Apple Fitness+: Pilates, mediation and ski workouts on the way

Group workouts will also come later this year

Ireland was among the first six countries to get Apple Fitness+ at  launch.

Ireland was among the first six countries to get Apple Fitness+ at launch.

 

Two years ago, the idea of doing fitness classes at home with an app would have been a novelty. It wasn’t unheard of, with Fiit and Centr already signing up customers, but it was only during the pandemic that we really came to appreciate our home fitness apps.

Fitness+ launched in December 2020, when we were facing down yet another lockdown. The appeal for Apple Watch users was obvious; Fitness+ is made with the watch in mind, and closing those daily activity rings. Those who bought a new Apple Watch were given a three month subscription to the service to dip their toe in the water, trying out core, strength and HIIT workouts.

Then came the Time to Walk series, an audio series that features celebrities and public figures such as Dolly Parton, Naomi Campbell and Jane Fonda telling their stories as they walk.

At the virtual “California Streaming” event on Tuesday, Apple announced more updates for the service that are designed to broaden its appeal.

Meditation

Mindfulness is something we can all appreciate these days. Apple is building this into the Fitness+ app with a new Meditation section. There are nine guided Meditation themes - purpose, kindness, gratitude, awareness, creativity, wisdom, calm, focus, and resilience - and the sessions will be five, 10, or 20 minutes long.

The meditation sessions will also be available as audio only. The Breathe app on the Apple Watch will become the Mindfulness app, and a new Reflect section added, with the Fitness+ guided Meditations.

Pilates

Fitness+ already has yoga and core workouts, but later this month you will see the Pilates workouts pop up in the app. The low-impact workouts, which will be led by new Fitness+ trainers Marimba Gold-Watts and Darryl Whiting, are aimed at improving strength and flexibility. Most will need only a mat, or at most a resistance band. The new Pilates workouts will be 10, 20, or 30 minutes long.

Group workouts

Coming later in the autumn are group workouts, where you can link up with a friend and compete to see who comes out on top. Up to 32 people will be able to take part in the sessions, which you can start via a message or FaceTime call. You can keep on eye on who is “winning” (aren’t we all winning in our own way?) through the on-screen burn bar that serves as Apple’s chief motivation feature in its workouts.

Targeted workouts

No, not body parts. Apple is introducing a new programme that will help you get yourself ready for snow season. While that probably doesn’t mean much to many Irish users of the fitness service, since we don’t really have a snow season, the workouts themselves are geared towards strength, balance and endurance.

Apple has previously added workouts for seniors, and a programme suitable for pregnancy. Who knows what the service will focus on in the future?

More countries

When Apple launched Fitness+, it was in six countries, including Ireland. Later this year, Apple is rolling out the service to 15 more countries, including France, Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Although the service will still be in English, the subtitles will be available in six languages.