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Best Android health and fitness apps: stay on track

Update: Feature updates and new app picks

Thanks to improvements in the sensors built into our smartphones, fitness apps have never been so popular. They allow us to log various statistics, from the distance of a morning jog to the time spent lifting weights in the evening. If you're in the market for an app to help you record and make sense of all this data, there are plenty to choose from. Here are the best apps for tracking your health and fitness on Android, staying motivated and achieving your New Year's Resolution.

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Best heart rate monitor: Instant Heart Rate

It's important to track your heart rate during the different stages of your fitness regimen. Whether this is before, during or after your workout, you should keep an eye on it. Instant Heart Rate gives you accurate heart rates when you need them so you can reach your fitness goals. 

There are plenty of heart rate monitoring apps out there that track through a camera system but Instant Heart Rate has some features that sets it apart. When you're working out, you can see what your heart rate is and check if it's moving towards the goal you want it to. For instance, you should have a different heart rate for weight loss and cardio and the app measures that. 

Instant Heart Rate's tracking system gives you a timeline of your heart rate so you can track whether you've been hitting your cardio or fat-burning goals. You can also track your resting heart rate to look at the unhealthy stress put on your heart under normal conditions. The Pro version of the app is $2.99 and features unlimited heart rate tracking and no ads. 

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Track your heart rate over time with the Instant Heart Rate app. / © AndroidPIT
Instant Heart Rate Install on Google Play

Best for measuring your body fat: BMI Calculator

If you ever wondered how you're doing with your goals of eliminating excess body fat, then you should try BMI Calculator. The app is really simple, which sets it apart from other body fat measuring apps. All you need to do is plug in your height and weight and it will give you a percentage estimate of your body fat. 

Once the app has calculated your body fat it will give you a recommendation about your exercise regimen. It tells you the category your body fat is at. There are eight classes of body fat on the app and they range from 'Very Severely Underweight' to 'Obese Class III.' It will give you a target weight so you know what your target goal is. Best of all, the app is totally free.

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BMI Calculator gives a target weight for your height and age. / © AndroidPIT
BMI Calculator Install on Google Play

Best for busy people and beginners: 7 Minute Workout 

This is a brilliant app for those who are just getting started with fitness, and might be intimidated by the scope of other apps or routines. The 7 Minute Workout app is exactly as it sounds – it shows you the steps to complete a 7-minute workout routine that can aid weight loss and strengthen muscles. 

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7 Minute workout is a proven way to improve your fitness, fast. / © AndroidPIT

7 Minute Workout doesn't have many tracking or social features, its focus is on delivering a simple set of exercises and ensuring you know how to perform them. The major strength of this app is its ability to provide a non-threatening entry point to a more healthy lifestyle, especially for those who are strapped for time.

The creators are constantly improving the app too. Watch videos which show you how to perform each exercise, including a new abs workout. The exercises are scientifically proven to help you lost weight and improve your cardio. The app now supports Google Fit as well, which is the next app on our list. 

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The app has ads, but it is free with optional in-app purchases. / © AndroidPIT
7 Minute Workout Install on Google Play

Best for simplicity: Google Fit

Google's own health and fitness app is no longer so sparse in the features department. It now can aggregate info from other apps, including Nike+, MyFitnessPal, Lifesun, Basis, Withings, Xiaomi Mi bands, and three from this list: Runkeeper, Strava and Sleep as Android. It is tightly integrated with Android and Android Wear, so it's a convenient option as well. A web interface is available at https://fit.google.com.

Weight, heart rate, steps and activity time can all be logged automatically, and if you have the time to tell Google exactly what you're up to, you can choose from a long list of activities, from snowboarding to horse riding. You can set simple daily goals as well and get an alert when you've reached them. In addition to real-time stats, Google Fit will also give you personalized recommendations and coaching to help you reach your goals.

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Google Fit: Android's default fitness app. / © AndroidPIT
Google Fit - Fitness Tracking Install on Google Play

Best all-rounder: RunKeeper 

RunKeeper has a good reputation, not just for the number of features in its own app but also the number of third-party services it plugs into (it works with both Google Fit and Apple Health). If you're a keen runner, there aren't many better options than this one.

