Free running and fitness apps to download to help you feel healthy

Do you want to get fit or improve your fitness? Fire up your smartphone and download these free apps.

If you've been inspired by the thousands of runners who took part in the London Marathon but you haven’t exercised for a long time, it can be incredibly daunting to – literally – get yourself up and running.

For a bit of inspiration the Virgin Sport Hackney Festival of Fitness takes place every summer. This year, 30,000 people of all ages took to the streets in Hackney, East London, some to take part in the Hackney Half Marathon, others to join free yoga, boot camps and dance classes, as well as to listen to live music and enjoy local food and drink. 

[Read more: How your smartphone can look after your health]

Check out the video below to find out what happened at the first Festival of Fitness which took place in 2017. If you missed out on a place in the Hackney Half, why not consider The British 10K? This flat course takes in classic London landmarks including Big Ben and Trafalgar Square, with music at every kilometer to keep you motivated. Find out more.

If you are a smartphone owner, you’ll find a lot of exercise information is available for free, via a huge range of fitness apps. From week-by-week marathon training to helping you towards the recommended 10,000 steps a day and a food diary, there are apps for all abilities.

One You Couch to 5k

Couch to 5k

Free: Android, iOS

Running is a great way to get fit and avoid costly gym membership. One You Couch to 5k, developed with Public Health England, is designed for complete beginners - it’s a nine-week program that helps you gradually build up to exercising for 5km, alternating between running and walking. Virtual trainer Laura tells you when to walk and run, while a countdown timer shows how much time you have remaining. It might seem a distant goal, but with a bit of help, you'll smash through the 5K barrier in no time.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper

Free: Android, iOS

Runkeeper helps improve fitness by tracking a host of activities, including running, cycling, walking and even skating. Hit ‘Start’ and the app uses your phone’s GPS to track each activity including distance travelled, calories burned and location. As you exercise you get real-time audio updates informing you of your progress. What we like about Runkeeper is that it works for all fitness levels – you can set your own goals or follow professionally-designed training plans from a beginner’s 5k to a marathon.

Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal

Calorie Counter % Diet Tracker app

Free: Android, iOS

Improving your health isn’t only about exercising - it’s just as important to watch what you eat. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker is a food diary in app form. Enter your fitness goals and it will tell you how many calories you need to burn to reach your target. Add what you eat and it calculates how many calories you have consumed, using a huge database of 6 million foods. As well as helping you monitor your meals, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker syncs with other fitness apps, giving you a full overview of your progress. Use it sensibly and the weight will start falling off.

Check out the video below to see the apps in action.

[Read more: Fitness trackers explained]

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