Nothing says ‘couple goals’ like getting fit together – not only do we see the benefits in our physical appearance, but there are positives in other areas of our lives – such as more energy, better sleep, better sex, and effective stress management. In fact, exercise is so beneficial that we might wonder why people go for long periods of time being inactive.
The answer, of course, is our old friend motivation – that elusive but powerful factor that is essential to getting us to the gym, out for a run, or unrolling our yoga mats. Particularly when you’re in a long term relationship – and enjoy long evenings on the couch, watching Netflix and eating ice cream – motivation to get fit and tone up might feel like a world away. We know, however, that exercise is a great investment – so here are some apps that have been designed specifically to make training and exercising easier for you both.
## Nike+ Training Club
This app helps you track and achieve your fitness goals – with workouts by world class trainers. It includes cardio, yoga and a ‘training club’ that brings gym-level workouts to your home or local park.
## Map my Run
If you’re a runner, this is the app for you! You can monitor the mileage, duration and calories burned during your run, and there is the ability to track progress over time. Not only this, but you also have access to popular running routes in your area (although not every town has access to this app). Finally, there is a community feature where you can see what other members of the app are doing, and can share your runs and fitness journey.
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Just like MapMyRun, Strava allows you to track your exercise and analyze your run and biking mileage so that you can keep track of your pace and improvement. A great feature is the ‘compete’ function that shows record times and speeds for other runners or bikers- so you can have a little competition if that helps with motivation.
## Charity Miles
Of course this is a thing! CharityMiles gives you the opportunity to turn your mileage from walking, running, hiking or biking into dollars for one of the 40 charities partnered with the app. The charities that participate are from a variety of different areas, so you can choose whether you support health, animals, the environment or education – and can switch between these. This is a great opportunity to get fit at the same time as practicing altruism – which can be a really powerful benefit for mood.
We know that – as important as exercise is – diet is fundamental to maintaining a healthy weight and energy for our daily lives. Lifesum creates a customized meal plan that is tailored to you, as well as providing recipes that match your preferences. There is also the ability to log meals and water intake so that you can keep track of your nutrition. This is a great app to use as a couple, since you’re likely to influence each other in terms of food choices.
This is a great app that logs your exercise as well as calorie intake, with integrations into wearable devices (such as FitBits). It’s possible to change your macros in this app, meaning you can aim for a certain amount of protein, fibre and carbohydrates per day – ideal for those on special diets. There is also the ability to follow others and view their progress and activity – a great motivator!
Even if you don’t use health apps, your smartphone (if you use IOS or have an iPhone) has some inbuilt health functions that are very user friendly. Things like step count are recorded in this app, so you can track your activity levels over time (from when you first started using the device!), and it also combines data from other apps such as period trackers, calorie counters and fitness apps. There is the ability to compare your progress with your partner, and follow their progress using this app.
We love Mindbody for its wellness focus – you’re able to do virtual workouts for yoga, barre, pilates, circuit training and HIIT anywhere, anytime. It also works as a scheduling app for all your wellness appointments, including beauty and fitness appointments – as well as a directory in your area. This is a useful app for self care and keeping you emotionally and physically healthy – always useful in a relationship.
When we consider the impact of stress on our modern lives, it is clear that something has to change. Headspace is a mindfulness app that offers short mindfulness meditations for different concerns – such a relationships, work/life balance, substance use and low mood. The benefits of mindfulness – an apps like Headspace – are well established, with evidence pointing to improved sleep, better mood, more harmonious relationships, more energy and better productivity and focus.
In any relationship – even the happiest and most harmonious ones – there can be a real benefit in regular check-ins and self-reflection. Just like our bodies and minds need some care and support, our relationships need attention too – and without it, things can start to shift without us even realising it. Relish is a great resource that offers a tailored and considered experience for couples – the chance to identify their issues and work toward goals like better communication, more intimacy, more friendship and greater connection. The app also provides personalised coaching and an action plan to help maintain and improve relationship health.
As you can see, there are no shortage of apps and new technology to help keep you and your partner in top emotional and physical health. It is a good idea to touch base with your partner to talk about the goal that you both have right now, and the kind of support you need. Perhaps you are both stressed, and are looking for an app that can help you prioritize self care and stress management – or perhaps you are struggling with an ongoing relationship issue, and need the advice of a trained Coach. Whatever the issue, it is likely that there is an app that can offer inexpensive and accessible help – on your schedule.