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RunKeeper offers maps and statistics. / © AndroidPIT

You can plot your runs on a map via GPS tracking, monitor distance covered and calories burned, set personal goals, integrate your indoor activities and more. Despite the app's name it can handle bike rides and gym workouts as well as running, so it's a comprehensive monitoring app.

Don't underestimate the power of community. There are social aspects to the app as well. You can share achievements with your friends, join and create running groups and use the chat feature to keep each other motivated. The app is free, but also has ads and optional in-app purchases.

Runkeeper - GPS Track Run Walk Install on Google Play

Best for cyclists and runners: Strava

Another well-known app with a strong reputation, Strava comes with a host of handy features, both in the core of the app and via separate add-ons. By tracking your running and bike riding via GPS, Strava can help you beat your own personal bests and challenge your friends as well.

Strava lets you track distance, pace, speed, elevation and other statistics as you go, and thanks to the data that's been collected from all of Strava's users, you can check out some of the routes that are popular with other people – even if you're a long way from home.

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Strava covers both running and cycling. / © AndroidPIT
Strava Running and Cycling GPS Install on Google Play

Best for workout jams: Spotify Running

A lesser known feature of the popular music streaming app is its feature called Spotify Running. It will play music according to your taste, and in accordance with the tempo of your run. To find the feature, go to Browse > Genres & Moods, and select Running. Pick a playlist, start running and Spotify will detect your tempo automatically and play music to match.

spotify running
You can also manually adjust your tempo. / © AndroidPIT
Spotify Music Install on Google Play

What's your favorite fitness app? How often do you use it? Let us know in the comments. 

31 comments

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  • I use the Fitrockr App to compete with others in online fitness leagues. It's great fun.

  • Yona Sade 7 months ago Link to comment

    Bartal Sports Tracker app has a lot of free features. Free download on google play.

  • I would recommend Rem-Fit to anyone. I love because it allows me to track my activity and sleep, keeping me as healthy as possible.

  • Google Fit is enough for me

  •   18
    anshul Mar 9, 2016 Link to comment

    To be fit app is not mandatory. Nicely compiled so many apps in one article.

  • I use mainly Runtastic, for Cycling, I am signed up to the above. I find EndoMondo thou you have to sign up to Premium or something.I use to use ALL of them at the same time. However that killed the barttery. I will try on my new NExus 9 thou. See how he faires

  • I recently began using JEFIT which has a very large and well-illustrated catalogue of exercise routines from body weight to a wide variety of equipment. Not personally interested in online tracking or community but that seems to be there, too. It's just good to quickly dial up an alternative workout that's well presented.

    • Have you tried the MUSCLEMATICS app? It has amazing animations that even show what muscles are being used from bodybuilding, stretching, yoga, and pilates. Great resource to have. www.MuscleMatics.com

  • Dean L. Mar 8, 2016 Link to comment

    Thanks for the list of apps. I think I only use two of them, but will have to check out some of the others.

  • My wife and I will typically load up the tandem with picnic lunch and dog, cycle somewhere, walk the dog, cycle somewhere else. Possibly use public transport for a stretch and then walk or cycle some more.

    I don't want to be motivated by an app. 

    I don't want to share with anybody. 

    I just want to track my trips and for the app to tell me how much we walked, how much we cycled and how much we rode in bus/car/train. This can be extrapolated from speeds: 0.01 to 6kph = walking, 6 to 30kph = cycling, >30kph = motorised.
    Any suggestions for an app that does this?

  • great article and great apps you can checkout this android app to find low carb recipes :play-google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goldapps-lowcarbrecipes&hl=en

  • I started using Heftr recently. It's a timer app for Android controllable by "accept call" button on the handsfree. It reports timer status with voice. You don't need to take it out of pocket to use it.

  • inonix n Jan 19, 2016 Link to comment

    One of the best app for tracking daily water intake for android is Drinking water reminder app by INONIXN.
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.water.reminder

  • Strava is great for cycling fans. I've used it for two years now and it's nice to have a record of every ride to compare fitness and performances. It doesn't need a lot of battery power even for long rides and is a breeze to get the most of it.

  • sylsau Jan 3, 2016 Link to comment

    Personnaly, I love ths simple Pedometer that works well on my Samsung Galaxy S4 since some months : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ssaurel.pedometer

  • these are the same apps when we travel in car still showing how many steps we have walk.....shittttt

  • Which one can be used for bodybuilding ?

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