10 Workout Apps That Beat the Gym

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Getting to the gym isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially as the weather gets colder. Who wants to pay for a gym membership they may not be motivated to use? Smartphone apps make it easy to find motivation to work out, access guided routines, and track progress. Here are 10 apps that will help you ditch the expensive gym membership, save money, and feel great.

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Remember the VHS workout tapes of the '90s? You could follow a Spandex-clad instructor through a workout in the comfort of your living room. Sworkit (iOS, Android, and Amazon) has adapted video-based instruction, mixed it with a timing tool and data tracking capability, and put it all into a smartphone app. Choose the workout length as well as which muscle groups to target each day. (Free)

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Running provides a rush of feel-good endorphins, but in order to get them flowing, you've got to get moving. Spring Moves (iOS) is a personal DJ app that syncs the steps of a workout with the beat of streamed music. It also tracks distance, calories, and pace. (Free to try; $3.99/month to subscribe)

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It's impressive when an app knows exactly what you need. FitStar (iOS) is an interactive app that asks questions in order to deliver tailored, personalized workouts. (Free)

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Created by and for CrossFit loyalists, WOD Deck of Cards (iOS and Android) is for those who want to be surprised and challenged and constantly switch things up. Users choose one type of workout to represent each suit, and then draw a card to see how many times they must complete it. (Free)

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For the couch potato with a fondness for "The Walking Dead," Zombies, Run! (iOS and Android) motivates users to exercise for a chance to escape a zombie takeover. The effort of running from the undead is rewarded with supplies and tools based on the amount of exercise completed. (Free; $2.99/month to subscribe)

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An app that inspires more than calorie burning, Charity Miles (iOS and Android) taps into exercisers' inner philanthropist as they train. Charity Miles offers rewards for running, walking, or biking distances by donating to a charity of the user's choice. The more you move, the more you help. (Free)

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Lauded as one of the most popular fitness apps for beginners, C25K (iOS) has a Couch to 5K program that guides newbies through the process of training for and completing that first 5K race in eight weeks' time. Note: There's more than one program with this name, so be sure to click through to c25kfree.com. (Free)

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This app can be a social media maven's newest #fitfriend. Through a supportive community that offers virtual high-fives, PumpUp (iOS and Android) applies the accountability factor and community aspect of social media to working out. Isn't that better than suffering the eye rolls of friends when asking them to touch your bicep? (Free)

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Fitness and healthy eating are essential to achieving optimal health, and Noom Coach (iOS and Android) offers in-depth diet analysis. Keep track of foods consumed through the app and receive feedback, advice, and helpful strategies to meet fitness goals. Think of it as a personal nutritionist that fits in your hand. (Free)

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More of a yogi than a gym rat? Yoga Studio (iOS) is an all-levels app that offers classes suitable for beginners as well as more experienced practitioners. The app offers a choice of poses as well as the ability to create a personalized sequence depending on user preferences. ($3.99)