Five great fitness apps
In 2014 smartphone penetration in the UK had reached 71% of consumers. Yet despite high adoption of this technology, the Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker shows that not as many people are using it to help with their health and fitness as you might think.
Only 5% of UK adults surveyed in the Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker currently use fitness apps regularly. Yet apps can be a great way to complement your fitness and health, especially as many of us keep our phones on us at all times. Below we take a look at 5 great apps that could boost your fitness regime.
Couch to 5K
For those of us who don't run, the prospect of hitting the pavement can be quite daunting. Luckily there's a vast array of apps designed to help non-runners get on their way. Couch to 5K apps are popular, providing programs to help non-runners build up their stamina and eventually run 5K straight through. One option is the free NHS choices Change4Life Couch to 5K app1, which coaches you through nine weeks of runs with recordings that are also available via podcast online. For a cost you can purchase other couch to 5K apps2 that offer a somewhat slicker interface and features such as an audio coach to notify you when you should walk or run. They also track distance travelled and calories burned.
If you're looking for a way to make your workout a bit more fun and interesting, then look no further than the Zombies, Run! app3. This fun app combines an immersive game with your fitness routine. You can walk, jog, or run, and use it wherever you are. Following the zombie apocalypse, you'll be sent on missions to collect supplies to rebuild your base. But don't feel too safe, as you may find yourself with zombies on your tail. You'll have to move faster to outrun them and survive. There are over 200 missions to complete - the first four are free and you can pay to unlock the rest.
Wearable fitness trackers such as the Fitbit and Garmin have become more and more popular over the past couple of years, especially for tracking steps. However, if you'd like to track steps but don't want to invest in a wristband, then you can still use your phone. There are a variety of apps that will track your steps and distance travelled. One such app comes built right into the iPhone - the Health app4. In addition to tracking steps you can also use it to track body measurements, sleep, and calories among other things. If you don't have an iPhone, or would like to try a different app, the Moves app5 which is owned by Facebook is a simple to use tracker that logs your steps and distance travelled.
Sometimes there's nothing better to boost your workout then a good mix of music. You may like to make your own playlists, but after a few runs that playlist may get a bit tired, and who wants to make a new playlist every week? Instead you could give the new running feature in Spotify6 a try. The app will match music to your running pace to make sure the song playing stays on tempo with your workout. You can also use this feature via the Adidas Go app7, which will also time your run and track your pace and distance travelled.
7 Minute Workout
In 2013 the New York Times published an article8 touting the 7 minute workout. Based on research from the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal, the workout uses high intensity interval training to put your body through a hard hitting workout. Twelve moves should be completed at 30 seconds a piece, with 10 second rests in between. Each exercise should be done using maximum intensity. In essence, the workout should be quick but not comfortable or pleasant. Since the publishing of the article, the 7 minute workout has gained in popularity and a crop of apps have appeared to take you through it. While there are a handful of 7 minute workout apps to choose from, we're a fan of this Official 7 Minute Workout app9, which includes a variety of workouts in addition to the 7 minute one. As you go through your workout it provides easy to follow demonstrations of the moves, as well as a countdown timer.
About the Everyday Health Tracker
The Simplyhealth/YouGov Everyday Health Tracker paints the broadest regular picture of UK health, covering everything from diet and exercise habits, to the health issues that concern people most. New results will be released every three months and
over time the Everyday Health Tracker will highlight key trends to emerge. Find out more here10.
- NHS choices Change4Life Couch to 5K app
- Couch to 5K® - Running App, Training Coach and GPS Tracker
- Zombies Run! App
- Apple Health
- Moves App
- Running With Spotify
- Adidas Go App
- NY Times, 7 Minute Workout
- The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App
- Simplyhealth Everyday Health Tracker