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The Best Apps for Staying in Shape

Smartphones and tablet computers have opened up a whole new world of on-the-go possibilities. Nowhere is that more true than in the field of health and fitness. No longer are we tied to a gym or a rigid workout schedule. No more waiting for a personal trainer to tell us how well – or how poorly – we are doing. Mobile devices and fitness apps put all that information right there at our fingertips.

So if you want to know how far you ran or biked today, or you want to keep tabs on how many calories you consumed, then turn your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy. Here are 10 great apps to choose from:

Endomondo Sports Tracker

The Endomondo Sports Tracker app uses GPS technology to track all your outdoor workouts, including running, cycling, walking, or any other distance activity. You can pre-set a time or calorie burn as your goal and Sports Tracker Pro will help you beat it. You can also challenge friends, go against their personal best times, and even get encouragement along the way.

Platform: iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
Price: Free

Fitness Buddy

Described as “The Swiss Army Knife Of Fitness Apps,” Fitness Buddy features over 1,700 exercises for every part of the body. Each exercise is accompanied by detailed instructions, photos and animations, and the user-friendly interface allows you to track each exercise and know exactly how you are doing. There are dozens of full workout routines tailored to specific goals – build chest, tone butt, lose weight, etc. Try the free version first and upgrade if you like it.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: Free/$2.99

Lose It!

One of the top-rated weight-loss apps, Lose It! allows you to set goals and establish a daily calorie budget to meet them. You stay on track by logging food and exercise totals, which can be synced with a loseit.com account. Lose It! places lots of emphasis on sharing with friends for extra support and motivation. Lose It! claims that the average user has lost more than 12lbs, and more than 85% of their active users have lost weight.

Platform: iPhone, Android
Price: Free

Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer

One of the top-selling – and highest-rated – fitness apps of all time, Full Fitness includes hundreds of unique exercises tailored to your specific goals. Custom routines include weight-loss, strength, ab definition, and even golf fitness. If you can’t get to a gym, no problem. Full Fitness has over 40 stand-alone stretches and exercises that don’t require any equipment. Weight and measurement trackers monitor your progress and all data can be e-mailed or backed-up online.

Platform: iPhone, iPad
Price: $1.99

Diet & Food Tracker

Brought to you by SparkPeople.com, the popular diet and fitness web site, this handy app includes a food and calorie tracker, a barcode scanner for easy data entry, a daily meal planner, and a fitness tracker to monitor calories burned. The Diet & Food Tracker syncs with SparkPeople.com, with its library of fitness videos, recipes, and motivational articles.

Platform: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry
Price: $3.99

Daily Ab Workout

Daily Ab Workout is part of the Daily Workout Apps series. It contains two 5 to 10 minute daily ab routines for men and women. Each routine takes you through twenty ab-sculpting exercises. The routines are demonstrated by a certified personal trainer and target all major abdominal muscles. You can set up daily reminders and a randomize feature varies the routine so it doesn’t get monotonous. Start with the free version and upgrade later.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: Free/$0.99

Gorilla Workout

Need to exercise on a budget? Gorilla Workout is a series of over 40+ fast-paced exercises that require no equipment other than your own body. The four distinct exercise groups are designed to match your own fitness level. Each exercise comes with a detailed description, including a video demonstration. The workouts are designed to target specific muscle groups and meet your own fitness targets. Completed workouts can be shared on Facebook and Twitter for increased motivation.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: Free/$0.99

Zombies, Run!

An incredibly fun and immersive game that puts you in the middle of a survival race against the pursuing Zombie hordes. Choose your own playlist and don a pair of headphones before you start your run and the story unfolds through voice recordings. With over 40 missions to accomplish, including collecting medicines, ammo, batteries and more, everyone is depending on you to keep running. You can’t let them down!

Platform: iPhone, Android
Price: $2.99

Calorie Counter & Fitness Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Boasting the largest food database of any calorie-counting app, the Calorie Counter & Fitness Tracker exhaustively tracks your calorie intake and exercise regimen to make sure you stay on plan. The barcode scanner easily identifies all the foods you consume, while the sharing and support system means you’re never struggling with you diet alone. Requires a MyFitnessPal account (also free).

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry
Price: Free

Pocket Yoga

If you prefer to practice yoga at your own pace in your own home, then this beautifully designed app is for you. Voice and visual illustrations expertly guide you through over 150 different poses and exercises, which are grouped into sessions based on duration and level of difficulty. The app maintains a log of your exercises to track progress and ensure consistency. All exercises are accompanied by soothing music or you can choose from your own playlists.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: $2.99

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