If "walk more" is part of your fitness game plan or you're just looking to up your step game, you need to keep track of how many steps you are actually taking. You may think you're logging enough steps on your walks to and from the office break room or chasing your kids around, but can you ever truly be sure? Experts recommend about 10,000 steps a day for weight loss, and one brisk 30-minute walk that gets your heart rate up is a good workout that will burn calories (if you need inspo, check out these walking treadmill workouts).
In order to maximize your walking efficiency, especially if you are using walking to help you lose weight, it's a good idea to use an app on your phone that will track steps, create workouts, and monitor your progress, most of which using just your phone and no fancy gadgets. We've rounded up seven of the best walking apps that will help you reach your goals.
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Track your routes and miles with Map My Walk by Under Armour. The app gives you feedback after every mile; as you walk, the app uses GPS, so you can see your distance, pace, speed, and calories burn over the elapsed time. You can save your routes to keep a log for reference (or social media bragging rights!). Plus, you can choose another route that a nearby Map My Walk user uploaded. You can even connect with friends to motivate one another.
Argus can track your steps, heart rate, and sleep with just your phone — no other fancy gadgets required. You can also do step challenges with other users and easily log all your food using the barcode scanner. Plus, you can stream HD workout videos.
Cost: Free (basic version)
Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS tracks your steps and cadence using just your iPhone. You can even view traffic maps using Google Maps (your phone must be connected to 3G or GPS) and get a calorie count after your activity. It's not just walking or hiking; you can also track cycling, running, skiing, and other activities. While the basic version is free, you can access advanced data features with the Elite upgrade.
Cost: $10 a month, $42 for six months, $60 for a lifetime subscription
If you're being strategic about using walking for weight loss, then Weight Loss Walking by Verv is for you. There's a three-month training program for various levels (both indoor and outdoor) that can help you increase pace and steps and reach your goals. You can also map your walks with GPS, listen to audio instructions to each training, and get detailed stats. Plus, you'll get dozens of tips on walking, healthy eating, and changing your lifestyle.
Sometimes when it comes to logging your steps and miles, simple is best. The StepsApp Pedometer tracks your steps using your phone or Apple Watch. You can also get an overview of your daily steps, distance, time, floors climbed, and active calories. Use the Apple Health app to synchronize and import your activity data. There are also weekly, monthly, and yearly charts to track your progress.
Cost: Free (not including cost of Fitbit device)
Fitbit is the OG smart step tracker, and I love how easy it is to track not only steps but also sleep and other activity with it. You can even jazz it up with some chic accessories. I'm obsessed with my Fitbit and wear it every day. I also love the corresponding app: you can log food, set and manage goals, connect with friends, and record your workouts. You can also use MobileRun to track your pace, time, and distance on runs. It's an especially exciting day when all your targets are met in green.
Ever wonder what it would be like to stroll the streets of Paris or scale the mountains in Peru? World Walking lets you virtually walk over 200 routes from all over the world. The app is filled with facts and photos, so you learn about each new location as you go. Turn a boring walk around the neighborhood into a worldly exploration with this app. It will inspire you to get up and moving and get more steps in.