Bored With Cardio? These Are The Best Apps For You

Most of us have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cardio workouts. On the one hand, the euphoria and sense of accomplishment at the end of an indoor cycling class can be addictive. On the other hand, trying to replicate that on your own at the gym can be a struggle.

These days, cardio equipment comes armed with fancy features that help make workouts more interesting, like virtual scenery and built-in TV screens. But you may not always have access to any machines at all, which is where your smartphone comes in.

Ahead, we found the best cardio apps that will help keep things interesting when you're working out. Whether you need someone to guide you through a workout, or just want extra coaching during a run or bike ride, there's something out there that can give your cardio workouts a boost.


If you're the type to just hop on an elliptical or bike and pedal away until you're sweaty, Aaptiv can help you add some structure to your workout. They specialize in "audio workouts," meaning the workouts are voice recordings from trainers that you simply listen to in your headphones. The trainer will tell you what speed and level to set your cardio machine to, and provide helpful tips about form or breath. Plus, each workout includes its own playlist to match the mood.

Free to download; $14.99 a month
Photo: Courtesy of AKT.
AKT On-Demand

Jam out to fast-paced dance cardio routines with this streaming app from celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser. Most of the creative dance workouts involve lots of jumping and skipping, but you'll also do a sampling of strength exercises as well. If dancing isn't your thing, Kaiser also has a signature treadmill program called AKTread, which you can access through the app.

Free to download; $34.99 a month
Photo: Courtesy of Interval Timer.
Interval Timer - HIIT Workouts

While a timer might seem kind of basic, you can use this app to keep track of your intervals and rest periods when you run, jump rope, cycle, or do plyometrics. Research has shown that shorter high-intensity intervals can be more effective than longer period of sustained cardio. So, if you have no time to work out, intervals might be the way to go.

Photo: Courtesy of Daily Cardio Workout.
Daily Cardio Workout

You don't need a treadmill, elliptical, or bike for these indoor cardio workouts. You can choose from a variety of five or 10-minute video workouts with simple instructions from a certified personal trainer. The exercises are basic and no-frills, but you'll be surprised how effective they are.

Photo: Courtesy of Fit Radio.
Fit Radio

Listening to the right music can make your workout feel easier and push you to work out harder, which many of us need during a cardio workout. This app will generate a motivating playlist to match your pace and mood. For example, at around 10 minutes into a workout they'll play "hard-hitting" songs to push you to keep going. If you don't want to stomach spending money on yet another music streaming service, they also have a "coaching" feature that will provide audio instruction over the music — so it's definitely worth it if you're also looking for help with your fitness routine.

Free to download; $3.99 per month
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