Hit every fitness goal with these apps

Looking to eat healthier or work out sans gym membership? No problem.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal Freelance Writer
Sarah is a freelance writer and CNET How To blogger. Her main focus is Windows, but she also covers everything from mobile tech to video games to DIY hardware projects. She likes to press buttons and see what happens, so don't let her near any control panels.
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
4 min read
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

It's easy to dismiss fitness apps as pointless because they don't fit your exact fitness goals.

That's why we went through a bunch of 'em and came up with the perfect apps to help you keep your resolutions and get fit -- whether your goal is to run a marathon or try CrossFit.

No excuses!

Goal: Watch what you eat

It doesn't matter why you want to watch what you eat -- maybe you're looking to shed a few pounds, or maybe you want to eat more veggies -- there's an app that will help you do just that.

For beginning calorie counters, MyFitnessPal (Android, iOS) is a free food-logging app that lets you track calories, including both macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) and micronutrients, such as sodium, cholesterol, sugar, and iron. You can set custom goals for macros and micros, which makes MyFitnessPal perfect for people with goals other than simply "less calories." The app also features a large database of nutrition info for common foods, which makes logging easier if you happen to eat a lot of prepackaged stuff. MyFitnessPal is a great general food-tracking app, but there are also a few apps that will help you achieve specific eating goals.

I Heart Veggies (Android, iOS) is a $0.99, £0.79, AU$1.49 app that tries to get you pumped about eating vegetables and has its own veggie-tracking feature.

7 Day Sugar-Free Detox (iOS) is a $0.99, £0.79, AU$0.99 app that walks you through a week of eating sugar-free (or low-sugar), complete with recipes, shopping lists, and morning and evening routines designed to help you feel better and get a better night's sleep.

Finally, Pic Healthy (Android, iOS) is a free app that uses your social network to shame you into eating better -- with this app, you snap photos of your meals and let your buddies rate how healthy your food is (the healthier your food is rated, the more points you get).

Goal: Hit the gym regularly

All you really want to do is become a gym rat -- er, maybe more like a gym mouse. Gym bunny? Whatever. Pact (Android, iOS) is everybody's favorite sadistic motivation app that pays you to hit the gym and...takes your money when you don't. With Pact, you make a "pact" to go to the gym a certain number of times per week -- then every time you go to the gym, you check-in via location services and let the app know. If you make it through an entire week, you'll get a small payout. But if you miss a day, you payout (you can set the price you pay, which determines how much you get for keeping your goals).

If you're too poor and too un-motivated to use Pact, you can use IFTTT (Android, iOS) to set up a few recipes that will do things like tell people when you're working out (or, if you have a fitness tracker, tell people when you aren't working out). Check out my piece on how to force yourself to go to the gym.

Goal: Find a new workout

New year, new workout! Maybe you've always wanted to try CrossFit, or rock climbing, or cardio barre, or boxing. (In case you're curious, my new workout for this year is parkour...wish me luck.) ClassPass (iOS) is an app that, for a monthly fee, lets you try out all sorts of different classes in your city.

One month of ClassPass costs $119, £79 or AU$99, but you'll be able to take unlimited classes at different fitness studios and gyms all around you -- everything from yoga, Pilates,and dance, to CrossFit, MMA and boxing. It's the perfect app if you're looking to try out a few new things before you lock yourself into a gym membership.

Goal: Run a marathon (or any distance)

Training for a race? Hit the ground running with Couch25K (Android, iOS; $2.99, £2.29, AU$4.49), an app that helps you go from sitting on your couch to running a whole five kilometers (without stopping) in nine weeks.

Once you have the 5K down, grab the MapMyRun Trainer (Android, iOS), a free app with training plans for a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, and 50K. And once you have your training figured out, pick up RunKeeper (Android, iOS), a free GPS running app that tracks your outdoor runs and ties in with any activity trackers you happen to be using.

Finally, if you're really serious about this marathon thing, check out the marathon you're aiming to run in -- chances are, it'll have an app that maps out the course, keeps you up to date with race info, and has a few extra features thrown in, like points of interest or the ability to track other racers. Both the TCS NYC Marathon (Android, iOS) and the LA Marathon (Android, iOS) have their 2016 apps available now.

Goal: Get fit on a budget

Good news for those of you who are short on cash, time, or both: There are plenty of budget-friendly workout apps that help you get in shape whenever, wherever -- no expensive gym membership needed. Wahoo Fitness' 7 Minute Workout (Android, iOS) is a free app that leaves room for no excuses. This app features a few short, seven-minute-long workouts composed of bodyweight exercises (no need for equipment). The app also has videos that demonstrate various exercises -- you know, in case you've never done a push-up before.

If you have more than seven minutes, Nike+ Training Club (Android, iOS) is a free app with over 100 workouts of varying difficulties, time constraints, and equipment requirements, led by Nike Master Trainers. The app even lets you choose your own playlist to work out to.

If you have enough money to splurge (though, not enough for a gym membership), check out Daily Burn (Android, iOS), an app that offers streaming class-style workouts (such as yoga, Pilates, and dance) for a monthly subscription fee of $12.99, £9.99, AU$19.99.