Many years ago, I went to my first fitness class. I didn’t know anything about boutique studios or yoga gurus. I just thought it would be a good stop on my way to McDonalds (true story). I laughingly tried to keep up with the step choreography and then breezed out the door, not very convinced that this was an enjoyable way to spend my time.
Fast-forward more than a decade later, and I was one of those spandexed instructors, guzzling green juice and power bars in between classes, encouraging students to find their power and wondering where the heck I had come from.
Now, as a work-from-home mom (which is a fancy way of saying that I pretty much never get anything done) I have had to find a place in between these two worlds. How can I keep myself feeling the strength that comes from a good workout while still adhering to my son’s nap schedule? How can I remind my abs that there is hope for them still?
Here are some of the apps I have tried, with my honest-to-goodness reviews.
This is a great option for people like me who like a class but can’t necessarily get to those classes. This app is audio-only classes, from treadmill sprints to weight workouts to yoga flows. Put in the time, your level and even your music preferences and you are good to go. I found this one to be excellent. It was never boring because the playlists and the encouragement of the trainers was enough fuel to keep going. It even got me back on my “dreadmill.” That’s saying something.
For the yoga and Pilates class junkie, this formerly Yogaglo app has recently increased its offerings. Both audio and video options abound from the world’s most famous (and impressively flexible) trainers. It can be a great option, but beginner classes sometimes make the assumption that you are a certain amount flexible. It is better suited for an intermediate practitioner, in my opinion, but the teachers are phenomenal.
Run by the eternally optimistic Cassey Ho, this app consolidates her popular YouTube fitness videos and also provides meal-planning options to define those muscles quickly. There is also a workout calendar, which can be a great tool for those who hate to plan. However, most of the features are available in other places. I didn’t find this to be an app I turned to often.
C25K 5K Trainer
Hands up people who love to run after taking a long break from it. Me too. Running seems daunting at the best of times and not running seems like a much better decision. The couch to 5K trainer has amazing reviews because it works. It gets you off your butt even if the idea of running for 60 seconds straight hurts your spirit. It starts with a ton of walking breaks and then gently tapers off until you can honestly deem yourself a runner.
Another “wish I could be in a fitness studio” app, this offers classes from NYC’s hottest fitness studios. From top notch Pilates classes to super chic mindfulness classes, this service streams amazing workouts from the comfort of your own home. My favorite part was that I could wear my preferred workout gear. (It’s pajamas. Always pajamas.) For some reason, I am not as into video as I am audio when I am at home, but other than that, this is a great way to get your sweat on.
There really is no excuse anymore. Technology is making it impossible to stay on our butts.