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7 Exercise Apps For People Who Hate Working Out

Apr 15, 2015

Looking to get in shape for summer? Fitness may be its own reward, but these seven apps can sweeten the deal by prodding, encouraging and even paying users to roll off of that couch and unleash their inner gym bunnies — or just move a bit more. No pressure.

Human

Human can track a whole range of movements, in and out of doors, whether the user is pounding the pavement or dancing alone in front of the mirror. Any activity short of shifting about in a chair counts toward a daily goal of 30 minutes in motion (busybodies can revise their goal upwards to 60 or 90 minutes). On those occasional inert days, the app automatically prods the user to get moving. It's a great starter app for anyone who wants to get active, but doesn't want to commit to a single, repetitive fitness routine.

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Gympact

It pays to workout with Gympact, literally. A community of users bet $5 to $10 that they'll stick to their weekly exercise routine. Those who break their pact automatically lose money, which is disbursed to those who uphold their end of the bargain. The app tracks progress toward your weekly goals using the phone's motion sensor for movement and GPS for gym visits. With payouts ranging from $0.30 to $5, the carrot doesn't quite match the stick. Then again, it's one of the only workout apps to brandish a carrot and a stick in the first place.

Fitocracy

Fitocracy adds a competitive twist to the workout routine, awarding points for each recorded workout, badges for significant milestones and bragging rights on a social network of more than one million users (including Arnold Schwarzenegger). If points, public glory and a loose affiliation with the Terminator aren't motivation enough, users can also hire a personal trainer for coaching and nutritional advice at $1 a day.

Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K may sound like an ambitious goal for anyone on the couch-end of the spectrum, but this app's training regimen starts easy and gradually ratchets up the run time from one training session to the next. Audio cues from a personal trainer prompt the user to push just a little bit longer than the previous session. Stick to the program, and novice runners can complete a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) circuit within nine weeks.

RockMyRun

RockMyRun arranges music mixes by tempo, so that the beat falls roughly in line with your running pace, whether its an easy jog (120 beats per minute) or a hard run (150 beats per minute). Android users can manually change the tempo, but iPhone users can take advantage of the latest feature: tempos that automatically sync up to footfalls or heartbeats.

Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout

Ever since a groundbreaking fitness study found that 7 minutes of exercise could yield impressive results, there has been a veritable explosion of 7-minute workout apps. Johnson & Johnson whipped up the cleanest looking interface. Reading the instructions is the easy part — actually following through on the high-intensity workout, not so much. On the upside, the end is always seven minutes in sight.

Type n Walk

The absolute last refuge for texting addicts, Type n Walk uses the smartphone camera to display the pavement immediately in front of you in real-time. Compose texts or emails against this moving backdrop. "This combined with your peripheral vision is just enough visual information to help you avoid obstacles," the app makers say. Test their claim at your own risk.

Read next: The 10 Essential Rules of Gym Etiquette

Bulging at beach in 1949, 197-pound Dorothy [Bradley] self-consciously leaves locker room for swim. She covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious
VIEW GALLERY | 20 PHOTOS
Caption from LIFE. Bulging at beach in 1949, 197-pound Dorothy [Bradley] self-consciously leaves locker room for swim. She covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious.Martha Holmes—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Bulging at beach in 1949, 197-pound Dorothy [Bradley] self-consciously leaves locker room for swim. She covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949.
Hungry at drugstore after a day's work earning money for nursing school, Dorothy envies slim girl's milkshake, orders lemonade without sugar for herself.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, squeezes through turnstile, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley (right), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley (left), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, eyes dress in a store window, 1949.
Embarrassed at shop because she wears a size 40, Dorothy tries on new dress. A friend encouragingly points out that dieting has reduced waistline by two sizes
In gym in New York sweat-suited Dorothy finds workout did not by itself remove pounds but did help avoid flabbiness as she lost weight dieting.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, measures her waist, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley (left), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, meets with a nutritionist, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, tries on a dress, 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949.
Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949.
Now down to 155 pounds, an attractive Dorothy dances at Navy Ball
LIFE Magazine, March 8, 1954
LIFE Magazine, March 8, 1954
Caption from LIFE. Bulging at beach in 1949, 197-pound Dorothy [Bradley] self-consciously leaves locker room for swim. She covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious.
Martha Holmes—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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