Which Fitness Apps Can Help (or Hurt) Your Journey


Mobile app stores are flooded with options that claim to help exercisers stay motivated, have more fun, and get more out of movement. There are apps that will help you choose the right music, try out a fun new workout, or even locate a safe walking or running trail nearby.

But every person’s body, pace, and needs are different. Finding one that’s helpful to you—not harmful—is important.

Fitness Apps to Move You

Some fitness music apps let you create your own playlist of songs for your workout, without having to buy each one separately. Others come preloaded with music designed for a specific workout like running, elliptical, biking, weight lifting, or stretching. They let you select the activity you’re performing, and then the app plays songs with a tempo to match.

A few to check out: FitRadio, Spotify, GymRadio, and RockMyRun. (Note: some have in-app fees!)

Should I try one?

Sure! Music can add mindfulness, joy, and extra motivation to a workout. But creating just the right playlist for each movement moods can take forever. A fitness music app could help you save time.

Pro tip: If you like to do interval training but hate starting at a timer to know when it’s time to switch speed or intensity, some of these fitness music apps have a great feature: You punch in how long your intervals are and the app will simply beep! to notify you it’s time to switch. This way you can stay focused on the music, and the movement itself instead of watching a clock.

Which Fitness Apps Can Help (or Hurt) Your Journey

Fitness Routine Apps

These apps come with preloaded exercise routines for strength training, yoga, endurance, and other workouts, at lots of different intensity levels. A few to check out: Nike + Training Club, MapMyRun, and Workout Trainer.

Should I try one?

If you’re looking for an easy way to add some variety and experiment with exercise, you can get some great ideas and good routines through these apps. You’re able to select your fitness level, desired intensity, goals, and time limit, so they’re somewhat personalizable. That said, the free ones don’t allow you to input mobility and injury issues, making them a less-than-great option for people with joint or other orthopedic issues.

To get a truly personalized routine based on your body’s abilities, talk to a fitness professional or physical therapist. Remember that apps are designed to meet the goals of a general population, so be sure to be connected to your body throughout the routine, to modify when needed, and to keep it at your own pace throughout!

Pro tip: Correct form is important when performing movements. An app can’t watch you and correct your form, so pay close attention to instructions and photos when doing app routines. And if you’re not sure how to engage the muscles to perform a certain movement, ask a fitness professional.

Trail-Finder Apps

Hiking at Green Mountain at Fox RunThese programs map out walking, running, biking, or winter-sport trails wherever you are. Some to look at: All Trails, Trail Link, and Strava.

Should I try one?

Why not? These mapping apps are great for travel: Exercising when traveling can be a challenge. But you can always—well, if weather and safety permit—go outside and move. With these mapping apps, you can find directions to and descriptions of features and difficulty of the nearest trails anywhere you go.

Pro tip: Even though some trails may include reviews, make sure to have company when visiting the trails. Safety first!

Final Thoughts

These are just three categories of fitness apps that I’ve found to be helpful for staying engaged in physical activity. Remember to work with your body and not against it, finding joy after each training session. And talk to a fitness professional if you have any injuries, pain, or aches.

Read The Best and Worst Food Apps and Services for more reviews.

If you need more help finding enjoyment in movement, modifying physical activities, changing your training routine, or bringing fitness back into your life, Green Mountain’s fitness program could help.

Call one of our Program Advisors at 802-228-8885 to learn how our program can help you find joy in movement and safely enhance your fitness routine.

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About the Author

Bibiana Sampaio, BS Exercise Science, CPT

Fitness Manager

BS Exercise Science, CPT. Experienced in several fields including group fitness, personal training, and certified as a Fitness Professional and Health Coach through ACSM and ACE. Bibiana has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science.

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