Are These Top Fitness and Food-Tracking Apps Worth the Cost?

Beatrice J. Doty
Woman relaxing with yoga at home.

Woman relaxing with yoga at home.

Now that you finished the first quarter of 2021, you’re probably wanting to keep taking care of your health and still crush those goals. Chances are, you haven’t been to the gym in months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but thankfully there’s no shortage of affordable health and fitness apps.

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Of course, a quick browse through the App Store or Google Play can leave you overwhelmed, as there are so many options to choose from. You’re not opposed to paying a reasonable rate for membership, but you want to make sure the app is worth it.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain strength or reduce stress, choosing the right app can make all the difference. Some apps have a strong focus on community, while others are more focused on individuals. Before making a purchase, consider what you want from an app, so you can look for one with all the right features.

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It’s time to stop talking about getting healthier and finally get to work. Keep reading to learn about some of the top fitness apps and whether or not they’re worth their membership cost.

Last updated: March 30, 2021

An adult woman does yoga and strength training exercises on a mat in her living room.

An adult woman does yoga and strength training exercises on a mat in her living room.

Jefit

Manage your workout and connect with 8.8 million Jefit members who can support your fitness journey.

“The app is almost a virtual personal trainer as it walks you through your workout, has a rest timer, and preloads your previous lifts so as to prevent overload and exceeding your daily fitness goals,” said Brandon Nicholas of The Fitness Tribe.

Create a personalized workout plan, track your progress and use the app.

“The best part about it is that it features the ability for users to create supersets by connecting exercises together,” said Nicholas, who is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer specializing in athletic coaching and weight loss programs. “The summary at the end of each workout is an absolute kicker as it makes you feel like a winner.”

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A mature adult woman does yoga and strength training exercises on a mat in her living room, her pet terrier dog keeping her company and trying to play.

A mature adult woman does yoga and strength training exercises on a mat in her living room, her pet terrier dog keeping her company and trying to play.

Aaptiv

Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of workouts, created and led by certified trainers. Simply enter your fitness goals, choose a workout and get started. Unlike many other apps, Aaptiv workouts are audio-based, so you don’t have to spend the session staring at your phone.

Nicholas likes this app because it’s affordable and highlights the need for trainers as part of an effective workout routine.

“It puts the users in touch with expert instructors to ensure that each one gets maximum benefits,” he said.

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Full length of black sportswoman jogging in nature.

Full length of black sportswoman jogging in nature.

Strava

Designed for runners and cyclists, Strava is a GPS-based app that tracks and analyzes your workouts. It also allows you to join and form clubs with other members and share your workout routes in real-time with loved ones.

Paul Johnson, the founder of Complete Tri, said the app is a steal for anyone who uses it at least twice a week.

“The community aspect of Strava, complete with personal records and leaderboards for various segments, makes it a worthwhile app,” he said.

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Unrecognizable man cycling indoor with exercise bike trainer.

Unrecognizable man cycling indoor with exercise bike trainer.

Zwift

A cycling app, Zwift allows you to train at home with more than 1,000 structured workouts. There’s also a — virtual — community aspect, as you can meet other cyclists, train and race with them.

Johnson said this is a more affordable option than systems like Peloton — which costs $39 per month — as the monthly subscription is cheaper and you use your own bike mounted on a smart trainer.

“We did a poll of our readers, and found that we have more Zwift subscribers than Peloton, so it is definitely in the big leagues as far as we are concerned,” Johnson said.

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Dietitian writing a diet plan, view from above on the table with different healthy products and drawings on the topic of healthy eating.

Dietitian writing a diet plan, view from above on the table with different healthy products and drawings on the topic of healthy eating.

MyFitnessPal Premium

The standard version of Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app is available for free, but the paid premium version offers additional features. Some of these include guided fitness and nutrition plans, recipes and the ability to track calories.

While it comes with many options, Estelle Russo, a certified personal trainer, doesn’t think the premium version of MyFitnessPal is worth the price.

“It tries to be an all-in-one app, but ends up being too general to provide specific health and workout insights,” said Russo, who is also the founder of Paleo Safe.

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Woman practicing yoga with trainer via video conference.

Woman practicing yoga with trainer via video conference.

ToneItUp

A fitness community for females, the ToneItUp app is a place to work out and connect with other members. Exercise anytime anywhere, with more than 40 on-demand workouts — including strength training, yoga, kickboxing, barre, dance and more — and new exclusive classes each week.

Daily toning moves are also updated seven days per week, which are easy to add to a workout or complete on their own. Enjoy creating weekly workout goals, tracking your progress and chatting with other members who can serve as accountability partners.

This app is worth the money for its convenience, variety of workouts and ability to become part of a motivating fitness community.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Are These Top Fitness and Food-Tracking Apps Worth the Cost?

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