With a national ‘lockdown’ looming, public spaces off-limits and gyms closing, our fitness routines have had to undergo a major adjustment.
Like most of my colleagues at Women’s Health, I’m always at the gym (or running on the mountain) and regular exercise is my form of stress-release. It’s been tough mentally to hit ‘pause’ on my usual fitness routine and training plan. Thankfully, there are loads of apps out there that I’m definitely going to be using while quarantined at home — here’s a list of my go-to apps that have awesome home-workout options.
Best part? They’re all FREE.
1/ Nike Training Club
I’ve had this app on my phone for years… because, in my opinion, it’s one of the best free training apps around. You can choose from a wide range of strength, cardio, yoga and mobility workouts which means you can literally do something different every day. You can also easily filter them to match your needs. Only have 20 minutes to bust out a sweat sesh? Don’t have any gym equipment at home? No problem. In fact, the NTC app actually has an awesome ‘Bodyweight Only’ 4-week plan that you can sign-up to free.
2/ Down Dog
This app is perfect for all the yogis out there and I occasionally use it when I can’t make it to make regular yoga class (guess I’ll be using it more regularly now!) It has a variety of yoga practises you can choose from — like Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin, for example.
Normally, the pro version of the app costs R79.99 per month, but it’s free from now until April 1! You can access ALL of the yoga classes for free. And if you’re a student or teacher, you can get free access until July 1 (visit the website for more details).
I lovee this ‘all-round’ app because it appeals to runners and gym-goers alike. You pick a goal (running, fitness, weight loss) and the nifty scheduler will help plan the right workouts you need to reach your goals. The super-smart algorithm serves up personalised workouts from PUMA’s huge library of performance-based running and training content. It’s a great app if you love HIIT-style workouts.
OK, so you might not be able to log a ‘long run’ or plan your running route along the Promenade, but you could technically run or jog around your garden, sprint up and down your driveway, or run a marathon on your balcony like this guy in France 🤯. Strava is the perfect running and cycling app for those who love to track their stats! It also has a really great community vibe and monthly challenges to keep you motivated.
The basic version of this app is free, but if you really want to go the whole hog you can sign up for Strava Summit which will give you access to more in-depth stats.
Ok, it’s not a workout app per se, but it is a valuable tool if COVID-19 and the 21-Day ‘lockdown’ have left you feeling anxious. Meditation is great for helping you focus, it helps promote a sense of calm so that you can de-stress… and it can even help you sleep better. I do a quick Headspace meditation every morning to help me set my intention for the day. I’ve recently discovered their ‘sleep’ tab which houses an amazing library of sleepcasts, soundcasts (who doesn’t love the calming sound of rain?) and guided nighttime meditations. A really amazing feature if you struggle to fall asleep.
This app is essentially free to download and comes with a couple of free meditations and features. The guys at Headspace have pulled together some special free content into a mini-hub called ‘Weathering The Storm’, which has been created to support its users during the current global crisis. However, if you want full access to all that the app has to offer, then you need to subscribe (R59.99 a month).