I’m not really one for virtual exercise classes, partly because the lack of atmosphere puts me off, partly because you’re not actually obliged to show up. However, last year forced everyone’s hand when it came to keeping up with regular exercise classes, and gyms and trainers had to adapt quickly to catering to clients remotely. Apple bided its time, and has now unveiled a sophisticated platform that offers fitness options for both the novice and the pro, with no doubt a lot more to come in the near future.
When it was first announced that Fitness+ was coming, I wanted to experience what an Apple exercise class looked and felt like. Partly because the technical set-up sounded quite complicated – one of the biggest questions I had ahead of trialling it – but also because when Apple enters new territory, it normally does it well. One of the first things to say is, don’t be daunted by the technical aspect of Fitness+ – it’s been built to make working out an easy, any time and any place kind of activity. You do have to commit to buying an Apple Watch if you don’t have one already, as it’s effectively your key to your bespoke Fitness+ membership and it won’t work without one. Some classes also require equipment that many people won’t have at home, such as a rowing machine or stationary bike – but there is still plenty to explore for those who don’t have fully kitted out home gyms.
Read more: 11 Best Yoga Mats For A More Comfortable Flow
Despite staying at home all day, every day, setting aside time to exercise has felt harder than ever in recent months, so the introduction of a shiny new fitness platform was a welcome one for me. One of the biggest attractions was the choice of class length. If I only had 10 minutes to spare in a day, then I could choose a 10-minute class. The variety available means you can totally personalise your workout by say, opting for a short exercise session followed by a mindful cool-down class, if that works for you.
Read MoreFrom Cellular Fitness To Self-Pleasure, 6 Wellness Trends That Will Be Big In 2021
For me, this function was great. I’ve long been desperate to enjoy yoga but have been put off by the lengthy sessions (some up to two hours!), during which I get bored quite quickly. A 10-minute session with instructor Jessica Skye and a hip-hop soundtrack? It’s the right combination to make me a daily yoga practitioner. I’m also excited about trying the rowing classes because I now know my way around the equipment, having watched the Getting Started video that guides you step by step.
One of the most noticeable plus points about the app is that it’s really easy to navigate – the more you use it, the more it learns about your fitness habits, and recommendations for workouts you might enjoy will start to appear at the top of the homepage. You can also narrow it down further by filtering your choices – just like when you’re online shopping – to select your workout preferences based on type, trainer, music and length. And, if you particularly enjoy a workout, you can add it to the Workout Shelf, so it’s easily accessible next time you log on.
Mondays are workout drop day (currently there are over 200 classes available), so you can plan out your week, if you’re so inclined. From treadmill and HIIT sessions to indoor cycling and core workouts, the variety of classes on offer is another big plus. Me? I’m a creature of habit and have found myself returning to the same workouts, but I’m slowly braving new classes. I’m also enjoying being able to save songs that I like during a workout – a fun little extra if you have Apple Music – and there’s something addictive about seeing your real-time health metrics (such as calories burnt) in front of you on the screen, live.
Fitness+ is one of the most interactive on-demand platforms out there. It’s got me moving, something that I admit I hadn’t been doing as much since being stuck at home, and I’ve discovered new workouts that I would have once shied away from. It’s truly a refreshing approach to taking an exercise class.
Apple Fitness+ is £9.99 a month or £79.99 a year.
More from British Vogue: