The new year is here! And with it comes the pressure of maintaining your New Years resolution, which can be a lot easier said than done! (It's too easy when you're in the Xmas party mood to promise that you'll get back on the fitness routine in the new year, but when you've returned to the daily grind and motivation has all but disappeared, it can be soul-crushing to face)
Well fear not: We've put together a list of our top 5 fitness apps for the Apple Watch, which'll help you to get back into the swing of a regular fitness routine and help you maintain that motivation throughout the year!
1 - MyFitnessPal
MyFitnessPal is one of the best fitness apps available for the iPhone and Apple Watch, it's been around for years by now and has certainly stood the test of time. The app allows its users to track progress across nutrition, water, fitness, weight loss goals and a whole heap of other features too. The diet tracking feature lets users scan the barcodes of food items that they have bought, and shows the nutritional value and caloric content of the food, allowing you to keep track of exactly what you're intaking
As well as diet, there is of course also exercise tracking. Featuring three main areas:
- Cardio - These presents a selection of common cardio exercises such as running, cycling, swimming and also features some unexpected activities such as shovelling snow or moving furniture!
- Strength - This focuses mainly around bodybuilding, weightlifting, resistance training, bodyweight exercises and much more
- Workout Routine - This option requires a full subscription to access all the features, but provides built-in routines for cardio, weight training, yoga, stretching and more
MyFitnessPal offers a 30-day trial period, and a full subscription to the service costs $9.99 (£8.21) per month or $49.99 (£41.00) for the year
2 - Liftr
For those looking to get on top of their weightlifting and bodybuilding plan, there's Liftr. This is up there with some of the best free workout apps for iPhone and Apple Watch that offer a strength training tracker to help you throughout your weightlifting journey. The app features a super colourful and easy-to-operate user interface which breaks down the different workouts into charts and goals that you can set yourself.
There's an exceptionally large variety of areas and workouts to choose from, and you can even visualise your week based on pounds lifted or sets accomplished. You can view your plan by dividing it into body parts or how much time was spent on a certain area such as the back, biceps, glutes etc. It can be useful to have these all visualised for you, as well as just being able to see the progress you've made!
Other weightlifting features include being able to set yourself specific goals - For example: Number of pounds to lift, how many sets you do focusing on your quads, or how many bench presses. It also includes an equipment inventory which helps you to learn more about the tools and equipment that you're using to improve yourself. It's super easy to keep track of all of this, with amazing ease!
There are even templates that you can create for custom workouts, slots for sets, weight, reps, rest and so much more! The subscription plan for Liftr starts at only $3.99! (around £3.29) and offers additional features such as a refined journal and bank of over 40+ pieces of workout equipment.
3 - Carrot Fit
If you're bored of the same old monotonous "rinse and repeat" style of workout apps, full of boring workouts and dull user interfaces then you might want to check out Carrot Fit. This app offers a lighthearted yet challenging experienced workout aimed at those who already exercise, it taunts its users through sarcastic messages, comments and a sly/cynical sense of humour.
Carrot Slice offers their own unique "7 minutes in hell" workout routine which features such sets as "Mount Doom Climbs" "Celebrity Face Punches" and "Dragon Mating Dances" which already sounds like a heck of a workout party! "You get 30 seconds for each of the 12 punishing exercises,* with 10 seconds of rest in between just in case you need to hydrate, catch your breath, or vomit into a bucket" It's very clear that this app and the company have a sense of humour and it's used to maintain motivation and enjoyment of ones workout.
The app allows you to track your progress as you go, crunching all the numbers to let you know how many step you've taken, track your weight loss on a graph, view your workouts on a calendar and much more! It also syncs to your Apple's health app so you can sync your progress to the HealthKit database. It'll also monitor any fitness activity logged on other apps that use HealthKit, even when Carrot Fit isn't in use!
Carrot Fit offers rewards for completing goals and losing weight, such as app upgrades, cat facts and permission to watch your friend eat a bag of potato chips (Their words, not ours!) The app costs just $4.99 (around £4.11) to purchase and is a massive change from the usual health and workout apps which all seem to follow the same formula.
