Are fitness apps correct?

For whom are fitness apps a “good thing”? - This test shows it clearly

Tip, tip, fit - training with the help of apps should be that simple. "Bluewin" tried out those things that help us to get fit through play with Maria Kühr, personal trainer in Zurich.

Those who want to stay or become healthy and fit in the New Year don't necessarily have to invest a lot of money. Maria Kühr, what are the advantages of fitness apps?

Used correctly, they make us more aware of many things. Because those who work a lot and are under constant stress have often forgotten how to listen to their own body.

Can fitness apps and smartwatches replace a personal trainer?

They probably cannot replace us. But certain exercise and sleep apps make my work easier. They help customers who are constantly under stress and who also have the feeling during training that they have to go full throttle, although this is not physically possible. They only see that they meditate better when they not only hear it from me, but also from the app.

Can you please tell us more about how your customers found their way to a healthier everyday life?

I look after top managers who initially resisted sleep tracking. Today they send me their records once a week, I can adjust the training accordingly. Since they began recording, their lifestyle has changed radically. You sleep, regenerate and train better and sometimes do without drinking wine in the evening. Without apps, the whole thing would not be so tangible and perhaps not so easy to implement.

Do I need a smartwatch or can I train with apps alone?

With certain apps you can do that if you don't want to become a mountain running professional or if you are otherwise totally ambitious. The smartwatch also tells you in everyday life how many steps you have taken, that you should get up from your office chair again - and whether you have achieved your movement goal. Personally, I appreciate going jogging without a cell phone, listening to music or making calls in an emergency.

What are the most common stumbling blocks in app training?

Because many can no longer listen to their bodies, there is sometimes the risk that they will live too much according to the apps. It might make sense to put your cell phone and smartwatch to one side from time to time, get some fresh air and listen to your body again.

Personally, I am overwhelmed by the flood of data that can be collected about yourself. How can I better use this for my own purpose?

I recommend looking at what is important to you and what I really need right from the start. Simply switch off the rest so as not to be flooded with data. Much is not that easy to interpret, so not really necessary for amateur athletes.

Can a beginner really learn from an app to correctly execute the movements?

A trainer can correct movements individually, an app cannot. But if you do a lot of sport and have a good body feeling, they are a good thing for you. On the other hand, if you haven't done any sport for a long time, I recommend watching the training with a coach or attending an introductory course. This makes training with an app more effective - and also more fun.

Seven apps that whet your appetite for fitness

Pocket Yoga: Always have the yoga teacher with you

Always have the yoga instructor with you, whether in your pocket or on your wrist.

⊕ You can choose between 27 different sessions of varying duration and difficulty. The app shows the poses and describes them acoustically. If you wear an Apple Watch, it shows you the poses on your wrist, including the variations in posture.

The app is not free of charge (three francs) and is only available in English. In addition, the programs are relatively similar, especially with the less high levels of difficulty.

Conclusion:For anyone who wants to practice simple, moderate or intensive yoga when they need or want to. A great addition to classes in the studio or other forms of training.

Pocket Yoga is available for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android.

Carrot Fit: Training with an extra dose of humor

A carrot fit welcomes you with “Hello Meatbag”. And with that pinch of sarcasm it goes on. The short workout is called “7 Minutes in Hell”, and the app describes itself as an “overlord” that helps you lose weight.

The exercises are shown by a funny, animated fat boy. The workout can be used anywhere and for everyone, even if it sometimes demands a lot from us. Carrot Fit is a kind of ruthless drill master who doesn't mince his words: he gives nasty nicknames and makes fun of you because you can't train harder.

The app costs five francs. The app's tonality is sarcasm through and through, that's also its (sales) concept. That can spur those who like something like that, others might get on their nerves.

Conclusion:If you like to laugh at yourself and long for more fitness, Carrot Fit is the right thing for at home or as a supplementary workout.

Carrot Fit is available for iPhone, Android, iPad and Apple Watch.

Strava: In top form with challenges

Strava is not just a tracker, but a social network for athletes with a focus on running, cycling, swimming. If you are looking for motivation and challenges, like to plan yourself and don't need guided instructions, you've come to the right place.

