Health

The New You: 4 fitness apps that ACTUALLY work*

By Oliver Smith 5 January 2017
Summary

*willpower required.

It’s a new year, it’s time for the New You.

In the spirit of starting good new habits this month we’ve asked around the office for suggestions for fitness apps that actually work.

Not gimmicky, try-it-once-and-forget apps, but apps that might actually change your life for the better…

Here’s what we found:

Pokémon GO

Yes, not your typical fitness app, but if you get addicted to Pokémon GO, it will undoubtedly impact your health for the better.

Walking an hour each day to pick up Poké Balls or Poké-hunting for those rare creatures will add miles onto your daily step count and could burn more than 250 calories.

For some people the incentive to go to the gym or go for a run is the pleasure of seeing their changing physique… for others collecting colourful Pikachus and Charmanders is the drive they need.

Gotta catch’em all.

Free on Android and iPhone.

Wonderush

Fitness classes are great, but they often feel pretty limited.

Maybe your gym offers a dozen different weekly activities, yoga, HIIT, or a boxercise class, but what about when you want to mix things up and try something totally different?

That’s where Wonderush excels, it’s an app that turns the whole of London into your own gym with hundreds of different classes and activities.

From belly dancing to learning how to do the splits, from aerial aerobic classes to the popular SwingTrain workout – dance classes based around the sounds of Swing, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, Electro Swing, and Hot Jazz.

Read more: Take a yoga, pottery or cocktail class with the Airbnb of activities

Available on Android and iPhone, £29.99 for unlimited classes.

Interval Timer

Ok, bear with us on this one.

High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT), which is basically 30-second bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods, is believed to be one of the most effective forms of exercise.

For instance a HIIT run, alternating between sprinting and jogging at 30-second intervals, burns far more calories than a regular run – which means you can do a shorter HIIT run and have the same health benefits.

And it’s not just running, the method is appropriate for pretty much any exercise you can think of squats, cycling, lunges, starjumps, boxing, etc.

To really embrace HIIT you need a reliable timer to keep track and notify you of intensity changes, and Interval Timer is the best app for doing this.

Free on Android.

Citymapper

It’s far too easy to get around the lazy way, sitting on trains, busses or in an Uber, when your own legs can just as easily get you to your destination.

That’s why we love Citymapper for reminding us that 13 minute bus ride is actually only a 20 minute walk, or a 10 minute cycle.

And, unlike certain other mapping apps, Citymapper’s walking and cycling times appear with every route you search for, tempting you to choose a more healthy mode of transport.

So why not give into temptation this year?

Free on Android and iPhone.