Tech Tip of the Week: Workout Anywhere

Workout Apps

So you made it through January working out but sometimes it was hard to get to the overcrowded gym or you just didn’t want to be amongst all those people. You want to keep up working out but not be bound to the gym or equipment. You also know how to workout alone but lack motivation, get bored or just don’t want to think so much.

Does this sound like you?

Well do I have a deal for you! Today I am recommending some workout apps I use on my phone to help me get in a workout any ole time.

RunKeeper

Available: iOS and Android, Apple Watch and Android Wear

I am a runner so this one is pretty obvious. There are a variety of running apps out there that people love. I’ve done Map My Run before too and it’s really nice as well. It tracks you via GPS to know your distance and pace. I go with Runkeeper because honestly I have been using it ever since I got an iPhone so I have years of data in there. And I am a data nerd. I can see highs and lows, set goals and compare workouts.

One thing I am using more lately is the interval ability. Nadine, my Runkeeper voice I named because that is perfectly normal, chimes in to let me know when to sprint and when to slow down. I am burning more calories now!

You can also use the website to edit routes after you ran in the case your GPS got wacky (it happens). You can also plan out routes ahead of time which I do pretty often.

Check out my review I wrote years ago for more details on the app. Want to start running in general? Here is my post about getting started running.

Sworkit 

Available: iOS and Android, Apple Watch and Android Wear

To define it, I will quote their site:

“Sworkit (derived from Simply WORK IT) is a fitness app that takes you through 5-60+ minute strength, yoga, pilates and stretching workouts requiring no equipment. We strive to provide the simplest way to get a workout in anywhere, anytime, with no room for excuses. SWORKIT is available on iOS, Android, and Amazon. “

The app is a quick way to work a certain area with no instructor annoying you with chit chat or just have “gym brain” and can’t think of something to do. They give you simple circuits of moves with little GIFs to show you the move. You can do them at home or even just pop in your ear buds in the gym and work in a corner. It doesn’t require any equipment but I’ve found I just know if I want to add weight to some. I’ve used this app on a weekend when I am getting sleepy after lunch. I can do a simple 10 minute workout and get some energy back.

Going Pro

I bought the premium version years ago when it was on super sale. I can make custom workouts, change around the interval times and there are no ads. I like being able to take out exercises I just hate so they are never served up. It’s not a deal breaker to have the free version though. Your call.

There is a watch app so it can track your heartrate and you can fast forward or pause from the watch.

Fitness Blender

Available: Web & Youtube

While this isn’t technically an app, it is a great way to have a trainer in your pocket. Kelli and Daniel are a husband wife team that decided fitness should be available to anyone…no matter your income level. They have over 500 videos on their site to get you moving. Anything from yoga to HIIT to weights. You can go to their videos page and sort and filter to find the perfect workout for you. Got 10 minutes and a place to lay down? Abs! Up early and want to get a cardio workout without waking the house? They have quiet cardio! There really is everything you could want. What I really love about them is they are so…plain. I hope that makes sense. It isn’t some buff guy or gal chit chatting at you about whatever (21 day fix). There isn’t a room of people competing with each other (P90x). It is just Kelli or Daniel doing the moves in a white room. There is no music. There is often just dead silence as they move through a circuit. They tell you modifications when they can but it’s just so simple I love it.

Bonus: Times You Can Workout You Forgot About

One myth that somehow has gotten entrenched into our brains is when you workout, you have to go hard for an hour or something. Nope. Breaking up that hour (or less) into smaller chunks throughout the day still keeps you healthy. This can also restore your energy supply when you are feeling drained. It’s counterintuitive but it totally works. As a busy working mom of 2 (who has trouble saying no to volunteering), I have had to learn when there are breaks in my day when I don’t think there is. Now I am passing on that knowledge onto YOU!

  • Bath time – My kids still love taking baths until they are freezing. They are having fun, so I can get a few minutes. I can use one of the apps right there in the bathroom to do squats, pushups, etc. when the kids were really little, we worked on counting this way as well with push ups or what-have-you. WIN WIN WIN.
  • Extra curricula’s – When the boys are in Taekwondo, I have about 25 minutes to get in a parking lot workout. I go over in a corner and do walking lunges, step ups, and whatever else I can find. I know some places actually have a small area for parents just for this!
  • While dinner cooks – You already have timers set, use em! Do jumping jacks while the broccoli steams. Do a wall sit while you melt butter.
  • Get up earlier – Yeah yeah yeah. I know you’re like NO WAY but even with all these hacks, if I just get up and get it done before everyone is awake, I feel so much better. There are few excuses that early and it helps clear your head for the day.

When do you fit a workout in?

Welcome to my weekly series on tech tips! If you don’t know me, I am life hacker. I love tips to help me automate and optimize life. Blame it on my parents or the 4 years of engineering school but I just love neat tricks to help you do something faster, better or just neater. I’ve worked as a software tester, developer, project manager and, now, social media specialist. My goal with this series is to help you help yourself, one little trick at a time. 

3 Comments

  1. I’m loving the new Nike Fit Club app too, great workouts of varying lengths and ability. I have to work out in the am or I just don’t get it in. As the girls get older, I am trying to do it with them around and incorporate them. I like the idea of parking lot work outs while the girls are at ballet.

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