Workout apps that are free and push you to reach your fitness goals
1 Mar 2019 HEALTH & WELLNESS
By: Natasha Archary
Nothing sends me into a claustrophobic, hyperventilating mess faster than stepping into a gym. I have nothing against gym bunnies and the greasy, big-gunned guys who work out religiously. It’s just that the entire gym culture overwhelms me.
Gyms aren’t for everyone
With everything else in my life being so rigidly controlled by schedules, my workouts should not feel like just another tick on my endless to-do list. I’m not big on rushing to the gym to make a class. And I certainly do not want to spend time waiting for a machine or equipment to be available. Let’s not talk about sweaty people in your personal space. Or the germ-covered equipment you share.
I swear I’m not anti-social. It’s just that if I am to workout, I’d like to do so at my own pace. At my leisure and where I’m comfortable. Away from the leering stares from gym bunnies because I’m a little curvier than is gymtastic.
Having taken up a fitness routine again and finding the time to squeeze in my daily regime was not without fails. I like many, need to constantly remind myself to stay motivated and stick to healthy eating and commit to the exercises. Something that helped me not only track my progress but pushed me to reach my weekly and monthly goals were workout apps.
I am always on the go and being a single parent doesn’t offer me much free time to devote to myself. I admire the moms and dads who manage to fit in a dedicated gym regime into their frenzied days.
Tugging my worn out toddler to the gym while mom gets her fit on, will probably not work in my favour. Children spend a good 8 to 10 hours at school or daycare every day and after a tedious routine, the last thing they want to do, is sit in the gym play area, occupying themselves.
This is why I find some “me time” after my boy’s bedtime routine. I don’t need to rush through it. I can focus on me and take it seriously, in the quiet of the night, with no one watching me. Silently judging me for my improper form on my sun salutation, during my yoga routine.
With my workout apps at my fingertips, I can track my active minutes, steps, measure my resting, and active heart-rate, monitor how much caffeine, water and calories I consume a day and keep me in check.
The daily reminders that I’ve there’s a workout coming up for the day, help me mentally prepare. If you need the extra push to stick to your routine, apps are a good way to keep you motivated. But if your mental resolve is not in this completely and you doubt yourself or put yourself down for caving to your cravings, it’s not going to work.
Apps that I swear by
I have a love-hate relationship with running. I love how quickly it tones my body and helps me build muscle but I hate sweating. I also get really bored on a treadmill and feel like a hamster on a wheel if I’m restricted to gym equipment for more than 10 minutes.
The Nike Run Club app helped me improve strength and endurance within a month. There are a number of plans to choose from, whether beginner or professional runner, the app monitors your runs, tracking pace, routes, duration, distance, and calories burnt.
I use this concurrently with the Nike Training Club app, which includes full body strength, conditioning or HIIT workouts. Both apps are designed to take your running to the next level and each guided workout is video demonstrated so you are never flying blind.
Build your runner strength with core, leg, toning or just restore your muscles with easy stretches that are included in the workout logs. You are able to link your run club and training club programs for a synchronized monitoring system to simplify your life.
I love both these apps because I was able to lose a total of 6 kgs in a month, and about 8 cms of my waist, butt and thighs.
I don’t consider yoga a workout. For me, it’s more a lifestyle and I often practice when I feel the pressure of life taking a toll on me. It was a big part of my pregnancy routine and helped keep me healthy and fit post-delivery too. Safer than most conventional workouts, yoga can help moms relieve stress and the deep pelvic stretches are said to aid vaginal delivery.
For hundreds of modern yoga flows, mini sessions or longer more cardio-heavy plans, try Asana Rebel.The guided workouts are so easy to follow. Beginners set their own pace and the instructors give you alternative poses if a stretch is too difficult. I love this app and you’re able to set your goals to improve as a yogi too.
When I first heard about strength training, I was really intimidated by the idea that I would bulk up and look “manly” if I weight trained. This could not be further from the truth. The community of women on Studio Tone It Up encouraged and motivated me to keep going. Online chat groups with weekly challenges for you to sign up to are a great way to feel like you have a tribe of women supporting your body goals. From kettle ball to aerobic and cardio workouts, you will firm up and feel fit in no time.
These are the apps I swear by at the moment but I am always looking for new and exciting ways to switch up my workout routines. Share your favourite workout apps with me and I’ll be sure to try them out this month.