Five Fab (& Free!) Fitness Apps
Creating fitness habits is hard enough when your life has a fairly predictable schedule. Throw in unruly work hours or constant travel, and you may find yourself scrambling to find time, motivation, or even an appropriate place to work out. (Mailande and Lisa both face this conundrum consistently.) Enter our five fave workout apps, most of which require very little equipment and can take advantage of whatever time you’ve got (and whatever goals you might be working toward). Just whip out your sneakers and your smartphone and get to it! Note: links are for iOS, but many of these apps or extremely similar ones are also available for Android.
1. 7 Minutes: This takes the New York Times’ famous Seven Minute Workout (for the record, there’s also an Advanced Version for you go-getters out there) and puts it into a super-useful app. (The NYT also made their own if you want to check that out). 12 high-intensity exercises, 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between. The exercises use mostly bodyweight with minimal props; if you’ve got a chair and a wall, you’re good to go. You can watch videos of each exercise before you start if you’re not sure how to do ’em.
2. Nike+ Running: Great for runners, especially if you’re venturing out on a run in a new place and have no idea how long this random loop in this city park you’ve chosen is. The app tracks your location, lets you know your mileage and average pace, and gives you fun encouragement when you break your own records. Mailande lives by this app as she tries to up her miles after her superfun semi-accidental 5K.
3. Daily Yoga: A nice way to get some yoga in when you can’t make it to a studio. Specialized downloadable sessions like “Office Yoga to De-stress” or “Yoga for Runners” offer some targeted variety. Get your hands on a mat and get your stretch on!
4. Repeat Timer Free: For the circuit DIYer. If you want to do a plank and side planks for 60 seconds each with ten seconds of rest in between, for example, or create your own timed exercises, Repeat Timer is a helpful generic timer app that can help you out. (Bonus: you can also use it if you want to give the Pomodoro Technique a try during your workday to up your focus and productivity.)
5. Sworkit (Lite): Sworkit bills itself as “personal trainer”: select the type of workout (strength/cardio, yoga/stretching, customized) and choose a particular exercise. After a fit-looking person gives you a demo, you set the timer and you’re off. Lisa just did a five-minute full-body workout that included calf-raises, scissor kicks, squats, pushups, and rear lunges. Also, when you complete a workout, the app praises you and can add a workout to tomorrow’s schedule for you. Kinda like an executive assistant for your bod.
What are your favorite fitness apps? Got any feedback on the ones we chose? We’d love to hear from you!