Smartphone with gym accessories and tennis shoes. Download a fitness app.

Don’t be afraid to download a fitness class app

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It’s one of our favorite times of the year — summer. The sun is out, which means you are grabbing your swimsuits, chilling by the pool, and hanging out with your friends.

Because, we want to look and feel our best while rocking those new swimsuits and sundresses we just couldn’t pass up in the store, this is a time of the year when many of us focus on our fitness. If you haven’t tried using a fitness class app to help with your workout routine, maybe it’s time to give one a chance.

Natalie Wolfe is the founder and CEO of StudioHop, an app that lists classes at studios in some of the largest metropolitan markets in Texas and Oklahoma. She says one of the benefits of using a fitness class app is that it encourages users to try a diverse slate of classes.

“Mixing up workouts in general is great,” Wolfe says. “You’ll find certain classes and studios that you will enjoy and stick with, but taking different classes is fun. You’re more likely to switch up your exercise routine with one of these apps, and you’ll see more results. You’re also keeping things fresh and fun while challenging your body.”

But the variety of classes is just one of the benefits.

Meeting all your accountability needs

There are people who have no issue getting to the gym. Working out is part of their regular routine, so they always make time for it. Others struggle to stay committed to their fitness goals. Having an accountability partner is always helpful, and using a fitness class app is a great way to get a buddy interested in group classes.

Many apps will allow you to send a few free gym credits to someone who hasn’t used an app before. That means you can force a friend to come to a class with you! If your friend has fun, he or she can download the app and become a permanent workout partner.

Wolfe says this can make group classes less intimidating.

“The hardest part is just getting in the door, but once you get to the studio, the professionals there will give you tips,” she says. Plus, you’ll make friends who can turn into accountability partners at your classes if you become a regular there.

Another way these apps hold you accountable is that once you register for a class, you need to go or you could be charged for being a no-show (unless you cancel with at least a day’s notice). Since you’re making a financial investment, there’s a better chance that you won’t skip out on your workout.

Is it worth the money?

The majority of fitness class apps do have a fee, but the cost is worth it to keep you engaged in your physical fitness. Plus, most apps make it easy to try them out.

Many have a trial period before you really have to put money down for a full membership, which gives you a chance to try a class or two and see if this is really the best option for you. If you do choose to commit, there are different tiers to accommodate your budget. For example, you can pick a cheaper tier versus the unlimited package offering. Don’t feel pressured to do something that doesn’t suit your needs.

“You don’t have to be all in and only focus on boutique fitness,” Wolfe says. After downloading a fitness class app, you can supplement your workout routine with other fitness options, like jogging in your neighborhood. Wolfe also suggests following fitness influencers or groups like Dallas Fitness Ambassadors on social media because they often post about free or discounted fitness opportunities around Dallas.

Can you really replace convenience?

Speaking of being “around Dallas,” we all know how congested DFW is getting. If you live in North Dallas and work downtown, it may be hard to fight rush-hour traffic and make a class near your home at 5:30 p.m. However, if you have the right app downloaded on your phone, you can plan to take a class at a studio in Victory Park during the work week and save the class near your apartment for the weekend.

If you can’t physically get to a class, apps like Aaptiv and Studio will provide audio-guided workouts on your smartphone. Coaches talk you through classes so you almost feel like you’re in a studio, but you can exercise on your own schedule.

“There is something really convenient about booking your workouts wherever you are,” Wolfe says. Some apps even let you take classes in different cities and states. Check your membership plan within your preferred app to see if that applies to you.

Heck yes, health benefits!         

All of these app offerings are great, but the real question is, how do these apps help with my overall health? Wolfe says many people stick to one workout because they like it or think it’s fun. That’s a great place to start, but it’s not enough.

“You have to switch up your workouts to make sure you’re addressing all parts of your body,” Wolfe says. “A class app helps you check the boxes for different areas of physical fitness, like strength training, flexibility, and cardio.”

When you diversify your fitness schedule, it can improve your overall mental and physical health and disease prevention. Another added benefit is that it can help prevent injuries. Ginnie Emmott, manager of the Folsom Fitness and Rehabilitation Center at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, says you give your muscles and ligaments a break by performing different activities.

“You can get injured if you’re doing repetitive movements,” she says. “Give your muscles and ligaments a break by performing different activities. Think running, swimming, yoga, high- and low-impact, weight- and non-weight-bearing options.

If you really like one class more than others, Ginnie suggests one way to stay motivated is to schedule your favorite workout at the end of the week so you have something to look forward to!

So consider giving one of these apps a try after you talk to your physician about starting a new workout routine. If you really want a breakdown of what some of the classes within these apps are like, take a look at this gym class cheat sheet!

Work out at Methodist!

You can also spice up your workout routine at one of Methodist Health System’s fitness centers. Check them out!