Can't go to the gym? Check out these 7 hot fitness apps

Ms Chen Lu has turned to using resistance bands, workout cables and dumbbells at home.
Ms Chen Lu has turned to using resistance bands, workout cables and dumbbells at home.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - As many gyms shut their doors temporarily due to the recent spike in Covid-19 community cases, gymgoers are switching up their routines.

Schoolteacher Chen Lu, 24, usually goes to the gym thrice a week. She has turned to using resistance bands, workout cables and dumbbells at home.

She says a change in routines can be a good thing. "When we always do the same exercise, our bodies may get used to it and reach a plateau."

This month, she is also focusing on push-ups and pull-ups at outdoor fitness corners. She runs 5km weekly around Bedok Reservoir and also does high-intensity interval training.

Instead of hitting the gym five times a week, undergraduate Ho Jun Yang, 22, plans to exercise daily this month, as his recovery time for home workouts is shorter, he says.

He wants to do exercises such as pull-ups to strengthen his back muscles.

He also hopes to clock 3km runs four times a week using the Nike Run Club app. "The app serves as good motivation, with constant reminders of how close I am to my goal," he says. "It also helps me pace my runs."

With high-intensity workouts at the gym out of the question until at least May 30, here are seven hot fitness apps to try at home or outdoors.

1. Nike Training Club

Pump up your abs with sporting heroes such as football star Cristiano Ronaldo. With more than 190 workouts, the app caters to exercises from high- intensity interval training (HIIT) to yoga.

Users can craft multi-week plans based on intensity, frequency and duration. Badges and trophies are awarded when you hit milestones, such as working out thrice in a week.

With video demonstrations and clear audio instructions, the workouts are easy to follow and great for beginners. Plus, the app is free as Nike has made its premium features complimentary in view of Covid-19. But note that while you can bookmark workouts, they have to be downloaded before use.

Price: Free

Available on: App Store and Google Play

2. Sweat: Fitness App For Women

Founded by Australian fitness superstar Kayla Itsines, the app offers about 20 multi-week workout programmes, from HIIT to yoga to post-natal workouts. It also has low-impact exercises light on the joints.

Weekly shopping lists and day-by-day meal plans based on your dietary preferences, such as vegan and pescatarian, are also available.

Price: Free seven-day trial, then $27.98 a month or $168.98 a year

Available on: App Store and Google Play

3. Strava

Strava is a fitness app that doubles as a social media network. You can add your friends, see the workouts they have done and "give kudos".

Best for running and cycling, the app allows you to track and analyse your runs and rides over time. Subscribe for advanced features to get more in-depth insights on your performance.

Strava also allows users to compete with others who have exercised on the same routes and displays the timings on a leader board.

Price: Free; subscribe for advanced features at $10.48 a month or $78.98 a year

Available on: App Store and Google Play

4. Alo Moves

With over 2,500 classes, more than 60 instructors and new workouts added every week, you will be spoiled for choice.

It suits yoga lovers especially. It focuses on yoga classes, meditation routines and even teaches you how to do a perfect handstand. The interface is aesthetically pleasing and the app is also easy to use.

Another plus: Some workouts are set against tranquil, captivating backdrops, such as Nevada's Red Rock Canyon and snowy Lake Tahoe in the United States.

Price: Free 14-day trial, then $26.98 a month or $298.98 a year

Available on: App Store and Google Play

5. Zombies, Run!

Imagine how fast you would run if you were bolting from zombies in an apocalypse.

Like most running apps, it tracks information such as distance and average speed. But it also offers 200 missions, such as collecting supplies in a zombie-infested city while running. It is not hard to become engrossed in the missions because the incessant ringing of alarms and sounds of explosions can make them seem so real.

The interface, though, may get confusing as it is too story-based with vivid titles.

Price: Free; subscribe for unlimited access to all chases at $7.98 a month or $46.98 a year.

Available on: App Store and Google Play

6. Freeletics

This app, which uses algorithms to design personalised training plans, offers hundreds of HIIT and strength-building workouts lasting 30 minutes to an hour. But these are best for people seeking a challenge.

Under its premium plan, it works like a personal trainer that tracks your performance and adapts to your progress.

The app has clear demonstration videos and shows the muscles being worked on. Users can top up for a nutrition plan, which comes with custom meal plans.

Price: Free; subscribe for a training plan at $54.98 for three months, $89.98 for six months or $119.98 a year

Available on: App Store and Google Play

7. 8fit Workouts & Meal Planner

Designed to be an all-in-one app, 8fit offers workout plans, meal plans and even sleep meditation techniques.

The app is highly customisable - it can come up with a workout and diet plan to suit each user under the Pro plan.

The workouts involve body weight and are usually under 15 minutes - ideal for those short on time. They are easy to follow, with visual demonstrations and timers to prompt you to move on to the next exercise. It would be better, though, if there was background music.

Meal plans are flexible - you can swop out ingredients you dislike or find recipes with what you have on hand. The app can also suggest substitutes for ingredients you lack.

Each recipe has descriptions of the dish, such as high-protein or dairy-free, and comes with details of how much fat, protein and carbohydrates it contains.

Price: Free; subscribe for advanced features at$25.98 a month or $84.98 a year

Available on: App Store and Google Play