Whether you’re mourning the closure of you’re beloved gym (again) or never actually made it back there after lockdown round 1, you’re no doubt looking for ways to keep active while working from home and on weekends. Getting your sweat on during lockdown isn’t just about aesthetics either; research shows that being sedentary is bad for your physical and mental health. Not only does being active help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, it can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Exercise also maintains muscle mass and bone density, both of which begin to decrease when we hit 30. If you’re trying to ward off colds, flu and The Big C, physical activity helps to keep your immune system working effectively, flushing bacteria from the lungs and airways and raising the body temperature to fight infection.
Felt anxiety creeping in a little more often lately? Exercise is a must. A form of stress relief, research shows it reduces anxiety, depression and negative mood while boosting self-esteem and cognitive function. You’ll also benefit from better sleep, increased energy and potentially a souped-up sex drive. Now, where did we put our sports bra?
With gyms closed and cold, dark days making it tougher to get out for a run, it’s time to bring the fitness studio to you. From strength training to HIIT, low-impact options to yoga, there’s a home workout app for everyone – all you need is space, activewear and some motivation.
For a studio-like experience, you can’t beat FIIT. From Laura Hoggins to Tyrone Brennand, FIIT taps some of the industry’s most in-demand trainers to deliver hundreds of classes across their Cardio, Strength and Rebalance studios. The 10, 25 and 40 minute sessions are soundtracked by in-house DJs to keep the motivation flowing and, if you need some structure to your workout routine, they offer 2, 4, 6 or 10 week goal-based training plans tailored to your level. There’s also a brilliant postnatal plan called FIIT Mum, specially designed to ensure a safe return to exercise post-baby. Sign up now and see how many PBs you can smash by the end of lockdown. Membership fees range from £10-£20 per month and FIIT offer a 14-day free trial.
Sweat With Kayla
Kayla, of course, being Kayla Itsines, the Aussie fitness influencer with 12.7 million Instagram followers. Strength training, HIIT, yoga, post-natal fitness – whatever your fitness MO, Kayla’s Sweat app has a 12-week plan for it. The app is also home to Kayla’s cult Bikini Body Guide (BBG) alongside plans by fellow Instagram power PTs like Kelsey Wells and Chontel Duncan. As well as the aforementioned plans, there are stand-alone workouts requiring little or no equipment, 400 nutritional recipes and meal plans and all-important rehabilitation stretches. From £15.30 a month.
Tone & Sculpt by Krissy Cela
When lawyer turned fitness influencer Krissy Cela launched her Tone & Sculpt app last year, over 200,000 people downloaded it in the first few months. Known for her easy to follow strength training and weightlifting Insta vids, Krissy’s app focuses on getting you strong mentally and physically. Offering beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, you can tailor your plan and choose between three to five workouts per week and complement them with meal plans devised by qualified nutritionists. Krissy’s just expanded her superstar team too, enlisting US-based athlete Danyele Wilson to bring fresh workouts focusing on sports performance and functional training as well as new content and motivational talks. Working out at just 23p a day, it’s the perfect option to dip a toe into at-home training with some of the best names out there.
Results Wellness Lifestyle
Boasting over 1000 workouts and an engaged community of over 10,000 women, Lucy Mecklenburgh’s RWL (Results, Wellness, Lifestyle) is a great option if you like to mix up your training, offering weight training and heart rate-raising HIIT sessions. RWL takes a holistic approach to fitness, with tools to help with motivation, breathing and anxiety as well as a calorie counter, tracker and yummy recipes. If you’re expecting, check out Results With Bump – home to specialised workouts to help you have a fit and healthy pregnancy. You can try before you buy with a 7-day free trial, and prices vary based on your subscription.
An offshoot of the Alo Yoga athleisure brand loved by the likes of Hailee Steinfeld and Kendall Jenner, Alo Moves streams on-demand yoga, fitness, and mindfulness classes to your phone. With new courses dropping each week, you’ll never get bored. Some target specific concerns – tight hips and shoulders, we’re looking at you – while others focus on strengthening particular muscle groups. If you don’t want to #yogaeverydamnday, check out the HIIT, barre, meditation and prenatal stretching classes. Alo offers a free trial, with membership costing £17.49 a month or £194.99 annually after that.
Couch to 5k
Ok, so the dark mornings and afternoons might mean pre or post work runs are off the cards, but your lunch break and weekends provide the perfect opportunity to get out and pound the pavements. More than 850,000 people downloaded the free NHS-backed Couch to 5k app during the first lockdown (march-end of June 2020), an increase of 92% on the same time last year. Aiming to equip newbie runners with the stamina and strength they need to run a 3.1 mile circuit over nine weeks, it boasts a roll-call of famous coaches to help with motivation, including DJ Jo Whiley, comedians Sarah Millican and Sanjeev Kohli and former US Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson. If their dulcet tones don’t keep you going, seeing your progress will – the weeks are split into manageable walk/run ratios to work up to smashing a 5k safely and sustainably. Post-PB, the app offers advice on how to stay active on it’s Life After Coach to 5k page.
Nike Training Club
Over 185 FREE Nike Master Trainer-designed workouts at the touch of a button sounds too good to be true, but that’s exactly what you get with the Nike Training Club (NTC) app. Browse workouts by muscle group, workout focus (strength, endurance, mobility etc) or equipment – don’t worry, there are plenty of bodyweight options – to find your perfect workout, then recover with a scroll through the Expert Tips section. From ‘How to Futureproof Your Body’ to ‘5 Pregnancy Fitness Myths to Stop Believing Now’, it’s a goldmine of credible wellness advice, as well as a source of seriously tasty brekkie, lunch, dinner and snack inspo. No cost, no excuses!