4 - Headspace
Okay, okay - This may not be a "workout" app per-say, but mental health is just as important as physical health! There's no point re-decorating a house if the foundations are crumbling (bit of a strange analogy...but let's roll with it)
Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app designed to help you relax, unwind and unravel. According to a 2017 study by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 792 million people were living with a mental health disorder including depression and anxiety. In today's modern and bustling society with all its perk, there seems to be a rising mental health crisis, and who can blame them really? We're constantly being bombarded with information, news, advertisements, taxes, The Kardashians, people arguing in the Youtube comments - It's enough to drive anyone mad!
Thankfully, Headspace is one of the the best apps on the market to help battle the relentless bustle of modern life. Headspace offers a gigantic selection of guided meditation, courses and mindfulness exercises on subjects like stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, worry, building resilience etc. Designed with a super colourful and friendly user interface, it'll help you learn all the steps that you need to relax, let go of stress, and release the tension within your body and mind.
There's so much choice and options available for this app, far too much to fit into this description, but I'll give it a shot! -
Daily Meditations - Discover daily guided meditation courses, varying from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Narrated by the calmest, most soothing voices you've ever heard. Track your progress and time spent meditating with the Apple Health app. Different topics are covered daily, so you'll never get the same course twice.
Sleep Sounds - Find it hard to shut off that big meaty thought-machine you've got sitting in your skull? Headspace offers brilliant sleep-casts and soundscapes to help you sink into a peaceful sleep in your own time. The sleep-casts are stories and scenarios narrated by a calm, soothing voice and can last from 10 to 50 minutes. Try to stay awake for the whole 50 minutes, I dare you! The soundscapes are an audio journey through distant mystical lands, be it a rainy jungle on the moon of Neptune, or a peaceful wheat field at midnight. They include ambient nature recordings to really help you drift away.
Stress Relief - Ease any unwanted anxiety with the "SOS" sessions for sudden moments of unwanted unease. Learn breathing exercises to help you overcome stress and discomfort in these situations. It also offers specific meditations to help you cope with stress, anger and adapting to change.
Focus - Improve your focus with exercises designed for working from home, boost your productivity and concentration with focus enhancing music and choose from curated playlists made to help you set the right mood for your day.
Having personally used Headspace before, I can't sing its praises enough! There is so much to choose from and so many features that you'll keep discovering time after time. It's helped me a lot with stress, depression and sleep issues! Headspace is free to download and use, but offers more features and lessons for premium subscriptions. It comes out to $12.99 (around £10.70) a month or a years subscription will cost $69.99 (Around £57.68)
5 - What3Words
Again, not exactly a "workout" app, but it's a must-have if you're an avid outdoor runner (or hiking, walking, exploring) Getting lost whilst outdoors in an unfamiliar place is bad enough, but in an emergency situation is even worse. Picture this: You're on a big hike with a friend in the middle of nowhere, halfway up a mountain - All going well until your friend takes a tumble and breaks their leg. You're now miles from civilisation and dusk is creeping in, what do you do? You're nowhere near a payphone or any kind of landmark for directions, this is where What3Words comes in handy.
What3Words takes the entire planet and divides it up into 3x3 meter squares, each square is designated with its own 3-word code (For example "Uncertain-Box-Radio) This code can then be relayed to emergency services, who can then use the app alongside with GPS tracking to locate you and your injured friend. However the app isn't just intended for negative situations! It can help you to plan exact meet up locations for parties, get-togethers and events as well as finding AirBnBs or alternate entrances to buildings.
The App is completely FREE! And offers features such as being able to find your current W3W address code while offline (without internet or phone data) Compatibility with navigation apps such as Apple and Google Maps, save your favourite locations and categorise them into lists. You can even add a W3W address to photographs. It's going to be one of those things that you'd rather have and not need, than need and not have!
Do you have any of these apps? If so, what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!