Most of us are always looking for ways to improve our health. With the onslaught of new apps that seem to come out every day, it can be tough to know which ones will be useful and which ones will just take up space. These apps will give you the ability to take control of your own health with your smartphone.


Cody: If you are more of a social exerciser, Cody is the app for you. Similar to Facebook, it allows users to connect and share their workouts and goals with friends and other users. You can also track your progress, and your friends can encourage you on what you achieve. This is a great tool for those who want to stay motivated by receiving praise.


Pact: Those who need to feel the burn from a financial aspect will love Pact. Formerly known as GymPact, this free app allows you to pledge how many days you will work out during a set week. The pledge also comes with a cash requirement: if you don’t meet your goal, you have to pay up. The plus side is that when you do meet your goal, you will receive money from other users who didn’t meet theirs. You can now set nutritional goals on the app as well, and connect it with your fitness tracker.


Hot5 Fitness: If you want to get fit but don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, check out Hot5 Fitness. You can check it out for free or pay $2.99 for unlimited monthly access. The app includes various workouts led by top trainers, so you can find what works for you. Whether you have five minutes to squeeze in a quick core workout or an hour to engage in intense yoga, you can find the perfect workout on this app. It also allows you to workout anywhere, even if you are on vacation or at home.


Human: Non-fitness experts who want to ease into a new healthy lifestyle will love the simplicity of Human. Human is a free, iOS-only app that works well on the iPhone by using special sensors designed to measure heart rate and hydration levels among other things. This new technology allows Human to track movements and let you know when you achieve 30 minutes of activity in a day. This can include jumping jacks, running in place, or having a dance party with your kids. If you are connected to a reliable network, you can also invite friends from your contact list to join the fun.


LoseIt: If you are looking for an app to track your nutrition and exercise goals, LoseIt is a free option that works well. It works on most platforms and provides you with a custom calorie and exercise plan that will help you achieve your own personal health goals. You can also use the barcode scanner to track exact the nutritional value of packaged foods.

LoseItImage via Flickr by Eric Skiff


CARROTfit: Those who prefer tough love will appreciate CARROTfit, which includes harsh criticism and bribery. It may not help people who want a softer approach, but if you need a tough coach, check out this $1.99 app. Every time you lose a pound, you will unlock new workout tips that will help you stay motivated.


EveryMove: If you want a reward for working out but you don’t have the funds to cover the prizes, be sure to download the free app EveryMove. You can connect it to some of the other top fitness apps, and then earn points to buy swag from partnering retailers that want to reward your success. The best part is that you don’t have to make drastic changes to your tracking: just use trackers you already like and sync them with this app to start earning. It is available for Android and iOS, and developers are working on a version for Windows Phone.

It’s not always easy to stay motivated and committed to living a healthier lifestyle, but it does offer a myriad of health benefits, so it is definitely worthwhile. Using these apps can make it easier and more fun to track fitness and stay active, even when you don’t have time to hit the gym.