 minutes depending on the time you have. Step-by-step videos show you how to do all the moves and provide plenty of fun motivation and easy tips, while Fitbit Radio offers a variety of music stations to groove to while working up a sweat.

4. CARROT Fit ($2.99; iOS)

We can all use a bit of a laugh when we’re starting out on a new fitness regime. CARROT Fit brings that gut-busting hilarity using a 7-minute workout routine that kicks a few spurs into your saddlebags. Power through your workout with tasks like Celebrity Face-Punching, and plank with new perspective using the Dragon Mating Dance. The app does number-crunching for you and syncs with Apple’s Health app, so you can save your workout data in the HealthKit database. If you can handle a bit of sadistic mockery as motivation, CARROT Fit is for you.

5. Strava: Run, Ride, Swim (Free; iOS and Android)

This is the ideal app to track you through the urban outdoors. It has a simple display chock full of data like running pace, distance travelled, and calories burned. You can also use Bluetooth add-ons to collect heart-rate and other bio-data as you progress. Find friends and motivate each other with comments on workout summaries, or explore the best running, cycling and swimming options for beginners in your city.

Remember, workouts don’t have to be motivational-poster-worthy. Walking five city blocks a day can lower your risk of heart attack by 25% – it’s that simple and easy!

This article was originally published on July 11, 2015.

If you’re thinking about fitting easy exercise into your day, we’ve got your back.

Download “The 10 Minute Man Workout” ebook right now.

Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.

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  1. Avatar

    Now has never been a better time to work on our fitness levels since lockdown! Some may have been doing it along the way but there will be some that have missed the gym! Very helpful! Great Post! Thank you for the interesting points!

  2. Avatar

    My weight is out of control!I need help?ciatica and lower back issues. Working on my eating habits.350 lbs and climbing. HELP ME PLEASE.I’m on disability. .money is always a issue

    • Timothy

      Hi Ted,

      Thanks for reaching out. First, you have taken a great step in working on your eating habits – keep that going because it is so important. The next step is to make sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. With your weight and back pain, exercise may be a challenge with your sciatica and back pain, but you need to move and something as simple as going for a 30-minute walk every day will put on you a healthier path. Eventually up this to 2 walks per day if you can – one in the morning and another at night. Even making a small change like this will require you to be very disciplined and determined, but you can do it. And drink more water than you can possibly imagine!!! 8 tall glasses per day.

      These tips should not impact your financial situation as they are things you can do for free. Eventually, Ted, you will build momentum and things will improve – the change will not be overnight, it will take weeks and months, but you have to stick with it. Once you start making progress, Ted, look at small tips to improve your sleep, reduce alcohol consumption, and if you smoke save that hurdle for last as it the biggie!

      And we have to suggest going to visit your doctor. He/she may have other solutions for you. There are plenty of tips on DontChangeMuch.ca that you can adapt and implement into your daily routine. Each small change Ted is a mini win!!!! Remember that and build up lots of mini wins!

      Lastly, Ted, check out some of the stories of guys similar to you that have made small changes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-OD7pmpHs0&list=PLTgf-qsuGhYOADUdlxlC0zp3GU2qoSa0F

      Kind regards,

      Team DCM

  3. Avatar

    Another good app for motivational goals that include flexibility issues is MOVr

  4. Avatar

    I need to get out and exercise machine after my heart attacks because I need to lose more weight and get more muscle tone it’s better for my health and well-being

  5. Avatar

    Fitness is not allowed, unless you are putting, big dollars out . Just a opinion not a fact . Thank you .

  6. Avatar

    You say CARROT FIT is available on iOS and Android, but their website only says iOS. Please correct.

    • Don't Change Much

      Hi Michael, We’ve updated the contents of this blog to keep up with the times, including the reference to iOS only for CARROT Fit. Thanks for your feedback!


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