The benefits of fitness are as well-known as they are plenty. Unfortunately, for parents constantly juggling a plethora of responsibilities, exercise ends up on the back burner—and understandably so. It’s hard enough to find the time for physical activity, let alone squeeze in the expense of getting fit. The challenge is real, but it’s not insurmountable. These days, fitness has become more accessible, thanks to technology.
Hongkiat notes there are ample new devices and tools on the market—all designed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals in one way or another, and some are very affordable, too. Of course, with devices, come apps. In the fitness realm alone, there are thousands of apps available today.
Best of all, apps typically won’t break the bank. Some are free, while others charge a small fee of just a few dollars. Some also give you the option to pay for a subscription—often affordable—to unlock more comprehensive features.
Picking and Choosing
Indeed, the only foreseeable hardship about using apps for exercise is the sheer number available. With so many of them, separating the wheat from the chaff can be a challenge, which is why you need to take into account not just your budget, but also the kind of physical activity that interests you before committing to one.
We’ve narrowed it down to the following:
No doubt, running is one of the best types of exercise you can go for. It’s known for its holistic benefits, going beyond the physical (weight loss and reduced risk of diseases) to take care of your emotional and mental health, too. Not only that, you can devote as little as half an hour to your run and already have a great workout, plus it won’t cost you a thing to hit the streets, making it the perfect exercise for busy parents.
Getting started is easy enough, too. The Couch to 5K app delivers exactly that—coaxing you away from the couch and coaching you toward your first 5K run at an investment of less than $5. Runkeeper is also another great running app that provides you with a personalized training plan while tracking your runs and other physical activities, so you can see the big picture and stay motivated.
Yoga is another great workout for busy parents. Like running, you can do it virtually anywhere at any time and duration that suits you. And while yoga is a low-impact exercise that’s easier on your joints, Working Mother points out it’s packed with benefits to your mind and body. Moreover, if you practice it long enough, it can even make significant improvements to your overall lifestyle.
Yoga classes can cost a pretty penny, though, so consider downloading a yoga app like Daily Yoga. While this app is subscription-based, you have the choice to choose between annual or monthly payments, so you have some flexibility, budget-wise. Best of all, its guided classes range from beginner to advanced levels, so wherever you are on your yoga journey, you’re sure to be supported.
A little bit of everything
If you had something more all-encompassing in mind, there’s an app for that, too. Sworkit Fitness Builder is worth considering as it gives you access to numerous science-backed workouts for a monthly fee of less than $10, making it a nifty app for shaking things up without sacrificing results.
Lastly, consider investing in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch. Compatible with most fitness apps, it’s a great way to keep you accountable for your workouts, with cutting-edge features like activity tracking and heart monitoring, to name just a few. You don’t have to buy the latest model to reap the benefits—older models like the Apple Watch Series 3 still have plenty of capability. And best for moms and dads, the various versions are splash- and water-resistant, so spills and sweat are no big deal.
Busy moms and dads, take heart. Technology is making it easier than ever to make fitness a part of your lifestyle. Take advantage of the many affordable fitness tech and apps available to you, and bask in how much better you feel.