By Art Sta Ana
What a time to be alive! Advances in science, technology, and medicine have us living 40 years more today than people living in the Barong Tagalog-wearing and smallpox-infested 1880s. We went from traveling months at a time on galleons and ships to saying hello to someone on the other side of the world with one click on a mobile phone screen. What used to be a death sentence is now easily treatable with medicine that’s a buck a piece. Living beyond 50 years is now no longer a rarity. What a difference a hundred years make! And out of all the technological marvels that have emerged throughout the decades—the airplane, internal combustion engines, the television, the resuseable coffee tumbler—none may be more exciting today than smartphones.
No longer just devices that allow us to call and text on the go (as opposed to the party-line phones of the ’90s), these devices allow us to do a multitude of tasks, from emailing our colleagues the latest office gossip, researching on what the Infinity Stones are really all about, listening to the newest K-pop hits, to exercising. Exercise and fitness apps nowadays can take the place of expensive gym memberships and trainer fees, especially for those of us who are always on-the-go and have little time for exercise. That being said, there are quite a few apps out there that have proven to be popular among their users because of the unique features that they offer. Here are five must-downloads for those who are looking to take advantage of their smartphones to live a little better.
Nike Training Club
The NTC is one of the most complete workout apps available today. Let Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo give you beginner quick-hit lower body workout based on his own trainings, which include hip lifts, squat jumps, and crossback lunges. Allow Olympic medalist Allyson Felix’s intermediate strength workouts teach you how to do proper walking dumbell lounges, side plank knee drives, and lateral bear crawls. Or unwind, relax and recharge with master yoga trainer Traci Copeland’s essential restorative yoga poses like the Cat Cow Flow and Sun Salutation. The best part is that since Nike sells apparels and shoes and not fitness, everything in the app is free.
Exercise and nutrition are only as good as your rest. The app aptly called Calm harnesses the power of rest and relaxation to allow your body to heal after a stressful day. Though a little on the pricey side with its subscription, the free version gives you programs like Seven Days of Sleep and Seven Days of Calming Anxiety, and even provides sleep stories, all of which use sounds as a powerful medium to destress.
Couch to 5k
Ever dreamed of doing a 5k run but just don’t know how to start? Train for it in just eight weeks! Improve strength and stamina through this app that eases you into the endorphine-filled world of running by giving you a day-by-day, step-by-step running plan. Just hook on those earphones and listen as the app tells you when to walk, when to run, and when to take a breather. Becoming a marathoner has never been easier.
Of course, getting into a fitter lifestyle does not just mean exercising, it also means eating right, and MyFitnessPal is the perfect app to track your calorie intake. It starts by asking you about your fitness goal, whether you want to lose, maintain, or gain weight. It then asks you to regularly put in your food intake, exercises done for the day, and water consumed, and then provides you with advice on how you can improve your daily exercise and eating habits.
You are a runner en-route to one of humanity’s last remaining outposts, a town called “Abel Township,” that needs your help to rescue survivors and defend their home. The app basically incorporates running with video game-like features like collecting items and the impending doom of being caught by zombies around your area. It won’t ask you to look at your phone or change directions while you run, but it does warn you of the undead that’s about to catch you unless you speed up, or risk losing the items that you have accumulated, much like if you were inside a Resident Evil game yourself. You are given one free mission, while 200 more missions will cost you a low monthly subscription.