Once you’ve exhausted the comedy value of pretending to talk to K.I.T.T via your Apple Watch (a good six months, we reckon), it’s time to put the computer on your wrist to work. While the Apple Watch 2 comes with fitness tracking built in, you’ve barely scratched the surface of your wearable’s capabilities unless you’ve loaded it up with fitness apps. We’ve picked some options hikers, runners and cyclists will find useful, as well reference tools that will take you step-by-step through workout plans, yoga moves and bodyweight exercises.
Despite the abundance of fitness activities available nowadays, cycling and running remain two of the most popular sporting pastimes, and Strava is the ideal app for tracking both. There’s a vast array of data in the regular version, and obsessives can upgrade to premium for even more insight. Free, or £5.99 per month for premium version, strava.com, download from the App Store
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
The artist formerly known simply as MyFitnessPal is the biggest and best diet-tracking app around. MyFitnessPal’s watch app provides the info on how many calories you have left for the day, and breaks them down by protein, carbs and fats. It also tracks your step count and tells you how many calories you’ve earned by pounding the pavements. Free, pro £7.99 monthly, myfitnesspal.com, download from the App Store
The king of bodyweight exercise apps, Sworkit builds workouts for you to follow based on four different categories – strength, cardio, yoga or stretching. You can also choose which part of the body you want to focus your workout on, or opt for a full-body session, and set how long you want to exercise for.
The instructions on the phone app are good, but it’s even better to have them beamed to your smartwatch, which displays what you’re meant to be doing and buzzes when you need to switch up your exercise. Free, pro £2.29 monthly, sworkit.com, download from the App Store
Nike+ Run Club
If you’ve opted for the Nike+ version of the Apple Watch 2 then this popular running app is baked into the hardware, but even if you have the regular Apple Watch, any runner should consider grabbing Nike+ Run Club.
The clear interface excels on the small screen, showing all the info you need about your run. Nike+ Run Club will also go out of its way to try and make you more active, devising training plans and gently buzzing at you to get moving each day it expects you run. Free, nike.com, download from the App Store
There are plenty of cycling trackers available on the App Store, but this is perhaps the best, with a very clear and colourful interface that manages to give you all the info you need on the watch face without making it too cluttered. Free, £7.99 pro, abvio.com/cyclemeter, download from the App Store
A very simple, nicely-designed app that allows you to record any kind of streak you like, although we’d recommend opting for healthy ones. So you can set the aim to eat at least one healthy meal a day, or walk 10,000 steps, or drink a glass of water (you probably don’t need an app to remind you not to die of dehydration, but still). Then you tap to record when you hit your aim for the day. £2.99, streaksapp.com, download from the App Store
Gymaholic provides a selection of workout plans for all abilities, and you can also create your own from the vast library of exercises, each of which comes with a guide to how to do it correctly and which muscles it targets. The free version of the app will provide enough depth for most, but there’s also an option to upgrade for even more stats. Free, or £2.59 for pro version, gymaholic.me, download from the App Store
The app features maps that can be downloaded for offline access and suggested routes for hikes and cycles that can also be saved locally, so the lack of internet in the great outdoors won’t turn your day trip into a nightmare. The app and your local area map are free, but other regions are £6.99 each, or you can get the entire world for £22.99. Free, £6.99 per extra region, komoot.de, download from the App Store
For those keen to take to the yoga mat, but not quite ready to do so under the scrutiny of a group class, this app can be your guru instead. Over 200 different poses are explained and used in 27 different sessions, and having the images on your wrist as well as your phone means you can keep an eye on the guide no matter what contorted position you end up in. £2.29, pocketyoga.com, download from the App Store
Put your whole body through its paces in just seven minutes, using only your bodyweight, a wall and a chair. The workouts are based around a frenetic 30 seconds of activity followed by a quick break before you move on to another exercise. The standard full-body workout is free, and then it costs £1.49 for any other workout you’re keen to try. Free, £1.49 for extra workouts, perigee.se, download from the App Store