At-home workouts can get boring, but these apps help you spice it up while you sweat it out.
If anything positive can be taken from quarantine season, it's that fitness and overall wellness has become a top priority in daily life. We're still logging those miles, meters, or weight reps even though the circumstances have drastically changed. However, doing the same circuit in your garage can get redundant and easily avoidable.
We could all stand to rejuvenate our fitness routines especially as Penn State move-in happens next week! As a running enthusiast and former rower myself, I personally use these four apps on rotation to enhance my workouts to be an exciting experience rather than a dreadful one.
1. Nike Run Club
Since quarantine began, running has become my go-to sport to stay active and healthy while at home. Acting as a cardio and endurance workout, running provides a solid foundation for training across various sports as well as being a mental break from daily stresses. Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that physical activity helps to release built-up tension and "the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do."
Nike Run Club is an essential running companion to your workouts. Not only is your distance, time, and pace logged, but also it estimates calories, averages your running cadence, and elevation gain. You're given immediate access to Nike's expansive technology at your fingertips. Users can rise through color-coded Run Levels the more miles they complete and can crush personal records to earn achievements.
You can even connect your music from Spotify or Apple Music to find your beats effortlessly.
One of my favorite features is Nike's Guided Runs, a personalized audio-driven workout by Nike Running Global Head Coach Chris Bennett. Bennett accompanies athletes on their run with motivational pointers and specific splits designed to enhance your running experience and get the most out of your workout while having fun in the process.
Whether you're a dedicated runner or beginner looking to shake up your fitness, Nike Run Club should be at the top of your download list.
2. Row ViGOR
A major sport beginning to rise in group fitness trends is rowing, especially as gyms such as Row House have successfully opened locations across the country. Ergometers, or indoor rowing machines, exercise a wide variety of muscle groups while working endurance without the need for long runs.
If you have an Ergometer at home or on-campus, Row ViGOR provides those group workouts you love in the palm of your hand. On-demand workouts focused on endurance, instructionals, mobility, strength, weight loss, and workout of the day (WOD) are available simply by making an account on the app.
Workouts range from 10-60 minutes, all of which is up to your fitness flexibility. Row ViGOR doesn't just teach rowing, but also stretching and yoga to help keep your body centered to avoid injury. You can even virtually row famous rivers around the country like the Potomac, Charles, and Yellowstone, and more. Newer Concept 2 PM5 Monitors have a Bluetooth capability to connect directly with Row ViGOR for easy workout tracking.
I love this app because of its versatility. I frequently used Row ViGOR to supplement the workouts I completed for my rowing training while in high school. Most college gyms have ergs and Row ViGOR can quickly get you up to speed on proper rowing form for the best possible workout. With quality coaching, workouts that align with your fitness goals, and easy access to classes, what's not to like?
Since its founding in 2007, Fitbit has become a global name in the fitness industry. Thousands of their fitness trackers are sold nationally and the company is critically acclaimed for its high quality and attention to detail. New features such as Fitbit Premium contend with Apple's initiative to "close those rings" on its Apple Watch products and Fitbit has proven to stay hungry in the tech industry.
Its distinct line of "Charge" fitness trackers distinguish themselves from the pack because of its communication with the Fitbit app. The "Charge" tracker family offers detailed insight into exercise, active minutes, estimated calories burned, flights of stairs, and sleep (something we all could get more of!) all by syncing your device to your phone.
Fitbit's customizability is its best feature. Users can set various goals pertaining to exercise, sleep, weight, hydration, and nutrition all from one screen. My personal favorite feature to explore is the sleep tracker function. I can see how my body transitions from various sleep cycles and how effective my sleep is with a daily "sleep score" on a scale of 1-100 (poor-excellent).
If you haven't hopped on the fitness tracker bandwagon, I highly recommend Fitbit as a top choice!
Rather than downloading and creating yet another account, why not take advantage of your built-in apps? Apple offers Clock on iPhones with a multi-functional Stopwatch feature. Are hills next in your training plan? Use the Stopwatch's "Laps" function to record your reps and be sure to screenshot them for safekeeping.
You can even make a game out of your progress! Time your fastest mile or sprint easily with Stopwatch - you can easily upload screenshots and other media into your Notes app that you can regularly update to be a one-stop-shop for your fitness progress.
Remote classes may keep us cooped up during those long weekdays, but taking the time to lace up those tennis shoes and giving your eyes a blue light break can make a major difference in mood and overall mindset. Be sure to grab those earbuds and start up these apps during your next workout!