⊕ With Strava you can record, analyze and compare the training. The app provides reliable recording of route, time, distance and speed, as well as clear and understandable audio feedback.

⊖ Through challenges and striving for the best times, some people push their limits and beyond. Injuries or accidents could result. The training plans are chargeable, which means that the program is aimed more at more experienced runners who already know which methods to use to train. The app costs (monthly subscription: six francs).

Conclusion: For everyone who likes challenges and social networks - and needs data and records to motivate them to see progress.

Strava is available for iPhone, Android, iPad, and iPod touch.

Headspace: Let go of stress

Headspace is a meditation app that aims to help you become less stressed, concentrate better, and sleep. The meditations are devoted to stress relief, anxiety, breathing, rest or concentration. The app shows your progress, you can connect with others and motivate each other.

⊕ First, Headspace leads you to the first meditation with a small, refreshing guide. The app is easy to use, easy to integrate into everyday life and conveys meditation technique in an understandable way. The meditations cover many subject areas and are accordingly diverse. In a short time, the app can bring more balance to everyday life.

⊖ Headspace guides new users through a ten-day program, then they are asked to pay (monthly subscription: 13 francs). Especially those who have not used the app for that long will spend even more time on their smartphone.

Conclusion:If you long for more serenity and don't think much of esotericism, Headspace is just the thing for you.

Headspace is available for iPhone and Android.

Just Dance now: Unleash the dancer in you

Curtain up for more dance. In the sessions with Just Dance Now, you can move around as you please and work up a sweat without a gym. The dancers on the screen show the moves, now it's time to dance and score. All it takes to turn any room into a dance floor is an internet connected screen and a smartphone.

⊕ Learning to dance like a star works amazingly well in practice. The movements are well recognized and implemented in the game. From the more than 500 songs there is a piece for every taste and every mood. And best of all: when you dance, nobody thinks about sports or counting calories anymore.

⊖ The app, which can be downloaded for free, has a library with five free songs. Without a VIP pass, however, only this selection of songs is possible, which changes after one day.

Conclusion: Dancing gets the cardiovascular system going and increases endurance. The training is super versatile and is just fun, even if the dance teachers only exist virtually.

Just Dance Now is compatible with iPhone, Android, iPad and Apple TV.

Zombies, Run !: Challenge the undead

Instead of cool statistics, a zombie apocalypse is now waiting as a fitness program. Zombies, Run! combines running training with an exciting and interactive radio play. History gives us tasks and goals that we should fulfill.

⊕ The app playfully gives us legs for running training. In 30 missions that last between half an hour or a full hour, you fight your way through areas populated by zombies as “Runner 5”. The app records the route, distance and speed.

⊖ So far, the app is only available in English, which might make some people hesitate. Those who delve too deeply into the story may forget to listen to their body while exercising.

Conclusion:Blood-hungry zombies in the back ensure playful fun during interval and running training. The right training for horror and audio book fanatics. The zombies can go up to twelve kilometers per hour. If you are not fast enough, you lose your life as a player.

«Zombies, Run!» is compatible with iPhone, Android, iPad and iPod touch.

Timeless: An app against oblivion

The “Timeless” app is intended to help you deepen and discover your own meditation practice. Sessions include relaxation, sleep, focus, emotional wellbeing, running meditation, and more. They start with a gong and last between eight and 32 minutes.

⊕ Timeless is an elegant, minimalist exercise timer that offers everything you need to learn and expand your meditation practice. The progress bars, custom goals and reminders also provide detailed insights. The guided meditations are tailored to modern life. The app also works perfectly on the Apple Watch, so you can meditate anytime, anywhere.

⊖ The first seven days are free, after which the app costs (monthly subscription: ten francs). The Apple Watch counts every meditation as a workout, which some users criticize in their reviews.

Conclusion: An uncomplicated app that brings you (again) to daily meditation. A practical option for everyone who likes short, timed meditations with a smartphone or Apple Watch.

Timeless is compatible with iPhone, Android, Apple Watch, iPad and iPod touch.

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