9 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Stay Motivated

Gym Pact

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Betting on people’s gambling instincts, the Gym Pact app is simple: Decide how many days this month you will go to the gym and ante up your money. Hit your goal and you hit the jackpot, raking in your own cash, in addition to that of less diligent gym goers.

If you miss your mark, the tables are turned and your cash gets redistributed. If better health doesn’t compel you to exercise, then maybe losing some money will?

Free, available on iTunes

Fitocracy

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Fitocracy aims to combine the best of social media and exercise to make a powerful motivational tool. Log your workouts, go on quests, get props from your friends, and level up, just like you would in your favorite RPG (role-playing game).

Free, available at Fitocracy.com

Nexercise

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Workout or a video game? Now you don’t have to choose. With the Nexercise app, your workout is transformed into a fun game. You start by choosing from the app’s list of exercises, and then your iPhone tracks your movements. Each completed session gives you points that can be redeemed for real-life rewards. Plus, there’s a leaderboard so you can have a little healthy competition among your friends.

Free, available on iTunes store. Android version coming soon.

OptimumizeMe

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Do you love a challenge? The OptimumizeMe app takes your competitive instincts and uses them to your healthiest advantage by letting you compete against friends, strangers, or even yourself in a variety of fitness endeavors. Whether you’re trying yoga for the first time or upping your basketball game, you can earn rewards for each personal best.

Free, available on iTunes

Spotify

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Music buffs have made Spotify one of the hottest apps of 2012, but fitness buffs will love it too. This music service is comprehensive, free, and the fastest streaming you’ve ever seen, er, heard. Set up a running playlist on your home computer and it’s instantly available on your phone—no wires, syncing, or downloading required.

In addition to playing Eye of the Tiger on repeat, you can also use it to time Tabata intervals or listen to a yoga podcast. And the social media function allows you to share your playlists and song discoveries with your friends. Plus, everything is stored on their servers so it won’t bog down your phone’s memory.

Free, available on iTunes, Android

Fitness Builder and Fitness Class

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The Fitness Builder and Fitness Class apps only do one thing, but they do it incredibly well. Both tools deliver a huge library of top-notch professional workouts with the option to build your own piece by piece or take one of their classes. It’s a foolproof plan for people who just want someone to tell them what to do and how to do it without a lot of fuss. The hardest part is not forgetting your phone in the car.

Free, available on iTunes, Android

My Net Diary

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Any dieter can tell you that tracking calories can be a huge pain. Looking up foods, calculating portion sizes, entering recipes, and logging what you ate can take a lot of time. The My Net Diary app aims to make that process as quick and simple as possible by using the latest technologies like Google Instant and a huge food database.

Now the only painful part is trying to figure out why, exactly, you ate half that cake sitting on your counter.

$3.99, available on iTunes, Android, Blackberry, and web

My Fitness Pal

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A workout diary, food tracker, and social media tool all in one, the My Fitness Pal app is your one-stop shop for a healthy lifestyle. While it doesn’t offer advice like workout routines or healthy recipes, it’s super simple to log your own into the app. And for your inner geek, you can check out your progress with cool graphs, charts, and other tools. You can even set up reminders.

Free, available on iTunes, Android, and web

Runtastic

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Boasting features like a heart rate monitor, cyclometer, and a GPS tracker, the Runtastic app makes simple distance and mapping programs look, well, boring. This is the ultimate tool for runners who like as much information as possible (Because it’s fun to geek out over your run). And it has a social media function so you can share (brag?) that PR with all your friends in real time.

$3.99, available on iTunes, Android, Blackberry, and web

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