Screenshot of the Aaptiv app on my phone

Disclaimer: I have paid full price for the products reviewed below. This review was not paid for by the companies presented monetarily nor in kind.

 One of the most notable changes in my person over the last few months is a serious shift from my former perfectionist tendencies. It used to be that I followed a strict gym going schedule, and when I strayed from that schedule for any reason I would have a hard time getting back on track—I couldn’t just pick up where I left off, I had to start all over again so that I’d have flawless streak of perfect behavior. I was like this with homework during my school days too. Perfectionism is not always a productive personality quirk.

Fast-forward to life with a baby and I’m so proud of every little personal accomplishment. Took a shower? Excellent. Ate vegetables? AMAZING. Left the apartment? All star!

Once The Little Fella was old enough to hang out at the gym daycare center (6 months) while I worked out I started exercising again. I no longer aspire to six sweat sessions a week. I’m pretty happy with three. I’m a total star if I make four. And I don’t sweat it if I only get there once or twice. And since I no longer adhere to a strict training schedule, my workouts are a little more fly by seat of my spandex. I am, after all, getting back in shape after almost a year of very limited activity (I had some complications in my pregnancy that meant I wasn’t allowed to exercise after my first trimester).

While I’ve never been a particularly big fan of fitness based phone apps, I was recently suckered into free trial periods with two apps that I’ve subsequently fallen in love with and now pay for because they’re rocking my new loosey-goosey gym going personality.

The first is Aaptiv (which started out as SkyFit when I downloaded it). Aaptiv has the feel of a live fitness class. The instructors are recorded, not automated, and you have the feeling they’re actually marking the workouts with you while you exercise. The workouts are set and cued to music that’s both up-to-date with popular songs and appropriate to the workout that they’re accompanying. What I like most about this app is that the workouts ever updating and they cover a wide range of exercises, with options for meditation, walking, treadmill, outdoor running, elliptical, yoga, strength training, cycling, and race training programs. You can filter the workouts based on fitness level, length of workout and trainers. Other than cardio equipment, none of the exercises require specific equipment, so while I often do them at the gym I could just as easily do the strength, yoga, or meditation sessions at home while the baby is napping.

I’m a big fan of Aaptiv for forcing me to up my cardio game on the elliptical and treadmill and guiding me through ab and stretch routines—areas I tend to get bored with and give up on quickly. My spin bike is currently covered in baby gear, but once we move and I have time to cycle at home again I’m looking forward to giving their indoor cycling sessions a shot. 

Which brings me to the next one. Running for Weightloss. I’ll admit that I was suckered into this one by a Facebook ad that featured a rapidly shrinking animated woman. While not as elaborate as Aaptiv, I like that that this running app is beginner friendly (it does have beginner, intermediate and advanced options available). I haven’t logged any serious running hours since I broke my foot while training for a half marathon and I am most definitely in beginner running shape. The program options are: Start Running, Running for Weightloss (basically interval training), 5k, and 10k training programs. While the app boasts four different trainer options, the trainers are computer generated voices that offer running cues and varied levels of canned support throughout your run. The playlists are limited, but fine enough—I’ve only really listened to one (the pop music mix) although the upgraded version of the app allows you to use your own music. While this is pretty much a no frills running app; it’s actually a bit more my speed in the novice arena than the Aaptiv beginner runs. I plan on transitioning out of this one as I get a bit more confident in my mileage, but I am enjoying the slow and steady increases in running intervals that the program consists of. Every time my interval increases by another 30 seconds and I don’t die I feel better about myself.

 

Do you use any fitness apps? Which ones?