It’s an age where all our needs are provided for by the digital devices we carry. Whether you need to find a ride, order groceries, or watch a movie, everything is one click away on your phone. It only makes sense that tech companies have expanded into fitness. There are mobile apps out there that you can use to carry out a number of fitness-related tasks. These include counting calories, tracking your steps, following given workout instructions, and much more.
The big question is: Do workout apps really work, or are they just a gimmick?
How Do Workout Apps Help?
Research suggests that workout apps can be effective, depending on what a person needs from them. These platforms usually provide one of the following things:
- Workout advice
- Calorie counts for foods
- Workout journaling
- Photo/video tutorials
- Workout plans depending on goals
- Connecting with other people
The fact is that all of these functions can be completed in other ways as well. For example, you can research the number of calories in a food with a simple Google search. You can find endless free instructional videos on YouTube. You can even connect with other fitness freaks with your existing social media platforms.
Yet, studies suggest that those who download and use workout apps tend to be 75% more active than those who don’t. It seems that this is due to one simple reason: the removal of barriers to exercising.
Convenience and Accessibility Provided By Workout Apps
Most often, we tend to put off working out due to different barriers. These include not having the time to go to the gym, not being motivated enough to create a home-workout plan, or even just procrastinating in free time. Workout apps eliminate these barriers. Psychologists suggest that workout apps are effective because they make it incredibly simple to take the decision to work out, which is the first step towards a fit lifestyle. By simply downloading an app on their phone and entering their goals, users can get a workout plan as well as hundreds of tutorials. This gets rid of the natural inertia and provides motivation, especially when videos of real-life trainers are involved. Workout apps therefore help simply by saving time, making it easier to self-monitor, and providing all the needed content in one place.
Contrary research also suggests that fitness apps are beneficial mostly for those who are already interested in health. Experts with this view say that apps only help those who simply need a nudge, and are not convincing enough for those who do not have any specific fitness goals.
If you have been thinking of changing your lifestyle for the better, therefore, the right workout app may be all you need.
Popular Fitness Apps and How They Work
While the market is now saturated with countless apps, there are a few that take the lead. Many have claimed that these are beneficial, while others would rather do without them. Let us take a look at a few of the popular workout apps in the market and the functionality they provide.
- For running and other outdoor workouts – Map My Run
This is a great app if your workout goals revolve around outdoor activity more than spending time in the gym. Map My Run records the distance and time of your run. It can also do the same for walking and cycling, and also logs details of other workouts. Once you enter your information, you also get the number of calories burnt in a workout.
- For counting calories and record workout progress – My Fitness Pal
Nearly everyone has come across this website while looking for the calorie count in a specific food. The company also has a mobile app that provides a comprehensive list of foods and their nutritional value. In addition to this, it also helps users log their workouts and daily steps, and calculates their daily calories consumed and burned. The app lets users choose their goals – weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain – and helps build an eating and workout plan accordingly.
- For video tutorials – Fitness Buddy
This is yet another popular app that provides information on both nutrition and exercise, but it is much more than a record-keeping platform. It takes things a step ahead by offering hundreds of workout tutorials that users can follow. All exercises are explained with instructional videos that are suitable for working out at home and at the gym. The app is advanced with its progressive workout routines, making it ideal for beginners.
- For following friends and competitive workouts – Strava
With personal and professional social circles now operating on social media sites, it only makes sense for a workout app to follow a similar pattern. Strava is one such app. It lets users track their workouts, like running and riding. At the same time, users can follow their friends on the app, see their workout photos, and also share their own. The app is ideal for those who thrive in competitive activities.
5. For female fitness – Workout for Women
Another highly downloaded app, Workout for Women Fitness App one focuses on female fitness. It has various goals including losing weight and gaining muscle, and focuses on workouts without equipment. The app provides about 70 workouts, which are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. These workouts range from 4 – 26 minutes. It also hits a smaller target market by providing a no-jump workouts category. This is aimed at users with joint problems.
A Final Word
Workout is essentially a personal thing, and one person’s plan may not work for another. If your workout app helps you keep a check on yourself and motivates you to beat your own goals, that is all you need! If, however, you feel like the app is not doing much for you, you may as well explore good old-fashioned fitness techniques. Go out for a run, get a gym membership, consider setting up your own home gym with quality fitness equipment from brands like Nirvana Fitness. Add your own personal trainer into the mix to help you with your everyday workouts. At the end of the day, it is about what motivates you the most and keeps you regular with your workouts.