Freytag: My Five Favorite Fitness Apps

Managing your time effectively is essential to being productive. Too often, one of the first things to fall off a busy schedule is exercise and, ultimately, your health. In this age of apps for everything, you can take advantage of technology to stay fit on the go. Check out my favorite fitness tools for working out when you have a crazy, hectic schedule.


To help you map out walks and runs when you’re home or traveling, check out MapMyFitness. MapMyFitness uses built-in GPS technology to track your outdoor fitness activities. You can choose your route and the distance you want to run or walk and you won’t get lost! Step out your front door, hit the road or trail, and this app will mark out your path along an interactive map and record essential metrics including duration, distance, pace, speed and elevation. It also includes a nutrition tracker that lets you keep track of how many calories you’re eating. It’s free, but many additional services and features are available if you pay a monthly fee to become a member of the MapMyFitness community.



Studies show that people lose more weight when they write down and track what they are eating. The MyFitnessPal app makes it easy to log in your food because its database includes more than 1,497,000 foods, including lots of convenience foods. Whether you are on the road or at home, it’s easy to use on your smartphone. Plus, it remembers your favorite foods that you eat regularly, so you can easily select them. Track your calories, exercise and use its community forum for support. Did I mention it’s a free app?


Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Anyone who wants to improve or maintain their fitness knows the best approach is to train smart. When you are short on time, a heart rate monitor will help you push yourself to work harder in a shorter period of time by allowing you to be in touch with your training zones. Whether you want efficient fat burning or intense intervals, the best tool to help you is a heart rate monitor. Keep track of your zones and calories burned for each workout over the course of the week. My favorite brand is Polar, and I currently wear the FT40.


Chris Freytag’s Daily Trainer Workout

My Daily Trainer app offers a way to exercise, viewing the workouts right on your iPhone. Pick your 90-day program and get started. Or you can alter the workouts each day and pick your choice of equipment. It’s an easier way to work out because you don’t even have to think about it! With video demonstrations of each exercise, and a new workout each day, this app simplifies your workouts because you know exactly what you need to do. Register online and then try my app for seven days for free. After that, it’s just $2.99 per week.


Wello Live Trainer

If you wish you had the time or the money for a personal trainer, Wello can be the ideal service for you. Choose a workout type and then select a trainer based on gender, price, specialty and training style. Then you can work out with the trainer of your choice (get this!) in the comfort of your home, or in your hotel if you are on vacation or traveling for business. All you need is a computer, Internet connection and a webcam. Click a link on your Wello dashboard and you’re literally live with a trainer. No downloads are necessary.

Tabata Pro Trainer

Tabata training is a type of high intensity interval training (HIIT) where you push yourself to the max for short periods of time followed by a period of recovery. What makes HIIT different from basic intervals is that high intensity intervals involve maximum effort not just a higher heart rate. This type of athletic challenge enhances cardiovascular fitness and athletic capacity, increases lean muscle mass, boosts metabolism and helps you shed the pounds. Tabata intervals can be incorporated into riding a bike, running, exercise using your body weight, plyometrics and strength training, but the variable that doesn’t change is the formula. A Tabata interval consists of eight cycles of 20-second all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of recovery, totaling 4 minutes. You can do as many Tabata intervals in a row as you’d like, but for most fitness enthusiasts, if you are going full-out effort, 20-30 minutes is max. The Tabata Timer keeps accurate track of the intervals. (You can also play around with the work/rest ratios and change the interval times if you wish.) I have it on my iPhone and iPad.


Now you can ditch those excuses and stay fit—no matter where you are, no matter how much time you have.



Chris Freytag has dedicated her adult life to motivating people to lead healthier lives. A contributing editor to Prevention magazine, she's also written two books, Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss, and her latest, 2-Week Total Body Turnaround. She also has appeared on NBC's Today show and MSNBC's Weekend Update.

Leave a Comment