THE BEST FITNESS APPS
PC Magazine|January 2022
Trim down or bulk up, run faster, or bike farther—however you work out, these top tested apps help you keep your commitment to physical fitness.
JILL DUFFY
Working out on your own can be a struggle, or it can be a blast. It all depends on whether you’ve found a fitness activity that excites you and motivates you to get up and move.

Here’s the good news about workout apps: App stores are absolutely saturated with them, which means there’s something for everyone at a range of prices. Whether you like to lift weights on your own, want to join a high-intensity cardio class, or need guidance while training for a marathon, you’re sure to find an app for you.

Want more good news? Prices for fitness apps are often lower than they appear; the prices given below are list prices, which is not necessarily what you’ll pay. Workout subscriptions are perpetually on sale. App makers would love for you to believe that the best discounts occur between the end of November and New Year’s Day, but that’s just not true. Deals crop up all year round, and some sales never seem to end.

After comparing more than 70 workout and fitness apps on the market, we ruled out a few that are very good but cost twice as much as most others. If you’ve heard about an app but it’s not here, there’s a good chance it simply costs too much to be considered one of the best.

8FIT

ANDROID, IOS

FREE; PRO PLAN, $79.99 PER YEAR, $59.99 FOR SIX MONTHS, OR $24.99 PER MONTH

8fit is an all-in-one fitness plan that you can customize to your tastes. It brings together on-demand workouts and meal planning and is excellent for people who like a lot of guidance and instruction. The app creates a personalized program for your diet and exercise based on the goals you set. Once you tell 8fit what you want to achieve, you work out to videos in the app, log what you eat, and create meal plans using recipes and shopping lists. The free version gives you access to only some workouts, which require you to look at and tap the screen often. You can also track your weight and activities with the free app. The Pro version unlocks personalized meals, shopping lists, calorie logging, and additional workouts. The monthly rate is high, but six-month and annual plans are priced competitively.

AAPTIV

ANDROID, IOS, WEB

$14.99 PER MONTH OR $99.99 PER YEAR

Aaptiv specializes in audio-based workouts led by trainers, meaning you don’t have to keep your eyes or fingers on a screen to exercise. A trainer tells you what to do, with music in the background. The app suggests workouts that will suit you based on information you provide, such as what type of exercise you like (stretching, strength training, yoga, indoor cycling, outdoor running, stair climber, and others) and what styles of music you prefer. As of this writing, there’s a seven-day free trial via the web app, though it requires a credit card to access.

CENTR, BY CHRIS HEMSWORTH

ANDROID, IOS, WEB

$29.99 PER MONTH, $59.99 PER QUARTER, $119.99 PER YEAR

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, known for playing the swole hammer-wielding god Thor, brings you this all-in-one fitness app for planning your training, doing workouts, and eating healthy. You can use it to build muscle, lose weight, or get fit in general: You tell the app which of these goals you’re interested in during the signup process. Some workouts are coached, meaning you play a video of a trainer who does the workout with you. Others are self-guided, meaning you get a timer and a sample video of each exercise instead. You can get a free seven-day trial of this app, though a credit card is required to access it. The prices are all over the place; the list prices change constantly and the annual subscription is always on sale. Typically, the monthly plan is too expensive, but the quarterly and annual rates are usually very fair.

CHARITY MILES

ANDROID, IOS FREE

Charity Miles donates money to the organization of your choice when you use the app to log miles running, walking, or bicycling. Corporate sponsors agree to donate a few cents for every mile you complete. In exchange, you see their branding and information about them in the app. You can also use the app to run pledge drives. An included calculator shows you how much money you can raise if you meet different goals, such as getting 50 people to sponsor you at $0.30 per mile. Charity Miles supports a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Unicef, Save the Children, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Knowing that your activity supports charitable causes might just motivate you to move every day.

FIND WHAT FEELS GOOD

ANDROID, IOS, WEB

$12.99 PER MONTH; $129.99 PER YEAR (SOME CONTENT FREE ON RELATED WEBSITE)

If you’ve ever searched for a yoga video on YouTube, chances are you’ve run into Yoga with Adriene. This same Adriene (Mishler) sells a subscription to all her content, ad-free, under the brand Find What Feels Good, or FWFG. The FWFG library has more than 150 exclusive videos, plus premium courses, members-only vlogs from Adriene, and all the videos from Yoga with Adriene (Mischler’s other website) ad-free. Subscribers get access to new content as it’s added.

FITBIT

IOS, WEB, WINDOWS

$9.99 PER MONTH OR $79.99 PER YEAR FOR WORKOUT AND HEALTH CONTENT

Anyone, regardless of whether they own a Fitbit tracker, can download the free Fitbit app and pay for a Premium subscription to get video workouts, video recipes, and mindfulness sessions. Workout videos are designed so that you can follow along and do them nearly anywhere. There are all kinds of options, from stretching routines to stair workouts. A voiceover of a coach tells you exactly what to do, reminds you to breathe, and so forth. Each workout video shows the moves that you’re supposed to do, how many reps you’ve done, a timer, and other relevant info based on that particular workout. If you do have a Fitbit tracker, the Premium subscription adds more features, such as a Health Metrics dashboard, sleep score details, and additional personalized data.

FITON: FITNESS WORKOUT PLANS

ANDROID, IOS, WEB

FREE; $79.99 FOR SIX MONTHS, $99.99 PER YEAR FOR PRO (BOTH RATES ARE OFTEN STEEPLY DISCOUNTED)

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