With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and all other manner of gizmos and gadgets over the past 8 years, different industries have been looking into how they can capitalise on this new market. At first lagging behind, the Health & Fitness industry is now booming, with apps like ‘Runtastic Running’ and my personal favourite, ‘7 Minute Workout’, being used by millions.
In this post, we’re going to see whether fitness apps are really a good way to stay in shape, and how you can stay healthy while abroad.
If you went to the gym but didn’t take a selfie, did you really go?
The success of these apps can be, to a certain extent, attributed to the social network phenomenon. With at least 90 million selfies on Instagram, the world has taken to showing off to friends and family every (good) aspect of their life. So why should keeping fit be any different? With most apps allowing you to share your progress online, your 5k run is the new selfie. And as an expat what easier way is there to keep everyone back home updated on your virtuous living.
Do fitness apps work?
Whether or not fitness apps actually work is cause for debate. One study found that fitness apps do indeed work, but only given that you’re healthy in the first place. But for those of you whose New’s Year’s gym resolution faltered some months ago, don’t despair – other research suggests that fitness apps provide a source of motivation, and are a useful tool for tracking nutrition.
Why should you use fitness apps whilst living abroad?
- Try it while you diet – We recently published a post on the “fat expat” phenomenon, in which reasons for expats putting on weight abroad were highlighted. One of the causes for this was, of course, exploring the new culinary delights available to you in your new home. While this of course is an excellent way to explore, a dramatic change to your diet may cause you to lose track of all those calories. I suggest a calorie counter or nutrition tracker to keep you healthy.
- See the city and become a fitty – As an expat, you should explore your new home as much as possible. And why not do this while running? As well as giving you a way to see the main sights, I recommend creating random routes to get an overall feel and see some things you might not have seen otherwise.
- Settling in, working out – A popular reason for using fitness apps is a busy schedule, and this can ring true for expats. When you first move abroad your entire schedule can be filled with flat-hunting, banking, and many other tedious things. While your schedule settles down, apps like the ‘7 Minute Workout’ mentioned above can be great for fitting in a quick burst of energy.
These kinds of apps can be a great way to keep on track of things when you have moved abroad, but they are not the last word in fitness. If you are really concerned with keeping in shape while away, there is no substitute for joining the local gym!