Fitness is something that has always been a part of my life. From junior athletics to marathon running to postpartum recovery, fitness is a major source of stress relief, confidence, and balance in my life. So while a day in the life of home renovating and chasing little people is almost always a workout in some form, my personal fitness is something I work very hard to prioritize. For me.
We all know by now the countless benefits of exercise (if not, read up!) but sometimes LIFE HAPPENS and getting to the gym just doesn’t. Parent or not, sometimes just adulting feels like sabotage to your fitness routine. Then add the schedules of 1, 2, or 3 little people that have
little no regard for your agenda, and well, you get the picture. Client meeting runs late and you miss your spin class. Baby changes her nap schedule and you miss yoga by 5 f&*ing minutes. Ugh. “Namaste!” Luckily, for days like these, technology is here to literally save our asses. Praise to the Fitness Apps.
Fitness apps have been a game changer for me because they allow me to get a serious workout in whenever and wherever I choose. No gym, no trainer, nobody else’s schedule but mine. Even multiple little people can’t sabotage these – there is a pause button for diaper changes, (because sh*t happens) and frankly, babies make great kettle bell substitutes for those walking lunges. Also, no one is around to judge me for drinking coffee during my morning yoga session. #mommasrules
In sum, fitness apps are totally awesome! With one caveat. Apps are definitely a realm where not all are created equal, but don’t despair if you’ve struck out in the past. I have included my three favorite, time-tested apps below. They won’t let you down.
Best Strength/Cross Training App: Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club (NTC) is my go-to app for at-home cross-training. NTC features a wide variety of workouts designed by pro athletes and celebrity trainers (oh heeeey Ronaldo, I see you). Ranging in intensity and activity level, these workouts can get straight up hardcore. I love that this app allows you to select a workout based on a number of criteria. Only got 15 minutes? There are workouts for that. No equipment on hand? There are workouts for that, too. Want to target a certain stubborn body part or muscle group? There are PLENTY of workouts for that.
Another great feature is you can play your own music without interfering with the app’s audio cues. Because NO ONE likes doing burpees in silence. No one. New workouts are uploaded pretty regularly so I have yet to get bored. You can also set up 4-8 week personalized plans via the app that provide you with workouts in the order and frequency you should do them based on your personal inputs. This app really gives you everything you need to get a serious sweat on. So get after it!
Great for: Strength training, beginners to serious athletes
Best Yoga App: Yoga Studio by Gaiam
Anyone who spends the majority of their week surrounded by little people who have yet to develop the concept of ‘personal space’ can use a little zen. But
sometimes a lot of the time your yoga studio’s schedule won’t jive with yours, your kids stay home sick, or you just plain sleep in. Fear not. Gaiam’s Yoga Studio is a great app that can bring the Om at home, on vacation, in the backyard… anywhere. Time to get those yoga pants doing some actual yoga, y’all.
I will be the first to say that I am picky about yoga, and I think this app does a great job of channeling the calming vibe of a studio class via your wireless device. You can download a wide variety of pre-made classes and meditations (more of our thoughts on meditation here if you missed it) ranging from 5 minutes to over an hour that target specific muscle groups or problem areas (such as lower back pain, yoga for runners), or a particular mood (strength, Relaxation, AM/PM). Or you can create your own custom classes too. The one-hour Relaxation class is a personal favorite in our household. After the kids go to bed, light a candle, roll out your mat, (maybe pour that glass of wine, because why not? You’re at home!) Annnnd enjoy some well-earned savasana. You won’t regret it.
Cost: $1.99/month or $19.99 annually
Great for: All levels of yoga
Best Running App: Map my Run by Under Armor
Running for me currently goes one of two ways… either the stars align and I get a glorious solo run while someone else watches the kiddos OR I’ve loaded up the jogging stroller with kids, snacks, blankets, water bottles and goodness knows what else. Either way, I just want to GO before something goes wrong. I don’t want to worry about creating a route, monitoring my pace or distance, or fidget with a bunch of settings on my devices.
Enter: Map my Run. I can load saved routes with a touch of one button or simply “start workout” and go. All while my distance and pace and calories are reliably monitored and saved to track progress. You can add notes to your run once it’s completed (like perhaps “double stroller into the wind” or “goldfish spilled”) so you can track your training performance without trying to remember why you had a couple really off pace days.
You can also connect with your running buddies/family members that use the app to encourage each other along the way, which is especially fun if you’re training for an event together, even long distance, or just for added support. That “NICE RUN, BUDDY!!!” text from your partner never, ever gets old.
Great for: Running/walking/biking, tracking outdoor routes, race training
I hope these apps are as helpful for some of you to maintain or even begin your fitness regimen as they have been for me. Shout out with your favorites if you have some to add! Now go get you some Om. Cheers!
Christiana is a Navy wife and mother of 3, attorney and former realtor, world traveler, home renovator and decorator, yogi, fitness enthusiast, and recipe and fine wine explorer.