Empower to the people: social fitness apps to help you hit your goals

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If you want to get fit, get social. This simple mantra is fast becoming one of the most-used maxims for people who want to improve their fitness, health, and well-being.

There’s science to back it up too. Studies have shown that people who feel watched during exercise perform better than when going it alone. We all like someone to keep us honest. It’s also true that people who share their fitness activity and goals on social media are far more likely to stick to a regular regime.

The ranks of smartphone-app-powered virtual social fitness communities are swelling fast as more and more people share their fitness journeys on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and beyond. Striving for a healthier you has become a badge of honour.

Smartphones and social media are creating nothing short of a health revolution and it’s easy for you to get involved. Whether you like the idea of competing with friends or just want to keep an eye on how everyone else compares to your efforts, you can fire up your ZenFone 3 and find dozens of empowering apps and unlock fun, support, and competition, making it easier to achieve those tough fitness ambitions.

Pact

Earn cash for fitness training. This competitive social fitness platform asks you to put your money where your mouth is. You stake a chunk of money against some fitness goals, and then if you hit them, you earn money back. But if you get lazy and fail, you’re the one paying the winners. It’s a perfect blend of social fitness that turns staying healthy into a nice second job. It’s a group payment, like a kitty, from which the winner takes earnings, or loses them. Without the group, you wouldn’t have the money.

Fitocracy

Fitocracy is quite literally a fitness social network. It’s not fitness first and workout second, but training used as a means to socialise. You get points for quests, as workouts are jokingly called, and climb leaderboards. Follow other Fitocrats, leave feedback, props, and comments to help increase motivation across the platform.

MyZone

This innovative workout aid, which uses a heart rate chest strap, makes gym going more social and uplifting. Rather than measuring the amount of weight you’ve lifted, distance run, or time cycled, this measures effort and rewards you with MEP points. By converting effort into currency, this social app creates a level playing field between everyone competing, live or over time on a leaderboard, in the gym or wherever you’re working out. It’s a great way for the super healthy and those just starting their fitness journey to work together, leaving everyone inspired to be better.

BodySpace

The makers of this app claim it’s home to the largest online fitness community. You can find workouts from professional athletes, and trainers adopt training plans created by the community. Just like a normal social network, you can also add friends and gain followers, and offer and take feedback, for motivation. Plus there’s the option to set up news feeds to show the activity of everyone you’re friendly with. It’s a powerful tool for keeping you focused and feeling positive.

Athlinks

See the bigger picture when it comes to race results. For those who enjoy both the competitive and the social side of racing, this app — which claims to be the largest race results database on the planet — adds another layer. See how you fare against elite athletes or those in your age group, for example. With 170,859,179 race results, 332,160 events, and 431,150 athletes, this is one immersive platform for fitness. Don’t be fooled by the name: this app applies to most races that track times, no matter the discipline.

Nike+ Training Club

This Nike+ Training app aims to make people feel like they’re interacting with a real personal trainer, while also training with friends, although it can also be used alone. You can access expert sessions, create your own workouts, and also do those created by other users. With support worldwide and the ability to add other members to your network, your training partner list can be near endless for constant motivation and support.

Strava

This now-famous app started out in the world as a smartphone GPS cycle tracker which bred competition among the already race-loving two-wheel types. It’s since spread into the realm of running too. But it’s more than just any old distance tracker. Strava shows you all the routes other users have completed and how long they took, effectively setting targets to beat and turning your local area into one big race track. You can also Like and comment on other people’s activity, giving virtual high fives to people in your network who’ve entered Beast Mode.

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal recognises that what you eat is just as vital as what you do for your overall well-being. Its already huge food database grows stronger the more people use it. As an individual you simply scan a barcode or input meals to see the complete nutritional value so that you can stay within your goals. But the real killer feature is the ability to share what you eat with friends. The app claims to have helped its users lose over 200 million pounds in weight already. It’ll even link in with other apps and trackers and offers workouts for an all-round fitness enhancement.