Let’s face it, there are times when it gets hard to stay on track. That’s why we’ve rounded up and tested 11 different walking apps that will rock your exercise routine.
And the best part is you won’t need an expensive wearable fitness device. Grab your phone and get these apps now!
Here’s how to track your steps, find fresh workout music, discover new things, and meet fun people– all without spending a dime.
#1 The iPhone App You Didn’t Know (or Forgot) About
If you own an iPhone 5s, 6, or 6s, or an iPhone that has been updated since iOS 8 you already have an app that’s been automatically tracking your steps– without accessories.
Open up the iPhone Health app, it’s the white one with the little red heart.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use the app:
Pro-tip: “Flights Climbed” will give you insight to the flights of stairs you climb in a day (and motivation to add more)!
#2 Use Google Fit with Your Android
Android users will want to download the Google Fit app. It taps directly into your phone to track your steps without an accessory.
The cool thing about this app is that you can set your walking goals.
Pro-tip: The steps per hour feature is an awesome tool to get you moving, check it out!
#3 Get #Sorelegs with Pokemon Go
While not exactly one of the most traditional walking apps, Pokemon Go players are buzzing about their #sorelegs while chasing cartoons. Is it worth it for you to join the craze?
Here’s what Ray from our creative team has to say about it…
“The first day I walked about 5 miles in a few hours without even realizing it. Most evenings I will have a casual walk for about an hour and that not only helps me hatch eggs super fast, but also get in my exercise by playing most every day.
But did it help him lose any weight?
I went from 227 to 199 with a strict Personal Trainer Food diet, and recently I dropped another 8 pounds in less than a month by combining my exercise with Pokemon Go and eating Personal Trainer Food.”
Pro-Tip: Have fun, but keep your head up, and stay aware of your surroundings; safety first!
#4 Capture Real Creatures as You Walk
For one of the most geekiest walking apps, download the iNaturalist. As you walk, you’ll snap pictures with your phone to log bugs, plants, birds, reptiles, mammals and any other creature you find during your jaunt.
Your log of finds will help scientists track and study biodiversity.
It’s like Pokemon Go– but for nature nerds!
Pro-Tip: Findings on iNaturalist have led to the discovery of new species, and ones thought extinct. This is a great cause, and one to definitely share with the kids!
#5 Find AllTrails (Or Make One of Your Own)
AllTrails gives you access to over 50,000 trails everywhere, along with photos, reviews, and directions to the trail head.
Use the handy filter feature to search for trails that interest you such as ‘kid-friendly,’ ‘dog-friendly,’ ‘views,’ ‘lake,’ ‘birding’, or ‘wildlife.’
But you don’t have to be on a trail– you can record your walk anywhere!
Pro-Tip: AllTrails is one of the best walking apps if you like stats. Every time you record one, it creates a map full of useful data such as your distance, speed, time, elevation that you can save to your profile.
#6 Turn Your Browser Into One of Your Walking Apps
Sometimes the best walking apps don’t do what a few clever searches do. Don’t forget that you can use your browser to Google interesting things to search for hidden treasures in your city.
Try searching on terms like “Your City Name” + “Outdoor Sculptures” or “Street Art” or “Historical Landmarks” or “Walking Tour.”
You’ll be surprised how many cities and even smaller towns have published walking tour maps in PDF or JPG formats you can download to your phone.
Pro-Tip: Weekend mornings are a great time to explore big cities, there will be ample parking and no traffic.
#7 DJ Your Walk with some Fresh Tunes
If your current tracks are getting stale or you just don’t have time to put a list together, download Spotify.
The free version will let you stream music via a wi-fi connection for 30 ad-free minutes at a time; the perfect length for your 20-minute treadmill walk. (Note: you’ll have to upgrade if you want those tunes offline for your outdoors walks.)
To find some workout music in seconds, browse under genres and moods for workout tunes.
#8 Go On a Treasure Hunt
A geocache is a little treasure someone has hidden and marked on a map.
You find them in fun nooks and crannies using an app.
There is always an excuse to walk, because they are EVERYWHERE!
Here’s a load of caches near PTF headquarters in Fort Worth:
Pro-tip: Geocaching (available for iPhones and Androids), now features GeoTours– curated collections of geocaches that are designed to help you explore the world like a local. This is a great way to get your walks in when you travel.
#9 Make Your Walks Sociable with Meetup
Meetups are a fantastic way to connect with people in your neighborhood who share similar interests as you.
Walking and hiking meetup groups can be found in most any city.
Once you download the app, search for walking groups to find one that appeals to you.
Pro-tip: If you have a dog, you’ll find plenty of dog-walking groups so fido can socialize as well.
#10 Wander with Yonder
Yonder is a photo app that inspires you to discover the outdoors with other people. Users post up their images and share their experiences. Get inspired by following other active people around the world.
The app lists a ton of local trails, but it can also be helpful if you want to gain the courage to go explore walks and hikes that are a little more out of the way.
#11 Walk Confidently with a Safety Net
Create a safety net using your phone by sharing your location with your emergency contacts when you are out walking. The is another one of those ‘walking apps’ that isn’t really considered an app but it’s easy to forget the usefulness of this feature, especially if you are out of range of your usual circle of family and friends you already share your location with. Here’s how you can temporarily share your location with someone you know who IS close by.
On the iPhone:
- Open a text message with the person you want to share your location with.
- Tap ‘details.’
- Select ‘Share My Location.’
- You can choose to share for one hour, until the end of day, or indefinitely with your emergency contact.
On the Android and/or iPhones (which is great if your emergency contacts don’t have the same phone as you):
- Everyone you want to share with will need Google+ accounts and apps installed on their phones.
- On Android, open the app, tap the menu button, select ‘Settings,’ and select the account you want to use. On iPhone, open the menu, select ‘Locations,’ tap the gear icon, and tap ‘Settings.’
- Tap ‘Location sharing’ and enable it. Tap ‘Edit’ next to ‘Pinpoint Location,’ choose the people (or circles) you want to share your location with, and tap ‘Done.’
What Free Apps Do You Love with PTF?
Share your favorites with us in the comments section!
About the Writer
Jan is a certified nutritionist, trainer, and yoga teacher. As a 13-year veteran in the fitness industry, she has personally coached and trained thousands of people to live fit and healthy lives around the world. 100 pounds ago, she knew exactly what it is like to be obese, sick and unhappy, feeling like there was nothing that could be done about the excess fat she had gained. That is why she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Personal Trainer Food team today. She has successfully and permanently lost the fat using the principles of this program.