Available on iPhone and Android platforms, RunKeeper is one of the most popular fitness apps available. Utilising your smartphone’s GPS function, the app keeps track of the pace and distance of your jog (or cycle, whatever your preferred mode of transport), as well as calories burnt and the time elapsed. Audio prompts telling you how far and fast you’re running are also available, though you may find this either encouraging or disheartening. The app also keeps a log of your running history. One of the more expensive fitness apps, sure, but you get what you pay for.
Presented as a swipeable series of Post-It notes, Nutrition Tips is not much more than a collection of useful nutritional factoids. But it needn’t be too fancy: whether you want to know which meats are best consumed for post-exercise muscle repair, or how good oysters are for you, there are over 500 tips to help augment your exercise regime, or simply pass the time.
Billed as a “portable fitness trainer”, Fitness Builder has over 200 workouts ready to test your body and willpower, a selection of which can be chosen according to your fitness goals. With pictoral instructions, handy nutrition tips and hyper-specific exercises (“Improve your throw”, “Increase your speed”, and the QVC-evoking “I want those abs”), it seems a good all-rounder.
Lose It! is a diet and exercise journal that requires a little bit of patience (there’s a lot of data entry compared to other apps on our list), but if you’re serious about shifting your Christmas bump then the benefits are not to be sniffed at. The app stores your calorie intake, and keeps data on your weight loss/gain as you record it. It also factors in your exercise regime, subtracting calories according to the pace and intensity of your workout.
The GymFu Line
GymFu is technically four apps: a bundle of exercises called CrunchFu, SquatFu, PushupFu and PullupFu. Each app gives you a target of reps to work towards, and depending on your ability you can either start from scratch as if you’ve never done a push-up in your life, or you can skip several stages. Via a motion-detector sensor, the app can monitor whether you’re doing “proper” reps or not (so no cheating), and even barks at you if you’re not putting your back into it.