Seven fitness apps to get you moving in the right direction
Studies have shown that exercise app users are more likely to exercise than those who do not use such apps
It used to be so simple. Some of us bought or borrowed CDs or videos to help improve health or fitness. Others ingested it through the gym instructors, sports coaches, the tele or the radio.
Then the interweb thingy came along, and the world hasn’t spun smoothly since. In the need for screen over the past decade, thousands of health apps have been used by millions of users worldwide every day. How we come to know of these, however, let alone try them, can be a daunting task for the un-apped.
Studies have shown that exercise app users are more likely to exercise than those who do not use such apps.
The following health/fitness apps are compatible with at least iOS and Android.
Of the thousands available; here are just seven.
Adapt, experiment and enjoy.
FitStar (with Fitbit)
Designed for any fitness level, its trainers coach you through a panoply of exercises to help you achieve your goals. You begin with a handful of workouts by providing input to the app on which exercises were too tough, easy, or on the money; information it will then channel to create an ever-evolving workout challenge.
Cost: Free, or upgrade for $7.99 (€6.50) per month.
Arguably the best-known outdoors exercise app, Strava has been a huge hit with the more competitive cyclists and runners, in particular. It allows you to compete against yourself to beat your best time, or battle other users across the routes or climbs you’re taking.
Cost: Free, or upgrade to €7.99 per month.
Similar to Strava, the built-in GPS tracks all of your fitness activities, allowing you to record your key workout metrics, such as duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route travelled on an interactive map.
A general-purpose outdoors app specialising in walking, hiking, running and cycling.
Cost: Free, or upgrade to €5.99 per month.
The ultimate runner’s app. While the free version lets you measure and track your run, while pestering you with upgrade suggestions, the PRO version (with a one-off cost of €4.99) also serves as a coaching app with voice feedback and music player integration, among other features, helping motivate you to set and work toward specific goals.
“One of the great things about mobile apps is the fun it can add to your workout,” says Dr Mark Tully of the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast. “Zombies, Run is an immersive experience in which every run is a mission to stay one step ahead of the zombies that are chasing you [via your headphones]. As you run, you collect supplies for your mission, and can upload and review your run online after. Research has shown it significantly improves exercise enjoyment.”
Cost: Free, or upgrade for $19.99 (€16) for first year, and thereafter $7.99 (€6.50) each year.
“My advice for people starting exercise is always to start with modest goals, and incorporate activity into your daily routine,” says Tully. “The Accupedo Pedometer is a basic design that turns your phone into a pedometer.
"Our research has shown that regular self-monitoring and setting modest goals is an effective way to get started into a regular exercise routine.”
Seven Minute Workout
“High intensity interval training is one of the latest developments in our understanding of how to get the most out of your exercise,” says Tully. “Bursts of high intensity exercise with short breaks in between offers a potentially valuable way of incorporating activity into your daily routine. The seven-minute workout app is based on doing 12 different exercises for 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between, and you are all done in seven minutes.”