Now that Spring is near, I’m starting to mentally prepare for the upcoming cycling season. This winter was a bit of a challenge with all of the snow we got in February but it seems those days are behind us.
So, how did I keep fit during the winter? Well, I cycled as much as I could, but for those days that it was snowy or too cold, I went with Apple Fitness +.
Winters can be brutal to your fitness levels. Especially if your workouts depend on the outdoors. I cycled all year round, but winter workouts are different and not as extreme and hard-pushing as summer workouts.
When Apple Fitness became available, I gave it a spin and I was pleasantly surprised.
There are 8 types of workouts that are included in the subscription:
- HIIT: The one that gets your heart rate up!
- Yoga: Stretches, movement, focus. You get the idea.
- Core: These are only 5 or 10-minute workouts only.
- Strength: Mix of dumbbells and bodyweight options.
- Treadmill: If you have one that is.
- Cycling: If you have a stationary bike or a bike trainer.
- Rowing: If you have a rower… of course.
- Dance: Fun dance movements with good music.
There is a “cool down” workout but these are normally options after you finish one of the 8 workouts that helps you stretch and cool down.
I don’t have any equipment at home so I couldn’t try any of the ones that include a stationary bike, treadmill, or rower. But the others I have tried and this is my conclusion:
A good tool that serves your workout needs based on feel, time, and mood.
Do you want just a quick 10-minute workout? You can do that.
Want to elevate your heart rate? Try HIIT or a challenging strength training exercise.
Want to focus on movement and stretches? Try yoga.
Want to laugh and move? Dancing got you covered.
My favorite workouts are the dancing and strength training ones.
Dancing is just fun! I always choose a workout based on the playlist, which for me is either hip hop or Latin music. This is just fun and some of the instructors are great at getting you in the mood. Some of the movements can be difficult, but the good thing about it is that messing up is part of the journey. I do these workouts with my daughter, she loves them.
Before COVID I hit the gym 3-4 days a week for strength training. I loved it and felt great. Now that gym days are behind me, this fills that gap… to some extent. These workouts are not intended to increase your muscle mass and become swole. It’s more to help you build strength and challenge yourself. I have modified these workouts by adding heavier dumbbells and they have kicked my ass. I love it!
I have also done some yoga and HIIT, which are fine, but neither of those is my favorite workouts.
What makes Apple Fitness so effective is the Apple Watch. In fact, you can’t use the service unless there’s at least one user in your home. The way Apple has integrated the watch stats on the screen is genius. For example:
I was doing a strength training workout and it was getting challenging and the instructor mentioned how these movements will help you increase your heart rate, and the heart stats became the focus on the screen when he mentioned that. I loved that.
Being able to see your rings on the screen also encourages getting into the workout. It’s really well done. Kudos to Apple on that one.
I get Apple Fitness built into the Apple One service, so it’s not like I opted in. That being said, I am glad I have it and I think it offers enough to keep me coming back. Even though I expect my workouts to be mostly cycling-focused starting in April, my wife, kids can use it (they do) and continue to take advantage of the service.
I am very please with it and as it gets better, I’m sure Apple will invest in making this a great service. For now, it is very, very good!