I've been playing around with fitness apps this summer. Specifically, a quick and easy HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) app called "7". It's a circuit based system which directs you to complete 30 seconds blasts of 12 simple exercises. It takes just over seven minutes to complete and works most major muscle groups plus cardio. There are loads of offerings available. I checked out a few free options before settling on one which seems to work for me. I'd recommend playing around with a few installs depending on your phone.
I like these apps because they're very flexible. Here are some ways you could use them to cram in a few quick fitness bursts:
1. As the traditional circuit. This is how it's intended to be used, choosing between 2-5 run throughs of the 7 minute circuit and being wholly guided by the app.
2 As a habit former. The best results will come from 2+ circuits but if you're struggling to fit exercise into your day then this is a great starting point. Knowing that the work will be done in 7 minutes lets you experiment with different timeslots. Once you've found the times of the day that you can commit to, it's easier to stretch those times out by adding a second circuit.
3. As a pre yoga warm up. 1-2 of these 7 minute circuits before a flexibility focused yoga class will turn your day's exercise into a super charged full body experience.
4. As a post run exhaust. If you only have time for a short run but want to make sure you cover your fitness for the day then head home 7 minutes early and throw a circuit into your regime once or twice a week. It's portable, too, so you could always dive in halfway through your run if you fancy.
As ever, I have a few caveats. If you love your Pilates then you'll find it lacking in core challenge. Similarly, if you like weights then the basic squats won't do much for you. There's not much help with modifications either so if you want to avoid impact you'll have to rethink it a bit.
Still, it's a great fun tool to keep us all healthier for longer and if you're already heading for the app store then keep your eyes and ears open over the next few weeks. I'll be promoting a special workshop to help you get the most out of this cute bit of software.
Enjoy Good Health!