LIDIA CARVAJAL

Start the year in good shape. Apps to exercise body and mind in your own home

Some apps include training programmes specifically for people who are in quarantine

SARA BORONDO

Since the start of the pandemic many people have reduced their level of physical activity and this lack of exercise affects not only what the weighing scales show but also mood. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that we all get moving every day to look after the body and also the mind. A study published in The Lancet four years ago, which analysed the relationship between exercise and mental health, came to the conclusion that the most sedentary people have a worse perception of their mental health than those who exercise daily. So, let's get moving! With all the apps that exist nowadays, there is no excuse to lounge about on the sofa.

Home workout

No equipment, by Leap Fitness Group

This includes routines to exercise different muscle groups (abdominals, chest, legs, arms...) without leaving home, as well as warm-up and stretching exercises of different intensities, which can be adapted to the user's fitness level. The app has video guides and animation for each exercise, so it is easy to maintain correct posture. It even has a specific programme for people who are confined. There are also nutritional suggestions aimed at strengthening muscles. To access some of the exercises you have to watch an advertising video. If you want to repeat the programme with a guide, you have to take out an annual subscription, and there are seven days free so you can try it out.

Yoga

Down Dog, from Yoga Buddhi Co.

The user chooses the postures they want to practise depending on the level they are at - there are five different ones. They can also choose the type of music or the sound they want to listen to during the session. The app allows you to choose between different types of yoga and also the rhythm of the sessions or whether you want to focus on a specific part of the body. All the details and the configuration can be changed at the beginning of each session.

Pilates

Nexoft Mobile

Pilates is a type of training exercise which is becoming increasingly popular among sport lovers because it is a way of combining stretching and strength exercises without overloading the joints. It also improves posture and increases flexibility. Although equipment is normally used, you can also practise pilates in your living room.

Some apps include specific programmes designed for people who are confined

This app, which is only available for Android, has a total of 60 yoga and pilates exercises, classified according to their intensity and difficulty. It includes the description of each exercise in audio, video and text. There is a table showing weekly progress, so users can check whether they have attained their objective. There is a version in Spanish, but the translation is not very good.

To create a personal plan, you have to pay a one-off fee of 3.99 euros. For Apple devices there are similar applications, such as Pilates Anytime.

Flexibility

A month of exercises with Mel Studio

Those who are not used to doing any type of exercise may prefer to start by stretching their muscles. The results can be noted within just a few days. You can set a specific target, follow one of the programmes contained on the app or focus on stretching one part of the body. The exercise you do is registered on the calendar and you can see how you evolve. There is also an achievements system. The application, which is only available for Android, has a Spanish version, but the translation is not very good.

For iPhone or iPad there are similar apps. Stretch and Flexibility is one of them, with options such as stretching before going to sleep and exercises to do after practising sport.

High intensity

Seven-minute workout by Perigee ABsads

You don't have to spend a lot of time doing physical exercise for it to be effective. Just a few minutes can be enough. With this app, you can choose between three options: get in shape, strengthen the body or lose weight. The sessions have 12 high-intensity exercises at various intervals with a few seconds of rest in-between.

In this case it is advisable to be in shape and consult a doctor before starting, because it is demanding on the heart, especially for people who are overweight, have cardiovascular problems or are not used to intensive exercise.

The subscription gives you access to personalised plans and advice from qualified personnel.