Over the pandemic, I decided to get my bearings with the latest and greatest when it comes to home fitness apps.
Could they actually help me get fit, or are they just a bit of a fad?
After a year of trial and error, the main takeaway was, like most things, it really depends. I found some apps were fantastic, and provided useful guidance and tips, whilst others were quite disappointing and bordered on frustrating to use.
After personally downloading and trying more than my fair share, I’ve collated a list of 5 free apps that are worth considering, hopefully saving you time trawling through the app stores. These apps are still on my phone today and opened at least once a week.
Note: It’s worth noting, I’m not affiliated with any of these apps or brands, these recommendations are purely based on using them first hand. I also wanted to highlight apps that you can use extensively for free – so there’s no excuses for not giving at least one of them a go!
FitOn is an all-encompassing fitness app, offering plenty of workouts for you to try.
As far as free apps go, FitOn offer a lot of value, without needing to pay. Unlike some other free apps that are filled with ads, FitOn currently doesn’t include ads (apart from promoting their own paid version of the app). I never used the paid version and found the free option enough to keep me busy.
There are plenty of workouts to follow along to, including low-impact exercises. The app does include a lot of high-impact workouts too, so you do need to bear that in mind when filtering through potential workouts to try.
The app also has lots of articles, including recipes and healthy lifestyle content, which are welcome bonuses.
Strava is quite a simple but really effective app. It basically tracks your walking, cycling (or any form of movement), so you can see how far you’ve travelled, your speed, and other metrics.
This doesn’t sound too flashy, but the impact can be substantial. Being able to visualize your physical activity really does help motivate you.
You can also create/join groups to further boost motivation. Similarly, there are monthly challenges you can join to keep your fitness routine exciting.
Strava is a very easy app to use, and I found no technical issues (unlike some other free apps, where they can randomly crash or freeze).
Ok, so YouTube technically isn’t a “fitness app,” but the truth is, you’re probably familiar with this platform and there are literally thousands of workouts and fitness videos you can follow along to.
Unlike a lot of general fitness apps, I found YouTube had the best variety for older adults too, including plenty of workouts tailored to low-impact style exercise. Channels like Fabulous50s, for example, includes lots of workouts that are gentle on joints.
For the tech-savvy amongst you, you can also display YouTube on your TV, to bring an immersive workout class to your front room.
Yoga is a fantastic way to stay fit, and Yoga Down Dog makes it easy to follow along to simple yoga flows.
I found this gave me enough inspiration to create my own yoga routine each day, focusing on areas of my body that I thought needed the most help (i.e., my lower back!)
Yoga Down Dog has a premium version too, offering more features, but the free version is more than enough to get you started.
Although GoWod was designed as a tool to aid mobility for CrossFit athletes, the app includes a huge library of exercises, particularly those centred around stretching, mobility and flexibility.
This area of fitness is so important for women over 60, but it’s often hard to know what type of stretches you should be doing.
With GoWod, you can simply select the part of the body you want to stretch out and the app will list lots of exercises and stretches to try, including video demonstrations.
I’ve found plenty of new stretches that I hadn’t discovered before, that have helped me stretch out sore muscles.
This makes a big difference in recovering from any sort of physical activity.
If you want to really kickstart your fitness routine, I recently published an article on Fitness Drum highlighting the best premium workout apps, which tend to offer more features and content than the free ones.
Ultimately, fitness apps tend to have two main features: streaming videos and logging activities. Some apps do both, but tend to lean towards one of those features, so when searching for a fitness app, think about what it is you want. Do you want to follow along to workout videos, or have a tool to log your exercise routine and track progress?
Once you know this, it’ll be easier to decide which, if any, apps are best suited to your needs.
Do you use a fitness app? Which one have you found the most helpful and what do you use it for? How did you learn about it?
Tags Fitness Over 60