Exercise is critical for our health and can be an important part of striking that elusive work-life balance. But between Pilates, spin, and barre classes, or even just a simple gym membership, the cost of working out can add up quickly. If you want to stay fit but don’t have room in your budget, these six workout apps can help you get your fitness on without breaking the bank — or even leaving home.
Price: 30-day free trial, or subscribe for $9.99/month or $89.99/year
Mobile platforms: iOS
If you have a stationary bike at home (or at your gym), CycleCast gives you access to your own spin classes without the hefty fees. You can choose your instructor and stream music and instruction whenever you want. Classes are 20, 45, or 60 minutes, so you can do a quick ride during your lunch break or go full force when you have more time.
Offering both audio- and video-guided workouts, Workout Trainer helps you find a fitness plan that works best for your lifestyle. You can select workouts to target specific body parts, or choose by activity (like running). If you’re looking for some camaraderie, join Workout Trainer’s online communities for motivation and advice.
Do you slack on exercising because you don’t have the right equipment? That’s where SworkIt comes in. The app offers more than 170 5- to 60-minute workouts, from strength and yoga to Pilates and cardio, all of which require exactly zero props. You can even knock out a workout during your lunch hour, if you’re so inclined.
Mobile platforms: iOS
If you’re a fan of ballet-style exercises, check out Barre3. While you do have the option to walk into a Barre3 location (there are more than 100 studios in the U.S.), you can use the app if you don’t want to leave home. You don’t need fancy shoes or a barre — the strengthening and toning exercises require only your own body weight. Bonus: The app also offers recipes from chefs and nutritionists.
The Simply Yoga app has 20- to 60-minute routines in two levels, depending on your skill level and how much time you have. In addition to guided audio, the app comes with video demonstrations of each pose so you can check your form. Pro tip: The premium version lets you customize your workouts.
Nike+ Training Club
Nike+ Training Club brings the whole gym experience to your phone or tablet and lets you connect with a community. There are more than 100 free workouts, and you can share your favorites with friends or motivate them to try something new on your Support Feed. Bonus: Each workout has video, photo, and audio components to keep you engaged and show you perfect form.