We all have challenges when it comes to fitness. Although it is hard to admit, one of my biggest fitness hurdles is that I find it difficult to stick with a workout beyond the first few times because I get bored very quickly. As a full-time working mom, it can also be challenging finding time to exercise. To overcome these obstacles, I am always on the lookout for a new, quick and easy way to work out!
Fitness apps are a great solution. The options available online seem endless, but one of my favorites is the C25K app by Zen Labs. This “Couch to 5K” free app takes you on an eight-week journey towards completing a 5K race. It starts out very slowly in the first week with 60 seconds of jogging, alternating with 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes. Gradually, the app takes you up to three minutes of jogging in Week 3, ten minutes in Week 6 and 30 minutes and three miles by the end of the eight-week program.
The beauty of the C25K program is you don’t have to keep track of the time intervals since the app does all that for you! You simply start walking and jogging when it tells you to. This means you can just focus on your music, podcast, TV show, or whatever you like to watch or listen to while you work out, keeping your mind occupied.
Because the program builds up the jogging time slowly, you don’t feel like you are stressed or overdoing it at any time. Also, you can do the C25K plan indoors on a treadmill or outside—it’s up to you.
The program is designed to have you work out three times a week, allowing time for other kinds of exercise, like strength training, and those all important days of rest. If you miss a workout or two, the app sends gentle and encouraging reminders to help you get back on track. You can also join the C25K community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get inspiration from others and share stories from your own journey!
If I find myself really pressed for time, I squeeze in a quick workout using the 7 Minute Workout app by Perigee. This app takes you through a series of quick, yet effective exercises combined with short rests for a full body workout in just seven minutes. If you like, you can set up to five repeating circuits on the app for a longer workout.
The exercises illustrated on the screen are easy to follow. A voice guides you through each exercise and a whistle tells you when to stop and start, so no tracking is required on your part. The workout gets your heart rate up, but is not too strenuous for beginners. Also, the app incorporates tracking, achievement rewards and levels to unlock as you progress to keep you motivated.
The MedStar Health iBars in Bel Air and Lafayette Centre serve as places where patients can get assistance and education on wearables and apps that help them to proactively manage their health. Helping patients download and navigate apps like C25K and 7 Minute Workout, the iBar ensures our patients have tools at their fingertips to manage a stress-free exercise regimen.
As we get older, exercise and fitness become more important, not just in terms of how we look, but as a way to help prevent serious chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. For those of us struggling with workout boredom and busy schedules, finding something quick and easy can be the key to sticking to your fitness routine for a lifetime.