3 fitness apps to get you moving and motivated

When it comes to getting fit and reshaping your body, the key is to find your fun! How? By testing out the hottest new fitness apps, of course! Give these favourites a try and let me know what you think…

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Fitness apps help to keep you motivated 

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my years of personal training and coaching is that you shouldn’t let boredom or lack of motivation deter you from your ultimate health and fitness goals. If you let it, the busyness of life will always get in the way and stop you from prioritising your personal goals. There’ll always be a reason why you can’t exercise, or eat well. But, the truth is – a healthy, strong, fit body is what you need to thrive and manage your day-to-day schedule. In fact, these goals should come first!

As a busy working mom, I get that the juggle is real. My day starts at 5am, and I don’t stop until I hit the pillow that evening…. And this happens pretty much every day. But regardless of how busy I am, I try to carve out times in the day to exercise, to stop and breathe, to eat well and to just be mindful of where I am and what I’m doing. I’m also a huge tech-lover and I've found certain fitness apps to be lifesavers when it comes to keeping me on track with my fitness goals and also saving me time in the long-run.

I thought I’d share these fitness apps with you so that you can test them out too! And hopefully they’ll make your life simpler, and your exercise routine fun and challenging…

Sworkit

Why it’s great:

This fitness app was recently rated number 1 by a study assessing fitness apps based on safety, stretching, progression, and more, set by the American College of Sports Medicine.

I love this fitness app because all the workouts are focused on body weight exercises only – so no fancy gym equipment needed. It gives me great ideas for workouts and I can customise my training sessions depending on where I am and what I’m doing. The creators of the app say that it’s made for anyone and everyone looking for an easy way to exercise.

The moves are simple, yet challenging enough to do in any hotel room and ideal for busy executives who travel a lot for work, or for the new mom who can’t make too much noise while her baby naps, how awesome! For me, that’s the whole point of exercise – it needs to fit into your daily life and form part of your routine – like brushing your teeth!

How it works:

If you sign up for free, you’ll get access to a huge database of body weight exercises, plus you can create your own workouts ranging from easy to more challenging. This also allows you to design exercise sessions based on how much time you have, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour.

The app has been created to help you achieve your fitness goals, so you also have the option of signing up to a 6-week programme – for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. The app is free but if you bump up to premium status, you’ll have the option of asking a trainer for advice, as well as having more guided exercise programmes and exclusive workouts – including high intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata.

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

For more info, click here to visit the website 

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Strava

Why it’s great:

If you’re into endurance sports, have the time to train and you’re the competitive type, you’ll love Strava. It’s great for those needing a little extra motivation to get on that bike or lace up those running shoes. I really enjoy this fitness app because even if I’m exercising alone, I feel like I’m connected to a larger social group, all doing the same thing all around the world.

How it works:

Once you’ve signed up to the app and made a couple of friends, you simply get started. The app is linked to your mobile phone or GPS device and it tracks your workouts, your route and how hard you push. The app is designed to dissect and measure every aspect of your exercise session including your pace or speed, performance, distance and heart rate.

You’ll also have the chance to compete with others on a specific route and if you run or ride up the hill in the fastest time, you’ll be awarded a King of the Mountain trophy. The training log is super because you can see your progress over weeks, months and even years, so you’ll never wonder how you achieved a certain race time – because your training (including your planning and preparation) is all documented for you.

Additional bonus 

If you have a Garmin Connect device, and you’re a Discovery Vitality member, you’re in for a treat. Garmin Connect links to Strava, so when you do an activity and record it using your Garmin device, when you save your activity it uploads to Garmin Connect which sends it to Vitality. Vitality allocates points for the activity based on duration and percentage of your maximum heart rate or perceived exertion.

Vitality gives you a points goal per week and if you meet it you get a vitality reward. 

Sign up online or download the app for free and if you’re really enjoying the app and want extra benefits, there’s a premium option which allows friends and family to locate where you’re at, plus you can filter your segment rankings based on your weight and age.

Suitable for Android and IOS devices

For more info, click here to visit the website.  

Daily yoga

Why it’s great:

Even if you’re an adrenalin junkie and love the thrill of getting your heart rate going, it’s important to allow your body the chance to come down. A calming stretching or flexibility routine will help you recover faster and reap greater fitness rewards in the long run. Yoga is one of my favourite practises because it calms my mind and challenges my body at the same time. Although I don’t have time to become a seasoned Yogi, I always strive to squeeze in a weekly session or two.

There’s a reason why Daily Yoga was voted “Best Yoga App” of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Healthline. It’s widely known as the most popular mobile yoga studio app as it has the largest yoga pose database, plus some powerful meditation classes you can follow. Taking just a few minutes to meditate daily is a non-negotiable for me.

My favourite times to meditate are either first thing in the morning, midway through my day or just before I go to bed. It allows me to have a few moments of complete stillness, which brings my stress levels right down.

How it works:

Download the app and get started by selecting programmes based on the time you have available, and what you want to achieve from your yoga experience.

The app includes step by step instructions for all yoga moves and if you’re keen to sweat a little more, there are exercises focused on weight control where the instructors incorporate HIIT, Pilates and Vinyasa moves into the session.

If you want to take your yoga experience to the next level, you can purchase a specific programme to follow. For example, the 21-day fit and fierce programme is designed by world-renowned yoga teacher and author, Sadie Nardini. It includes a mix of fitness moves to build balance, cardio health, muscle tone and strength.

Suitable for Android and IOS devices.

For more info, click here to visit the website