At this busy time of year, you may not be able to get to the gym as often as you’d like. But guess what? There’s an app for that. When it comes to fitness apps, I know how hard the best ones are to find. I have downloaded so many over the years that I’ve almost paid for a year’s worth of gym membership trying to find the ones that work the best. I’m looking for an app that’s not only easy to use, but also relates to my fitness goals. So which apps should you take the time to download and try? Which will help you get in shape the fastest? Read on for my top 5 apps for general fitness – from nutrition to strength training, running to yoga.

My Fitness Pal The most important aspect of fitness training is learning to eat right. But counting calories is hard – especially if you aren’t counting them properly. My Fitness Pal takes care of that for you. Once you download the app, just enter your measurements and weight, followed by your goals and then, Presto, there are the daily calories you need to get there in a reasonable time. Each day, you punch in your meals and the app tells you how many calories you have left. You can even scan the UPC code on a food package and it adds calories for you.

NTC (Nike Training Club) Looking for that personal workout but don’t have the cash to hire a trainer? This app’s for you. Get lean, toned and strong with more than 100 custom-built workouts. The app works with your NikeFuel band and calorie data, too. With detailed instructions and audio support, you will perfect each of Nike Training Club’s dynamic drills. Choose a workout that suits your goal, set it to your playlist and share your progress (accountability) to earn rewards. Bonus: You can even unlock extra workouts from Rihanna’s own personal trainer.

P90X Yes, this is THAT P90X – the one you may have seen on TV, the one that looks so freaking hard. Well, now you can download it and take that DVD workout with you to the gym. For less than $50 (a huge savings over the DVD set) you’ll have guided instruction videos on your phone or iPad. Or you can just use the tracker to enter your weights and reps and track your workout progress. That’s one way to keep you accountable to fitness.

Yoga Studio Dim the lights, light your candles and incense and away you go to your own in-home studio. Great for the phone or iPad, this app is exactly what is sounds like: A Portable Yoga Studio. You have the option of choosing studio classes from  between beginner to  intermediate to advanced and you can focus on Balance, Combination, Flexibility, Relaxation and Strength. You can even pick your class based on duration. Press start and your class starts, right there on your screen.

Nike+ Running This app will help you enjoy your run more than you ever thought possible. It maps your runs, tracks your progress, and motivates you to keep going. It achieves all this by tracking with GPS your distance, pace, time and calories burned, and by giving you audio feedback as you run. Get ready to rally your very own cheering section, too. Just post the start of your run to Facebook and you’ll hear real-time cheers for each like or comment you receive. Talk about motivation.

About the author

Matthew Taub

Matthew Taub is a P90X Master Trainer, International Fitness Presenter, Insanity, TRX, Turbo Kick, PiYo and Spin certified, and Personal Trainer located in Toronto, Ontario. Working with his wife, Felicia Taub, another Master Trainer with Insanity, Turbo Kick, PiYo and Hip Hop Hustle, together they work to help couples and individuals change their lives with a base of fitness. Their framework is based on Banging out a Better Balanced Life.

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