Workout apps are terrific. They teach us new exercises, help us to put together our own programs, and generally allow us more flexibility in our fitness efforts. Some of them, however, still operate on the assumption that we’re working out with equipment, or at the gym, or even alongside a partner. For travellers, these apps aren’t always much help, because these things just aren’t usually available when on the move or in a foreign country. There are, however, plenty of apps that are simpler in nature and just as effective, allowing you to take your workout on the road with ease.
These are three you might want to keep on your device for your next trip.
Generally speaking, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for travellers. Certainly it can be best to practice in a group or with an instructor, or even in a facility that encourages maximum relaxation (or if you’re into hot yoga, maximum sweat!). But none of these things are actually needed to go through a yoga routine. In fact, you don’t even really need a mat, though you may be most comfortable with one. You can do yoga in most any hotel room, hostel, or open space if you’re determined to fit in a workout.
There are dozens of decent yoga apps to choose from, so you have plenty of options in this category. But there’s an argument to be made that the Daily Yoga app provides the best combination of simplicity and effectiveness. It offers an all in one package for all your yoga needs, whether you’re a beginner going through simple poses, or an expert looking for more challenging routines. The pose library in the app is huge, and the pre-designed routines are effective without running too long, meaning you can always find a 10- to 40-minute workout to fit in during a busy trip. It would be silly to argue that it’s definitively better than all of its counterparts, but it’s certainly up there with the best of them.
Virtual and augmented reality have some fascinating implications not just in entertainment, but in fitness as well. A written piece exploring some of the potential impact in the gaming market made an interesting statement: that one good idea somewhere will set off a trend and will lead to a magnificent bloom in creativity.” That’s a nice way to sum up how early VR and AR development seems to be going, and we can only hope it describes results that stem from the introduction of this inventive app.
AR Runner is available on iPhones with iOS 11 or higher, and introduces what amounts to an entirely new fitness concept. By holding your phone up in front of you, you’ll be able to see checkpoints, appearing like pillars of semi-transparent light in front of you, and in something of a grid. The idea is to get in some cardio training by running through these beacons as quickly as you can – and you only need a small space to do it. The layout is the same no matter where you are, which means this is one cardio workout that shouldn’t change as you travel. Again, it’s exciting to wonder what might stem from this, as you can begin to imagine some similar AR-based workout apps emerging – but even AR Runner alone, for now, is worthwhile.
Sworkit was actually featured on another list of the best workout apps for travelling, where itw as noted that it’s known as the “Spotify” of workout apps. Why? Probably because of its various structures, which mimic the level of customization involved with the music app. The free version comes with 20 workouts included (ranging from stretches to strength training), while a $3.99/month upgrade allows you to access more workouts, choose a trainer, and customize your routine.
It’s the customization that really makes this such a worthy travelling fitness companion. The chance to sift through so many exercises and essentially design your own workout allows you to focus on your priorities, as well as on exercises that are easy to do outside of your ordinary space. For $3.99/month it’s well worth it if you’re on the move a lot and determined to stay fit!