10 apps to help you stay healthy during the holidays
Find ways to stay active even if you’re out of town
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We’re nine months into the Covid pandemic, and finding time to be active has been difficult. Now that the weather has cooled down and the holidays are only weeks away, it doesn’t look like staying healthy is getting any easier. I had replaced going to the gym with walks around my neighborhood, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one finding solitary, outdoor activities to fill the void of the StairMaster and rowing machine.
The holidays tend to uproot our routines and cause us to feel misaligned, off-kilter, and out of shape. And since getting exercise in person is becoming more and more dangerous to our overall health, it might be time to look for different workouts. I’ve never been one to love workout and nutrition apps, but this year has been rough and I’m finding that creating a workout from scratch can be incredibly draining. So, if you’re feeling the same way try some of these apps that will help you stay healthy during the holidays this year, whether it be hiking, meditation, or spinning.
Noom is a psychology-based diet and lifestyle program. It has a strong following and boasts that those who commit to Noom see life-changing results. At the start, you take an in-depth survey about your current lifestyle, habits, and health concerns. Noom then creates a premium health plan for you to reach your goals, typically with a goal date 5-10 months away. We tried Noom and appreciated the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach and the guidance provided as you work to build better habits and integrate them into your life. Noom helps you find exercises you enjoy, goals you can realistically achieve, and recipes you’ll enjoy eating. It can be a bit pricy at $59.99 a month but is cheaper if you purchase monthly bundles.
2. Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club has been one of the top fitness apps since I was in high school. My friends and I would gather in the soccer off-season to get a sweat in. The app has an extensive class library and additional sections for recipes and nutrition and holistic wellness. There are yoga classes, HIIT workouts, kickboxing lessons, and body-specific workouts like core and glutes. The Nike Training Club app makes fitness without equipment less intimidating and easier to integrate into your own life. One of my favorites is the ‘prepare for sleep’ style classes that help me calm down after long days and rest well.
It’s also worth mentioning it’s one of our overall favorite workout apps and now it’s free!
Everyone that I have asked about the Peloton app has given it two thumbs up and glowing reviews. And no, you don’t need to have one of their bikes or treadmills to use the app. The app has over 10 workout styles and thousands of classes you can watch live or stream on-demand. Classes include running, strength workouts, meditation, cycling, yoga, and stretching. One of my friends’ favorite features is the variety of class lengths. You can select classes that are 10 minutes and fit into your lunch break, or you can select longer classes from 20 minutes–an hour to sweat as much as you want. I recently purchased an indoor spinning bike and I plan to sign up for Peloton’s 30-day free trial to see what everyone is talking about. And at only $12.99 a month, I’m sure I’ll continue subscribing.
4. Moody Month
When friends of mine, especially women, ask me what apps I rely on most, Moody Month is always at the top of my list. It’s a super customizable daily health tracker. While it’s certainly geared toward those with periods, it could be used by anyone looking to track their mood, sleep, energy, and more.
It’s the most accurate cycle tracker I’ve ever used, which has saved me plenty of stress. I also really like the design and data tracker. The app makes it easy to log how you feel each day (including a journal section for notes) and then displays the overall trends in color-coded charts. Moody Month also features daily summaries of how you might be feeling based on your cycle, with suggested meals and exercise to support your body. They also upload a 10-15 yoga video every day (!), so you don’t have to leave the app for a little bit of grounding or energizing movement.
If you enjoy running and cycling, Strava may be the fitness app for you. It integrates your social media contacts so you can support others in their fitness efforts and feel encouraged in your own goals as well. Some of the most dedicated athletes I know (marathon runners and really determined cyclists) rely on their Strava app to track their progress and connect with others. The app has a sophisticated tracker that works with both iPhone and Android devices so you can track your progress easily. You can also share your workouts (including images) and comment on posts by others. If you’re missing a local running or cycling group, Strava is a great alternative that provides that same sense of community. And maybe the most useful feature, Beacon, allows you to share your location while you’re out with select loved ones—keeping you safe.
6. All Trails
All Trails is a detailed website that catalogs walking tours and hiking and biking trails all over the world. It’s a go-to for anyone adventurous, and the mobile app is wonderful. The app has over 100,000 trails that you can search and follow 24/7. The All Trails app makes exploring your hometown more exciting and can be a great tool for traveling around the holidays. Consider finding a trail you can explore in the middle of a long drive to see family. Or, find one close to home where you can get fresh air in the midst of entertaining guests. The app is free and has a simple interface that helps you plan trips and even get driving directions and weather updates.
Aaptiv takes training with an app to a new level, or at least a different one. Instead of using the screen for classes and guidance, you only need to connect your headphones. The audio-led classes are more accessible and comfortable for those of us who don’t enjoy having to pause during an online class to see the screen better. Aaptiv is also great because once you begin, you don’t need access to your phone; so you can put it in your pocket and focus on your body. Some classes have video or image cues that you can view before starting a workout, but it’s mainly audio-based. Like many fitness apps, Aaptiv helps you set and track goals from losing weight to moving daily. If you’re unsure if you’ll like the style, I suggest giving the free week-long trial a shot and going from there.
8. Simple Habit
I’ve recently begun meditating more, and Simple Habit is my go-to for guided meditations. It’s a free app with mindfulness and meditation audio classes to help you find calm in as few as 5 minutes. My favorite mediation is “Relax Into Sleep” and I’ve listened to it over 40 times this year alone. If you upgrade to the premium subscription, which is $11.99 a month, you’ll gain access to more meditations and some fitness classes like yoga, core workouts, and pilates. Simple Habit is a great introduction to meditation and has plenty of free classes for beginners or experts alike.
Skimble is an affordable, all-around fitness app. For only $6.99 a month you can find classes for any muscle group or activity level: weight loss, cardio, yoga, interval times, full-body, body weight, etc. It’s a great option for anyone who is looking for variety and isn’t able to go to the gym. Most of the workouts listed are done without equipment, aside from a yoga or exercise mat. There is an additional option to connect with personal trainers (for an additional price) that could be useful for anyone looking for more personalized cues and fitness plans.
WW, formerly Weight Watchers, is one of the original diet apps. After you take the initial assessment, the program provides a flexible and personalized structure that you follow to reach your goals and stay on track. The scientific SmartPoints program works with your body type and health information to encourage healthy habits and nutrition that serves you. The app also provides a supportive community of others who are there to inspire and encourage you as you strive to reach your health and fitness goals.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.