If you’re having trouble seeing results from your workout, you might consider tracking it.

Researchers found adults whose doctors asked them about exercise regimens lost more weight and saw greater declines in blood sugar levels than patients whose doctors didn’t ask, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. 

The study, which included data from nearly 700,000 patients, was completed at four northern California Kaiser Permanente facilities. Doctors said asking patients about exercise made them think more about physical activity.

Even if your doctor doesn’t ask you about exercise, tracking your own activity in an app could be the ticket to sticking to a workout plan. Many free or low-cost apps are available for all mobile operating platforms.

1. Fitness Buddy

Fitness Buddy, available on iPhone and Android for $1.99, tracks workouts and body weight. It features more than 75 workouts, but also allows you to create custom routines. Users will find videos, exercise demonstration photographs, and the ability to track body weight progress on a graph.

2. Runkeeper

Runners, hikers, and bikers looking to track routes and fitness goals might try Runkeeper, a free app available on iPhone and Android. The app keeps a history of all your workouts so you can look back and see how you’re doing. It also alerts you when you reach personal records and other milestones. Features include GPS map displays showing workout duration and the number of calories burned.

3. Argus

This free app offers complete lifestyle management, tracking everything from fitness activity and weight to how much you sleep and drink water. GPS maps feature the routes taken while the food diary tracks nutritional goals. The app tracks trends over time, allowing you to see progress. Sorry Android users, this app only works on iPhone.

4. GymHero

Many fitness apps track information like routes and speed, which is great if you’re a runner or bicycler. But for those who like to hit the gym, try Gym Hero. This free app is iPhone only, but records workout routines and calculates statistics by muscle group for repetitions, weight lifted, and workout time.

5. Simple Workout Log

This one’s for you, Android. Simple Workout Log does exactly what it says — offers a streamlined place to track all your workouts from cardio to strength training. It’s meant to replace a paper workout journal and provides simplicity for those just looking to hold themselves accountable.

What’s your favorite app for tracking exercise? 

Image by Jon Clegg via Flickr


Weekly updates on conditions, treatments, and news about everything happening inside pain medicine.

You have Successfully Subscribed!