Running can often feel like a monotonous workout. There’s not much variety, and the constant movement hampers your ability to focus on podcasts or audiobooks. Hence, keeping yourself entertained while jogging isn’t always possible.
Thankfully, a few developers are trying to bring a fun element to this activity by gamifying your running sessions. Here are the best apps that make running more enjoyable.
1. Zombies, Run!
Have you ever fantasized about running for your life in a world overrun by zombies? A game titled Zombies, Run! lets you experience exactly that. It (virtually) transforms the boring routes you know with zombie-riddled paths. Your job is to book it until you reach the safe house, collecting supplies as you go.
You begin by selecting a mission. Each one has a different distance and speed. You’ll have to keep up the defined pace in order to escape. Once you begin running, the app will build up the thrill through your headphones with radio messages from your team members, story narration, a dramatic score, and zombie screams when you slow down.
As you progress through the route, the app will automatically add supplies scattered across the route to your bag. Plus, you have the option to view your statistics and progress on a map.
Zombies, Run! is free to play but for a $6 monthly fee, you can unlock all the stories immediately.
2. Charity Miles
Charity Miles turns your running miles into cash for a good cause. It tracks your movement—whether you’re running, biking, or simply out for a walk. Based on how much distance you’ve covered, Charity Miles calculates an amount which you can donate to one of 40 available charities. These support a range of causes, from ALS to cancer.
The app is backed by a series of sponsors, so you don’t have to worry about giving up your data in exchange for supporting charity. In addition, Charity Miles can sync your statistics from third-party sources, such as a Fitbit tracker. Charity Miles also features a handful of social tools that allow you to exercise and earn together with your friends.
Charity Miles is an effortless way to get more out of your runs. In addition to burning calories, you’re able to support a cause without spending a dime yourself. And by the way, running isn’t the only way you can earn charity money. You can donate to charity by browsing the web, playing games, and more.
StepBet is another nifty app which rewards you for staying active. The app brings the concept of betting to your workouts, but unlike Charity Miles, does require some contribution. The idea is straightforward and can even motivate you to run more.
StepBet hosts community-driven competitions containing fitness challenges. To participate in these, you have to spend the minimum amount. So the greater the number of participants, the bigger the prize pool.
The pot splits equally when the challenge expires, and people who completed the goals get rewarded. However, users who couldn’t reach the targets have to say goodbye to their bet money. StepBet doesn’t have its own tracking engine. Instead, it relies on third-party sources including Google Fit, Samsung Health, Garmin, and Fitbit.
Workout playlists on streaming services like Spotify aren’t tuned perfectly to everyone’s pace. Most of us thus end up skipping tracks and switching playlists far more often than we’d prefer.
Enter RockMyRun, an app which understands your personal pace and actively tries to match the music’s beat to it. RockMyRun was designed in collaboration with a handful of the industry’s finest DJs, such as David Guetta, Zedd, Afrojack, and Major Lazer.
You can also specify your goal and the app will update the song depending on at which stage you’re at. Apart from the usual electronic and house playlists, there are a bunch of genres you can choose from like country, pop, and rock.
5. Run An Empire
Run An Empire is a strategy game set in the real world. Your objective is to grow your empire and capture as many territories as you can. And to do that, you will have to walk or run near them. So in this game, to earn resources and conquer new places, you will need to don your running shoes and cover them by foot yourself.
As you accumulate miles, the game rewards you with more manpower, warriors, digital currencies, and other goodies. Since Run An Empire is a real-time game, you will have to constantly battle your neighbors and other players for territories.
You can pair Run An Empire to external fitness accessories; it even displays a comprehensive set of stats such as the number of calories you’ve burned. It’s free, but you can raise your level by purchasing in-app currency.
6. Fitness RPG
Fitness RPG is a role-playing game where you can equip heroes to fight your way to the top. Unlike other similar titles, Fitness RPG gamifies your pedometer and uses the data to fuel your energy levels inside the game.
You can use this energy to buy upgrades for your characters, unlock new weapons, and raise your overall level. Apart from taking part in the single-player campaign, Fitness RPG also has a multiplayer mode where you can pit your heroes against your friends’ armies. The game will sync with third-party services such as Fitbit and Google Fit.
Walkr is a fitness adventure that functions mostly the same as Fitness RPG. Here, the premise is that you’ve hopped onto a rocket ship to discover all the planets in space. To ensure you complete the whole journey and return back home, you need energy. You fill those energy bars by walking or running in real life.
On top of the 50 unlockable planets, you will occasionally encounter lost creatures. However, you can only assist them if you have enough fuel to spare. The game also lets you compete with your friends and team up to solve missions.
Get in Shape With Your Phone
You’ll no longer have to suffer through runs as boring chores in your day. With these apps, you can now easily jog through a space adventure or a post-apocalyptic world where you’re running for your life.
Your phone can also serve as your training coach and save you hundreds of dollars in gym costs. Have a look at the best workout apps to get in shape.