Travel can provide us with endless opportunities for growth; to experience new cultures, broaden our palate, learn about ourselves, forge new connections and make lasting memories. One thing it isn’t always conducive to? Exercising!
Whether you sweat it out at CrossFit or lengthen and tone at your local Pilates studio, most of us committed to a healthy and fit lifestyle have a dedicated workout regimen. Nonetheless, when travel calls and we are thrust out of the comfort and routine of our normal lives, it can be all too easy to put fitness on the back burner.
Rather than lose all your progress and hard-earned gains, why not add variety and spice to your workouts with a fitness app? The convenience of squeezing in a quick workout whenever you have spare time simply can’t be beaten. Fitness apps are particularly useful for travel. The workouts are usually time effective (done in 45 min or less) and can be completed with little to no equipment. These benefits make fitness apps the perfect accompaniment to any type of trip.
Our favorite fitness apps offer a little something for everyone — from the cardio HIIT queens to the long-distance marathon runners. Best of all? These apps are all cost-effective ways to supplement your healthy lifestyle while on the road.
Aaptiv: Best for Auditory Learners
Price: $15/month or $100/annually; Free 30-day trial
Aaptiv has been called the audible of the fitness world, and with good reason. This highly-rated app offers voice-guided, trainer-led, and music-driven workouts for those who don’t need or want video visuals. With audible, you can stream over 2,500 on-demand workouts in categories like cycling, interval training, long-distance running and elliptical.
No Wi-Fi? No worries! Aaptiv offers the option to download classes to listen offline. This app is especially great for runners looking to squeeze in some extra conditioning or speed training as they offer full marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K training programs. Audiophiles can rejoice as Aaptiv workouts are set to the latest in pop music instead of the traditional stock.
Nike Training Club (NTC): Best for those looking to Sweat it & Shred It
Price: Free, $14.99/month for Premium Club
Slogging along on the treadmill isn’t the only way to get your heart pumping. With the Nike Training Club app you will be sweating buckets following along with intense, fast-paced workouts led by world-class Nike Trainers and favorite athletes like Cristiano Renaldo and Serena Williams.
Depending on your fitness goals, you can choose from different workout styles like HIIT, strength training, circuit training, and bodyweight. Looking to target a specific area? You can also browse by muscle group and complete challenges like their core-focused collection ‘Get Leaner Stronger Abs’.
NTC is also intuitive; the more you train with the app, the better your personal workout recommendations, or ‘Picks for You’ become. In just 15-45 minutes you can complete an effective workout that will leave you feeling like a Nike level endorsed athlete.
Map My Run: Best for Traveling Runners looking to Explore a New City
Price: Free, Premium is $5.99/month, Yearly: $29.99/year or $2.50/month
If your favorite way to discover a new city is to hit the pavement, Map My Run makes it even easier to chase that runner’s high. Great for seasoned runners and casual joggers alike, Map My Run not only helps log your distances, but offers real-time audio coaching on GPS tracked runs, with a customized voice for stats like pace, distance, and elevation. Whether you are running at the local track or around the city plaza, Map My Run can help you find nearby running loops, save favorite paths, and even share your route with friends.
For all you fitness tech nerds, the app can easily sync your data to the latest wearables such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and Garmin. Every good runner knows that a quality shoe can make or break your training and even prevent possible injury. An ingenious feature on Map My Run called ‘Gear Tracker’ can help, by tracking your shoes’ mileage and letting you know when it’s time for a new pair.
MindBody App: Best for the Class Junkie
Traveling for work or pleasure doesn’t always have to mean a solo sweat in your hotel’s gym. For the social butterfly who loves the camaraderie of a group workout class, the MindBody App is the answer. The app takes the leg and guesswork out of finding a new class in a foreign city with over 52,000 businesses listed worldwide. Choose from a variety of fitness classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Spin, and Barre—then directly register for the class of your choice on the app.
Tight muscles and cramped airline seats got you feeling some type of way? MindBody can also be used to make massage and beauty appointments for when you need to de-stress. Instead of wasting your time sifting through the hellhole of Yelp and Google Reviews, check out the plethora of verified user reviews. App users can even use Health Kit within the app to export biometric data and see calories burned during their class.
30 Day Fitness Challenge: Best for Competition Seekers on the Clock
Unfortunately, many people tend to only be moderately motivated to workout while on vacation. Sometimes the allure of the hotel bar is just too great, and a concrete challenge is needed to re-ignite our fitness fire. 30 Day Fitness Challenge can help unleash your inner competitor with weekly equipment-free workouts.
All workouts are between 14-26 minutes, come with video instructions, and are tailored to your personal fitness level. Simply tell the app how often you exercise, how long you can run, and how many pushups you can do and you will be on your way to completing hundreds of exercises specifically selected for you. If you have specific *ahem* peach-shaped goals, you can add in targeted challenges like ‘Sexy Legs and Butt’ that will have you looking like Kim K in no time.
Freeletics: Best if you wish you had a Personal Trainer
Price: Free, 12-week custom coaching plan is $35
Besides the almighty JLO, most of us don’t have the luxury of traveling with our personal trainers. For the next best thing, Freeletics offers a digital personal training experience that can’t be beaten. Through user input, your personal coach will design a unique workout plan adaptive to both your training style and goals.
Freeletics offers over 900 equipment-free workouts that are HIIT, strength training, bodyweight or running based. The workouts are generally done for time (instead of a number of reps), and can be squeezed in about 5-30 minutes. One noteworthy feature of the premium plan is the variety of courses they offer to sharpen your mind, maintain motivation and improve your sleep, performance, and recovery.
8fit: Best If You Know Abs are Made in the Kitchen
Price: $30/three months or $60/year
For many of us pursuing an active and fit lifestyle, it’s not the workouts, but rather the healthy eating that trips us up. After all, is butter a carb? Is Kale the answer to everything? Travelers who need help cleaning up their diet as well as staying fit while on the go can get the best of both worlds with 8fit.
8fit will create a workout and meal plan for you based on your weight, current stats, and goals like gaining muscle or losing weight. Unlike many other apps it can fine-tune your meal plan based dietary preferences, need for food variety, and how much you prefer to cook. Your nutritionist-approved and personalized healthy meal plan can also be altered to allow for such food allergies and sensitivities as gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free as well as options for paleo, vegan, and vegetarian eaters.
Depending on our lifestyle, age, and level of athleticism we all have varying goals when it comes to health and fitness. Beginners may be simply seeking to get off the couch and jog their way through a 5k. More advanced athletes may be looking to increase agility and improve mobility.
What we can agree on is that fitness plays a huge role in our overall well being and health. To preserve our fitness and see tangible results, we need to uphold our healthy routines not just at home, but while we travel. Fitness health apps offer an easy, convenient, and fun way to condition both our bodies and minds wherever our journey may take us.
All app screenshots courtesy of the author