Are you wondering how you're going to reach and maintain your fitness goals in the new year?
Fitness-tracking apps take advantage of your Android phone's GPS sensor and can track your route, pace, distance, and heart rate (with a supported heart rate monitor). Most of them also allow you to upload your stats so you can view your activity history. Going further, most of them even allow you to share your workouts on Twitter or Facebook, which is a great way to solicit encouragement from your friends and family.
Here are five popular fitness-tracking apps for your Android smartphone:
1. Endomondo Sports Tracker
Endomondo is by far, the most popular fitness tracker in the Android Market. It's also one of the most full-featured fitness tracker apps. It supports running, walking, cycling and many more activities. You can upload your activities to Endomondo's Web site for more analysis and social interactions. You can also share your activities on Facebook from within the app.
2. My Tracks
My Tracks is a "20 percent project" app by a team of Google developers. It's been around a while and has lots of users. It's a bit more spartan than some of the other apps on this list, in terms of UI and features, but it might be just enough for you. My Tracks can share your activities on Twitter and Facebook, upload data to Google Docs, and can be used with a supported heart rate monitor.
RunKeeper has a great looking UI and you can upload activities to RunKeeper's Web site, share them on Twitter and Facebook, and it supports several activity types. You get a log in prompt each time you start the app, but you can choose to bypass it.
CardioTrainer was one of the first popular Android apps and it's still a great way to track your fitness. It differs from the other apps in that it ties in weight-loss goals as well, but these "modules" have to be purchased or you can buy the Pro version for $9.99 to get access to all the modules.
5. Adidas miCoach
miCoach by Adidas has a different look than the other fitness apps and is also supported by the miCoach Web site, that provides detailed analysis of your activities. The app also supports a number of Adidas fitness products that tie in with the app and the Web site, like a heart rate monitor and shoe sensors.
That's it. These apps are all free, so try them all and pick your favorite. Also keep in mind that in order to track your heart rate with these apps, you'll need a supported heart rate monitor. You'll more than likely be looking at a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, since there's currently only one Android phone that supports ANT+ (HTC Rhyme).