Four of My Favorite Free Fitness Apps

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Nike Training Club

This app has an incredible amount of free content – thank you, Nike! It features interval-style workouts for different fitness levels and goals. Each workout includes exercise instructions and how-to videos (extremely helpful), built-in interval timers, narration, and the option to play your own music. If you have this app it’s easy to perform high-intensity,challenging workouts at home with minimal equipment and little fitness experience.

MapMyRun

The free version of this app performs the basic functions I’m looking for in a running app – it keeps track of my pace, route, and total distance run, as well as calories burnt. As much as I’d eventually like to buy a FitBit or GPS running watch, this does the trick in the meantime.

IntervalTimers

This app is a super simple timer perfect for interval/tabata workouts. What I like most about it is how loud the alarms are – easy to hear even over blasting music.

TwoGrand 

I really love this photo food journal app. As opposed to counting calories or macros, this app allows you to simply snap photos of what you eat, creating a visual sense of how much food you’re consuming. You can follow other users with similar goals/lifestyles and participate in challenges (“Drink x oz. of water per day”, “Workout abs everyday for a month”, etc.). You can follow me under username margeauxvittoria (as long as you promise not to judge me for my Christmas indulgences).

Workout Journal (Week of 12.1.14)

As some of you may know, I had a baby in November! Sweet little Miles was born 11/11 and he has upended our whole world (in a good way). Just this week I am beginning to feel as if I can manage my life again – the fact that I’m actually getting more than five hours of sleep a night now may have something to do with that.

I told myself during the last month of pregnancy that I would be slow and careful about returning to exercise/normal routines postpartum and really give myself a chance to recover and relax. This was definitely needed (for me) during the first two weeks with Miles, which were cuh-razy. Lots of crying, excessive laundry piling up around our apartment, and Oreo-eating. And general “what is life now” philosophical despair.

However, it gets better! I feel pretty great this week, I’m within four pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight (I’d like to lose 14 lbs. total though, but that’s a different post), and I’ve actually felt like exercising again. I can’t get over how much easier EVERYTHING is without a giant belly. A sun salutation is a revelation. Pushups, walking, squats – even Christmas tree decorating – feel so much more do-able. Which makes me want to do them.

Hence this post, and (hopefully) weekly exercise posts, since I want to stay accountable to myself to be active everyday. Plus the nosy stalker in me loves to read about other people’s workouts, and perhaps¬†you’re the same (I got this idea from paleomg.com¬†and katheats.com). Many of my workouts are done at home/using free resources, so maybe they’ll provide inspiration for your exercise routine. If you have any suggestions for me, let me know!

Monday Р1 Hour Zumba Class

Zumba

My brother-in-law’s college offers a great free Zumba class and he has intermittently¬†snuck me in since I moved to WI. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. College is so expensive that we justify little things like this to ourselves.

I was wondering if Zumba would be too intense so soon after giving birth but (as I’ve heard from other women concerning postpartum exercise) I was impressed by my cardiovascular capacity and actually felt semi-coordinated.

Tuesday¬†– NTC Leah Kim’s Advanced Yoga Workout (45 min.)

Nike Training Club is an amazing free app with HIIT-style workouts that are easy-to-follow, challenging, and really high quality. Most of their workouts are more strength/calisthenics-oriented, so I was curious to see what this yoga workout would be like. It was okay Рa basic gym-style flow with some nice transitions and balancing routines. I felt weak and kind of missed my restorative (AKA easy)  pregnancy yoga.

Wednesday Р1.7 Mile Walk

Walk

Miles and I met a friend at a local park for a walk – I used my Baby Bjorn to carry him and wore my father-in-law’s giant coat over both of us. It worked quite well! He stayed really warm and I got a little bit of an added workout.

Thursday Р1 Hour Yoga Class

I’ve been going to a local community yoga class on Thursdays for most of the summer – it only costs $3 and I’ve learned a lot from the teacher. She’s very knowledgable but still chill and fun and brings her sweet dog Shala to most classes. This was my first time back after Baby and it felt great to see everyone again and be able to participate in the whole practice, unimpeded by my belly.

Friday¬†– NTC Better Butt Workout (15 min.) + 1.7 Mile “Run”

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This was my first attempt at running postpartum and it was really just a sad run/walk. I’m proud of myself for getting out there but I definitely have a ways to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy running ability. It didn’t help that I did the NTC routine first – it gives me jello legs! I did this routine last week as well and definitely saw major improvements between the two attempts, although it’s definitely a tougher workout for me at this point.

Saturday Р1 Hour Yoga Class

Another $3 Community Class. This one was tough! The class focused on standing balances and twists¬†– so lots of Chair and Warrior Series with deep closed twists. My thighs were killing me after yesterday’s workout. It’s a 9:05 AM class though so it was a good way to start the day.

Simple 30 Min. Prenatal Workout

simple prenatal workout

I know. You don’t feel like exercising. Neither do I. Just promise yourself you’ll start…this is a simple thirty minute routine that will help maintain your muscles and prepare you for labor. It might also improve your mood ūüôā Results are inconclusive as to whether it will actually induce labor though…my due date was Thursday and I’m still waiting!