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7 Apps that will turn exercise into a heart-pumping game

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

Exercise never has to feel like drudgery again, with the advent of engaging and playful fitness apps.

Whether you're motivated by gambling, music or zombies, we're certain that one of these apps will provide exactly what you need to take your fitness to the next level.

Biobeats Pulse

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

Tired of running to Adele power ballads? Maybe that's just me. Regardless, the Biobeats Pulse app actually measures your heart rate and selects music that matches the beat of your own drum. The app then coaches you to slow down or speed up if your pace is a bit too fast or slow. (iTunes and Google play, free)

Missile Wars

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

Sprint workouts are the pits, unless you're running for your life. With Missile Wars, runners join a community of gamers who launch missiles back and forth at each other. You can only escape the explosion by getting off your duff and sprinting to safety within 60 seconds. (iTunes, free)

Nexercise

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

Maybe you're more motivated by freebies than missile launches, and that's OK, too. Nexercise allows you to compete against friends in exercise challenges. Winners — which are measured both in physical prowess and dedication — accumulate badges that they can turn in for coupons and rewards. (iTunes and Google play, free)

Superhero Workout

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

According to the Superhero Workout app, "Heroes aren't just born. They're trained." Now you can train to be a superhero — and engage in 20 missions to save the planet, all while doing crunches and push-ups. Who knew? (iTunes, $5)

DietBet

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

The DietBet app actually allows you to compete with a social network for a claim to a real pot of money. Users submit cash as a type of fitness wager, and the loot goes to the person or people who either a) reaches a specified fitness goal, or b) has the most concerning gambling addiction. (iTunes and Google play, free)

Zombies, Run!

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

The zombie craze can extend far beyond your couch with the latest zombie-themed running app. Zombies, Run! immerses users in a storyline that includes zombie missions and a community of other runners intent on escaping the undead. The only way to outwit the zombies is to run faster and farther as you train. (iTunes and Google play, $1.99)

Teemo

Zombie Run and other apps that make exercise not feel like a chore

For fitness buffs that are a little freaked by the idea of a zombie adventure, Teemo is the perfect solution. It incorporates playful virtual adventures, like a jewelry heist or a Mount Everest summit, to encourage users in short, understandable workout routines that are appropriate for any time of the day. (iTunes, free)

More workout routines

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Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy's 12-minute power workout
Subway yoga: The latest health craze spicing up your commute

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