When, on Mar 14, 2020, a personal trainer in Seville, Spain, climbed to the roof of a building and led quarantined residents living in nearby buildings into jumping jacks and an exercise routine, the message became clear to millions. Exercise matters, especially when each person's immune system may influence the long-term health of others.
The federal and local government "shelter in place" orders, and a new practice of social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19 have temporarily closed gyms and entertainment centers. Fitness apps can provide the structure, the support, and the coaching to start or to continue a daily fitness routine at home during the weeks of sedentary sheltered living. Exercising has become more than a personal pursuit of health management. It has entered social responsibility in times of pandemic.
Best fitness apps to remain fit amid COVID-19
The app development community has actively stepped in to support the community with free access to their services or added content to provide physical and mental comfort during these difficult times.
1) The Healthy Mummy
#1 health and fitness app for mums, The Healthy Mummy app help mothers manage the challenge of sustaining or developing new healthy habits to lose weight. In the early years of motherhood, fitness centers may not provide an environment that always aligns with the demands of raising a young family. This app developed by TechAhead is available at the Apple and Google app stores.
FitChirp bypasses the need to be in a gym to receive personalized advice and coaching on how to exercise. Members who sign up for this free app enter a space of co-sharing advice, tips, and ideas for workouts, exercises, fitness plans, and more. FitChirp includes fitness professionals who have been vetted through a referral process.
The platform gathers helpful fitness information under one roof and makes it easy to zoom on the specific topic of interest by stratifying the topics into four categories and grouping the fitness experts into five departments. FitChirp was developed by TechAhead, a mobile app development company in Southern California, with its development center in New Delhi-NCR (India).
3) Yoga Wake Up
From its humble start as a Kickstarter project to a successful product launch, Yoga Wake Up is an iOS and Android app free of charge for those who wish to exercise first thing in the morning. The app provides a variety of yoga classes, with morning stretches to help users wake up when the sun rises with movements that build up progressively to a full physical workout. It enables nighttime meditations for a soothing relaxation leading to sleep.
The app also allows users to schedule specific live exercise regimens to lead by renowned yoga instructors at a rate of $0.99 per session supported with calendaring and reminder options. Yoga Wake Up gives an invitation to access blogs and articles about meditation, relaxation, and various yoga-related topics. The app member will find inspiration for new poses into tips to improve existing exercise routines.
Obé brings its support to the community with free access to its content for 30-days. The Obé app works for Apple and Android platforms and delivers live-streamed or on-demand pre-recorded fitness classes. Under normal conditions, Obé is a $27 subscription-based fitness app with a library of more than 4,000 exercise classes, from aerobics to cardio to muscle building. Some segments cater to special situations such as pregnancy or postnatal fitness.
Each 28-minute workout zooms on three core pillars – sweat, define, and flow – activating most muscle in the body for an effective exercise. For the busy member, the app includes a 10-minute express exercise. The mobile app keeps track of the user's progress and suggests a class progression.
5) Peloton Digital
The Peloton company stepped forward to support its members and the public with 90-day free access to their Peloton Digital app. The volume of downloads of the app reached 100,000 in February 2020 with a daily surge since Mar 16, 2020.
With a membership, users have access to the same library of classes any owner of Peloton treadmills, bike machines and exercise machines to customize the exercise experience with adjustable seating and touchscreen interface to live or on-demand workout classes with monitoring of individualized progress. The app content includes yoga, cardio, and strength exercises plus the option to create a personalized plan, mixing and matching classes to meet the viewer's preferences.
The library is accessible on many devices including the Apple Watch and televisions sporting airplay and Chromecast support and Amazon Fire TV, so users can perform their routine in the safety of their own living room. Currently, Peloton offers a 90-day free trial run, so people quarantined in their homes can enjoy their app for no cost. With over 130,000 downloads, Peloton is a great app to utilize during the pandemic.
6) Down Dog
Down Dog announced on Mar 11, 2020, that "due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are making all of our mobile apps - Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout - completely free until April 1st. " Students K-12 and teachers have an extended cut of date of July 1st. The options cover a range of situations. Yoga for Beginners starts a novice with the basics, HITT is an Intensity Interval Training requiring no props.
Barre finds its inspiration is ballet movements, and the 7-minute-long workouts cater to exercise toward short bursts of activities. Users can customize their workout regimen on the app with different exercises to focus on specific muscles. This app, available with Apple Store and Google Play will, sync to Apple Health and many other devices to share a customized workout seamlessly across platforms.
Fitbod joins the community in helping families bound to their homes during the extraordinary times of the Covid pandemic by making bodyweight-only workouts free of access from Mar 16 to May 1st. An annual membership typically costs $59.99 and is available from the Apple Store. Fitbod helps a member set goals and construct a personalized exercise strategy built from estimated fitness and experience levels. The intent of the app is to continuously stretch the physical effort to the limit of what the user can achieve.
Exercise matters during days of isolation from life outside the home. Several mobile apps bring the gym to the home. Several fitness app companies temporarily have open access to their online services free of charge to mobilize the community in physical activity at home until the social distancing government mandate gets lifted.