I may not be exactly known for being interested in health and fitness, so maybe it’s a little surprising to see this post as part of the app series. But with the wedding coming up, and more importantly, the prospect of children in the near future, I want to be in the best shape. So, with that in mind, I scoured the App Store for the best free Health and Fitness apps, and here’s what I found:
11. Health & Fitness: 10-min Fitness, Yoga & Pilates with Kristin McGee, Workout Trainer, MyFitnessPal, and Unstuck
Okay, the thing about 10-min Fitness and Kristen McGee‘s app is that they’re very limited until you start paying money for things (which, as we all know,I’m far too cheap to do), but they have enough that I think they’ll provide a great starting-point for my fitness routine. 10-min Fitness offers over a dozen different workout routines, but only one of them – All-Star Moves – comes free with the app. This routine offers a little bit of everything to help with overall fitness. But for people like me, that may not be exactly what you’re looking for. Personally, I am far more interested in their Cardio Blast, Power Yoga, and Strong, Sleek Arms routines, but those cost $2.99 each. If this new fitness routine becomes a more serious thing for me, it’s not like that price is unreasonable, so maybe some day those packages will join my iPad. For now, the All-Star workout will have to suffice. It actually is a nice little thing. You can pick and choose from the individual exercises, or hit “Play All,” which is what I did to get myself acquainted with the app. It’s great – each exercise has a video telling you exactly how to do it, and then comes with a countdown timer. When the timer is up, the next exercise comes up, lather, rinse, repeat. (I guess technically it’s not always a 10 minute workout, depending on how many exercises you choose, but whatever.) The app also comes with a meal plan for a Seven Day Detox, and while there is no way in hell I could possibly follow that plan (a lot of the foods are things I don’t like, such as fish, and it just doesn’t seem very filling or satisfying), some of them come with recipes that sound quite good. (For the record, I was actually told not to gain or lose weight because my wedding gown already fits perfectly, so I’m more interested in toning muscle, especially in my arms, and maintaining my weight while making slightly healthier lifestyle choices.) The app also offers a Workout Calendar, where you can mark the dates you want to work out, check them off when you’ve accomplished your goal, and even set reminder timers! This app really wants you to stay on track!
Kristin McGee’s app offers instruction in yoga and pilates. But, all of the videos (which look excellent) cost anywhere from $0.99 to $5.99, which means all you really get when you download the app is her list of poses. They come with pictures and written instruction on how to do the pose, but that’s it. She doesn’t lead you into them, there’s no routine where the one pose leads smoothly and nicely into the next. Really, I wasn’t all that impressed. It didn’t really feel like I was getting a lot out of this supposedly free app, y’know? But, I kept it around, and I’m passing it on to you faithful readers, because I love yoga. I’m far too poor to do anything about this love for now, but at least now I can try out the moves. Hey, maybe one day I’ll even figure out my own flow and will be able to make my own routine.
Workout Trainer is way more exciting than the two previous apps. While, yes, there are some things you have to pay money to unlock, a good portion of the stuff is free. Sure, it has ads, which is probably how they can get away with giving away way more free stuff than the other apps, but still. I’d rather have some ads and a good chunk of content. Anyway, when you open up the app for the first time, there’s a short little survey so they can figure out what exactly you want to get out of the app, and then they recommend a workout program for you. You can go ahead and follow that, or browse any of the workouts at any time. What’s also super neat is that you can filter the workouts by length of time, target body area, equipment (I set it to ‘none’, since I have neither a gym membership nor any home equipment), and difficulty (mine is set nice and low on ‘casual’). Since I’m the most concerned about having wobbly, flabby arms (since just about everything else is covered and masked by my wedding dress), I can easily find a workout that helps me feel more comfortable with those upcoming hundreds of photos.
Okay, unlike the above apps, myFitnessPal doesn’t provide exercise tips, but is merely a tracker. Again, you do a quick little survey with things like your weight and height, and it comes up with a daily calorie goal. I was a little sceptical – I’ve never really believed in counting calories – but the app lets you set your own weight goal (so mine is currently set at maintaining my current weight), and it also tracks your full nutritional intake, not just pure calories. It’s super easy to add food and exercise, which either detract or add to your daily calorie allowance, respectively. You can also update your weight, and it graphs out the changes for you. Very neat. (Note that I’m not posting a photo because all of the screens contain sensitive personal information, so, sorry.)
Last but not least, Unstuck is more on the health side and less about fitness (unless we count fitness of the spirit). This inspirational app gets you to work through problems in your life, and helps you achieve personal growth. We all get stuck by various things – writer’s block, the inability to make an important choice, or maybe you’re just in need of motivation. Unstuck makes you break down the problem, work through what you’re feeling and why, to get to the root of the issue and, ultimately, provide you with tools and solutions for creating positive change. I think this app is just great for providing inspiration; goodness knows I need a kick in the butt once in awhile.
I hope these apps help lead you down the path to healthiness. (Just keep in mind that you should never start an intense physical routine or diet without first consulting a doctor. Make healthy choices, people!) Alright, stay safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow for my review of Reference apps.
Missed a part of this series? Catch up by using the handy links yonder: