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

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

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

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)


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

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)


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!

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)


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
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