Fitness has become a huge part of most of our lives in recent years and the industry is blossoming, being worth more than £22 billion. New sports, medicines, and equipment have all contributed to the growth of fitness, but arguably none of these have had such a large effect on the industry as apps. There are apps for every situation, be it quitting smoking with Smokefree or calorie counting and regulation with the NHS app. Almost 30% of Britain admitted back in 2018 that they had set out to commit to their weight loss plans, but in reality this for the majority of us didn’t last long. Are apps the paving stones for improving and prolonging our fitness journeys?
This game swept the population back in 2016 and although its popularity has dwindled since, there is still a large fanbase and incentive to get involved with this game. This game, despite being fun, is also useful for getting people active. The popular game works by individuals needing to be active in the community to progress in the game. According to Sport England, one in three kids in England take part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This was described by Sports Minister Mims Davies as ‘simply unacceptable’. With games like the new Pokémon Master, this is a great way to get kids active and taking part in an activity they’d enjoy. It was even found that the original Pokémon Go was also helping to bring families together as parents and children were competing with one another as to who could catch the rare monsters.
Couch to 5k
Nearly all those who have committed to a fitness journey have heard of this challenge! Alongside fitness staples like joint supplements and protein shakes, anyone who has wanted to improve their health and fitness has heard of the Couch to 5k challenge. It’s ideal for those who don’t particularly have the fitness levels to take on marathons but want to increase their physical ability. Presented by Public Health England, it builds you up gradually with a mix of running and walking so that within nine weeks you should be able to run 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). There’s also a choice of five virtual trainers to help you on your fitness journey and keep you motivated.
Babylon: GP at Hand
The days of waiting hours for an appointment with a GP are over. Instead, it can be done from your home and with the device stored in your pocket — your trusty smartphone! Usually, you’ll be seen within two hours once you make your request, meaning that you no longer have to wait weeks for an appointment or attend a walk-in surgery. It allows the doctor to discuss your symptoms and, where necessary, you can show them your issues on camera.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
A very similar concept to Pokémon Go instead immersing yourself in the world of wizardry and fitness. For those who aren’t particularly a fan of the Pokémon franchise, this take based on JK Rowling’s creation could be just the thing. It works by users having to complete a certain number of steps in order to open up treasure chests for more loot. Also, as magical creatures and characters spawn on the map in-game, you need to physically travel to move your character across the map. However, unlike the Pokémon take, this game will be able to track your activity without even running the app. Therefore, you’ll be able to track your steps without being synced to the game, and those who like to wear a Fitbit will more than likely agree that this can become a game in itself!
Although purchasing an annual membership initially sounds like a great idea, this isn’t always ideal in the long run. This is where Esquared can make a difference. This app works in the same way as Uber in the sense that it allows you to find gym sessions and one-off classes in your area. The benefit of this app is that it’s non-committal and there are no subscription fees. Currently, it’s only available in London and Sydney, but keep an eye out in case it expands into an area near you!
Health is rightly no longer considered as only physical, and much more attention has been placed on mental health. Campaigns such as ‘It’s Okay Not to Be Okay’ are bringing our mental well-being into the forefront of the attention via the media. However, in the UK, approximately one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common issues. This American-based app helps anyone who feels isolated discuss their concerns and issues thanks to it connecting you instantaneously to one of its 160,000 trained volunteer listeners and licensed therapists. It’s anonymous, free, and confidential. It also allows you to participate in guides chats through group support discussion rooms.
2020 is just around the corner, but there is no need to wait until your New Year’s resolutions begin to start your fitness journey. With these five apps — as well as the many more available via app stores — you can make steps to reaching your goals and improving your quality of life.