If you overindulged during the festive period and are having to loosen the buckle on your belt, now is a good time to set some serious fitness goals. Losing weight and getting active are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions but setting the right ambitions and staying motivated can be far tougher than people think. Luckily, there are plenty of services and gadgets aimed at keeping you firmly off the sofa with Apple just one of the technology brands that has branched out in a bid to help its customers stay in shape.Not only does the US firm offer users full fitness tracking via its Apple Watch and iPhone but there’s also the ability to get some exercise without going near the gym thanks to its Fitness+ subscription platform.
This service offers a catalogue of classes including heart-pumping HIIT workouts, Yoga lessons, fun Dance classes and Strength sessions which are all aimed at improving overall well-being. An update is even arriving this month that adds kickboxing and workouts to the sound of Beyoncé.
“I think when we look at the whole journey of what’s happened with fitness and well-being at Apple, in the early days of Apple Watch the watch was designed to measure you, motivate you and nudge you. But we really didn’t tell you what to do or give you content or experiences to take it even further,” Jay Blahnik, Vice-President of Fitness Technologies for Apple, told Express.co.uk.
We’re glad that it came to market at a time when maybe people needed it the most“But it became really clear after a number of years, that part of the story of health and fitness is making sure you also have the right content when you need it. And that was really the genesis of what brought Apple Fitness+ to the market.
“Early on, we kept thinking to ourselves what could we do that would make a meaningful difference? We’re glad that it came to market at a time when maybe people needed it the most.”Of course, signing up for Fitness+ is pretty simple with Apple recently making it available to iPhone owners who don’t wear an Apple Watch. However, getting started for the first time and staying motivated during the cold months ahead can be tough.
We sat down with Jay and three of Apple’s top trainers – Kyle Ardill, Molly Fox, and Bakari Williams – to find out how they keep fit. Here are their top tips.
You don’t have to start with an epic 5K run every day as any kind of exercise will help. A quick walk around the block or 10 minutes or a short session of yoga can be a really good start.
“Especially at this time of year, we’re strapped for time and energy,” Fitness+ trainer Bakari Williams told us. “Some movement we know is better than none. That concept of getting in a short workout is why I love that we have workouts that are anything as short as five minutes up to 45 minutes.
“It’s fine to say that I’m just going to do 10 minutes today because that’s what fits into my schedule because over the course of a week, just singling out 10 minutes, that’s over an hour of movement that you’ve been able to get in and all of those minutes count.”Running around the same streets or pounding on the treadmill day after day is not only tedious but won’t help you maximise your fitness levels.
The best way to get in shape is to mix things up as it not only improves overall strength but also keeps things more interesting.
“I think it’s great that in Fitness+ you might really love the cardio workout so you do those longer, but you can learn to love a 10-minute yoga workout, that gives some strength and flexibility and mobility,” Jay Blahnik explains.
“It doesn’t have to be the core part of your routine to be really valuable. I think that’s the trick. They don’t all need to get equal attention, but it’s great to mix it up and try to fit them in as you can.”Along with offering HIIT, Dance and Yoga classes that can be performed at home, Fitness+ can be taken to the gym with treadmill and rowing workouts also available.
These can really help push you with the on-screen trainer switching up the speed and incline to help maximise the session.
“We’re better with a coach,” said Bakari Williams. “I’m kind of the same way as there’s a level of work I can do myself on the treadmill but when I have a coach and someone guiding you and cheering you on and instructing you I think we’re capable of so much more.”Hitting the gym for the first time and overdoing it can be a really bad idea. In fact, going all out and doing hardcore exercise before your body is ready can actually set you back and put you off for good.
“The old-school way of thinking about fitness, was that it really was about a certain level of performance or it didn’t count,” Jay explained.
“Even the idea that if you weren’t really sweaty when you were done meant that it wasn’t a workout and it’s nice to see that the world is really embracing that a really good old-fashioned walk has value. Making sure everyone feels okay with whatever they can get out of their workout that day.
“It makes a difference for a lot of people because if you think about the old school way, it just means there are more people that are gonna fail every single day because they can’t do all that.”
It’s also vital to find some exercise you enjoy as that will you keep motivated. “You have to find some sort of pleasure in it,” said Fitness+ trainer Molly Fox. “It’s got to hit the pleasure button.”
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