The lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has got a lot of people rethinking the way they keep fit, and not just with a view to looking after themselves in the short term. There are all sorts of things that can keep us trapped at home for a few days or weeks at a time. From injuries and health problems to the need to look after others, car problems or rough weather that make travel difficult. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you could keep yourself in optimum shape regardless? There are lots of apps now available to help you do so, so it’s time to think seriously about how you can make the most of them.
Keeping the pace
Talk about fitness apps and the first thing most people will think of is Fitbit. It’s great for monitoring your step count if you’re recovering after an illness or injury or if you’re trying to stay in decent shape in later life, but you can also use it to challenge yourself if you want to seriously build up your stamina. A range of similar apps on the market, such as the Adidas Running app by Runtastic, or, for those who need a bit of extra motivation, the classic, Run, Zombies, Run, give you the right support to pick up the pace whether you’re hitting the track or running on a treadmill at home. They are also easy to adapt to other aerobic activities like jumping rope.
There are three types of exercise that you need to do regularly if you want to stay in tip top condition: aerobic exercise, strength-building exercise and stretching. It’s also important to do some stretches before and after the other two types, in order to reduce your risk of injury. Apps to help with this can be hard to find, but Asana Rebel is a highly adaptable yoga app that works well whether you’re wanting to pursue yoga as a serious discipline or just to maintain your natural agility. With lots of small, easily segmented lessons, it’s a good way to make sure that you have the right advice before you try more difficult stretches, thereby reducing the risk of injury.
When it comes to working out to build up both fitness and muscle strength, there are lots of apps to choose from. If you’re starting out at home and don’t have access to a physiotherapist, it’s best to choose the ones with video support so that it’s easy to see how to do them safely. If you’ve already got a good amount of experience under your belt, you may find apps that put the focus on motivation more useful. Some are designed to make it easy for you to compare your achievements to those of friends working out elsewhere.
Today, people are becoming increasingly aware that looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after physical health – and, indeed, the two are often interrelated. For many people, conditions like anxiety or depression make it much harder to get out of the house. That can make it difficult to treat them, so being able to get therapy online is a big step forward. Using an app for this also makes it easier to get help quickly when suffering from an acute mental health crisis.
Keeping track of medication
If you take medication to look after your health, there are apps available to help you keep track of it. These are especially useful for people with busy, irregular schedules or for those who have memory problems, perhaps as a side effect of their medication. Some of them can also be set up so that they will let you know when you’ve already taken a dose, reducing the risk of you accidentally taking too much.
Along with all the apps designed to help you build up and look after your health, there are apps to monitor it. Using them makes it easy to check your pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and other vital signs, which reduces risks associated with chronic conditions and also makes it easier for you to fine tune your fitness as you exercise – for instance, by tracking the speed at which you can return to your resting pulse rate after a sprint.
Making full use of the possibilities inherent in apps like this gives you more control over your fitness than you’ve ever had before. No matter where you exercise, you’ll be able to get optimum results.