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Top five fitness-focused apps

By Emilie Medland-Marchen, September 10 2015 —

Smartphones have taken the world by storm, and apps in particular have made fitness highly accessible. There’s an app to cover just about every aspect of fitness and health — hydration, nutrition, planning, mental health and everything in between. The Gauntlet took a look at some of the most popular, free fitness apps on the market and picked a few of the best. Give them a try and challenge yourself to a heightened workout experience.

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is an attempt at integrating fitness and gaming. The approach works well for the dynamic app, providing its users with a fulfilling backstory that gives your run a heightened purpose. You are encouraged to play by walking, jogging or running in real life — aiming to escape a hoard of zombies who have descended upon earth during the apocalypse. A story is provided and it coincides with your own music while you move along. As you get going, the app will urge you to run faster to escape zombie attacks. It’s a good way to spice up your morning run or easily integrate a more varied style of training.

Plant Nanny

Staying properly hydrated is difficult if you don’t track your liquid consumption. Plant Nanny provides you with a visual representation of your daily water intake in the form of a cute plant that you can hydrate with cups of water — while drinking some yourself. The plant grows from a little sapling to a fully bloomed flower, which can be kept in a garden to produce seeds. These seeds can then be used to purchase pots, scenery and more plant varieties. It’s interactive health at its finest.


Establishing a fitness regimen is difficult without a clear focus to keep you on track. Creating goals can help prevent stale routines and keep you motivated. GoalTracker is a simple app that allows you to add detailed goals to a list and customize them based on importance, timing and immediacy — your goals then appear in ascending order of importance. Use this app to make major gains in your weightlifting or aerobic workouts. Goals like “increase weight by 15 lbs. by the end of the month” or “increase run time by 10 minutes this week” can provide a clear reminder of your training session’s purpose. And it’s definitely a gratifying moment when you achieve that goal and set a new one.


Sleepbot is an essential tool for those looking to get the most out of your daily rest. Turn it on when you go to bed and the app will analyze your movement, sound and sleeping patterns. You can review the results when you wake up to learn how to optimize your sleeping sessions. The app provides you with customized feedback on your most optimum hours of deep sleep and advises you when to interrupt your sleep cycle. This allows you to feel more rested and ready to take on the day.

Charity Miles

If you need more of a push to work out, Charity Miles can bring purpose to your daily exercise. A group of sponsors have pledged to donate a small sum of money to various charity organizations during your walk, run or bike ride. Pick a charity from a long list available through the app and get moving. For the duration of your workout, you will be donating cents — the amount of which is tied directly to your distance — to your chosen charity. It may be a small amount at first, but those cents can add up. If you work out often, Charity Miles gives you the option of working for a cause rather than simply towards personal betterment.


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