At the beginning of the first lockdown, fitness and health apps were all the rage. With people searching for ways to fill their sizable increase in free time, these seemed a no brainer – especially since closures hit gyms.
Well, one year on, as the country has gone in and out of lockdowns, many have relied on these apps for their daily exercise when gyms have been shut.
From next week (April 12), gyms are set to reopen as part of the next stage of the UKs reopening post-winter lockdown. However, for those who don’t have access to an open gym, or are worried about heading to the weights mid-pandemic: don’t worry. We have some excellent apps to keep your body and mind fit during these still-pretty-scary times.
Here are some of the best health and exercise apps out there to put the fun back in your workout resurgence.
1. Down Dog
The ultimate yoga app to scratch all your itches. It’s a lifesaver for back pain with workouts that specifically focus on upper or lower back pain, as well as other parts of the body. Down Dog allows you to tailor workouts on reducing stress, calming your mind – and has videos for any amount of time you choose. Plus, the legends gave their app away for free throughout lockdown to any healthcare workers, students and teachers. Get downloading!
2. Pocket Yoga
Pocket Yoga offers a neat experience for beginners in that it breaks down each stretch in its “pose dictionary”. This is imperative, as any newbie yoga-meister will tell you. One of the hardest parts is actually getting to pose in the exact way your instructor does. Classes range from five minutes to an hour, and you don’t even need an internet connection to complete them!
3. Yoga Studio
This nifty free app gives you a library of nearly 300 poses, as well as plenty of yoga and meditation demonstration videos. It’s perfect for those starting out, and equally those advanced yoga connoisseurs out there alike.
Strava is the app to get you up all and running (and cycling). This fitness app pits you against your mates and lets you try and record distances faster than them. Set up a 5km challenge against your group and see if you can come out on top. It’s also perfect for tracking your own personal improvements and distances as you move like Forrest Gump in his prime.
Aaptiv is perfect for those who find working out to videos annoying. An all audio format tailors workouts for each individual and has sub-sections like treadmill, stretches, outdoor training, strength, yoga and more. It’s also the ultimate in-ear motivator.
6. Home Workout – No Equipment
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Personalised for each part of your body. Think about all the abs, chest, back days you can get through with no equipment necessary. People swear by it too. See for yourself and download it to get your gains on.
JEFIT is the perfect fitness app for weightlifters. It helps users keep a log of all their different workouts along with creating a community for people to interact and gives tips, feedback and share their long-term goals. Their blog posts are key for many to get the most out of their workouts.
Fooducate provides detailed information on all the foods you ingest to advise you on how to reach your goals. It’s easy to know how many calories each snack you eat has, but Fooducate will tell you the precise quality of the calories you consume, and how they benefit you differently. This app gives food rankings and tallies up your quality of food intake to give you a personalised grade.
None of us need any more lectures on how important it is that we drink enough water. Really, we should all have at least two-litres each day. But, many of us don’t hit that target. Enter Waterlogged. This app helps users keep track of their H2o intake. By allowing you to picture your water vessels, providing graphs and notifying you with reminders, it’s the perfect way to hit your water goals.
This handy fitness app kills two birds with one stone by tracking diet and exercise. Users can log their activities as well as scan barcodes and create blogs for other users. Among the MyFitnessPal blogs, you’ll find gems like “15 Make-Ahead Breakfasts Under 300 Calories” and “Essential Guide to Getting Moving“. It even explains what certain cravings mean!
Mindfulness And Meditation
The perfect app for those venturing into the world of meditation. Headspace provides a 10-day beginners course on how to meditate. Moreover, it specialises in providing techniques for getting a good night sleep. You snooze you l-… win.
An app providing gentle relaxation sounds to put you on the path to a calm mind. Calm provides daily sessions for improving your focus, mediations, mood check-ins and sleep stories told by celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey. Safe to say it’s alright, alright, alright.