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lifestyle
6 October 2016

Smart fitness

Get up off the couch and do some moves with the best fitness apps of the season.

As our days start getting longer, it's time to get back into an exercise routine. The reason so many of us go a bit slack in winter (apart from the cold) is that our training lacks variety, and we lose interest after the umpteenth push-up or mountain climbers. Here are some great apps that can help you mix it up. They'll motivate you, play good tunes or help you stay on course while you're out exploring new routes or working up a sweat in the gym.

Running

If you're getting back into an exercise routine after spending a little too much time on the couch, it's important to start slow. With running, especially, it's easy to pick up an injury by trying to do too much at the start. Use an app like RunKeeper (Android and iOS) to set goals, follow new routes and see your progress week after week. The app also integrates with Spotify, so you can listen to your favourite music while you sweat.

Also try: MapMyRun (Android and iOS).

Cycling

Strava (Android and iOS) is the most popular cycling app for a reason. The free version gives you access to all of the most useful features, such as GPS tracking, integration with ANT+ enabled heart rate monitors and speed sensors, and access to a community of like-minded cyclists the world over. You can follow the exercise routines of top athletes such as Peter Sagan and Louis Meintjies, and compare your efforts to those of your mates. The paid version includes training programmes and Beacon, a new feature that shows your location to family and friends.

Also try: Endomondo  (Android and iOS).

Overall fitness

If you're stuck behind a desk all day, use an app like Moves (Android and iOS) to measure your activity during the day. It automatically tracks your steps, bicycle rides and runs and shows you how much exercise you do daily. It's a no-fuss way to increase your level of activity, and a good reminder to get up from your computer every so often. 

Also try: Google Fit  (Android only).

Note: While these apps are free to purchase in the app store, you will need data to download and use the app. You can buy data bundles from Vodacom Online by logging in to My Vodacom »