Fitness apps build alternative routines

Athletes maintain health independently


Samiya Mohamed

Senior Lindsey Olson works out with the weight bars. The weight room at St. Louis Park High School is a workout area for students.

Emma Yarger

According to nordic skier and lacrosse captain senior Grace Lynch, fitness apps are a convenient workout plan, especially if she needs extra motivation to exercise.

“I would recommend looking up fitness apps on whatever device you use, because there’s so many different options. I’ve used a couch to 10k app which is for people who have no experience whatsoever and want to get running, or Fitbit app which tracks where you are,” Lynch said.

Track athlete junior Amaya Fokuo said she started using fitness apps after struggling to find an exercise schedule that worked for her.

“I was wandering between Pinterest ab workouts and workouts that my old coaches could give me that I could do while I was just trying to keep up my endurance and health in general,” Fokuo said.

Strength and conditioning coach Jessica Gust said she encourages students to exercise, but is concerned with how dependent students are on their phones.

“There’s just a lot of value for especially decreasing stress, decreasing anxiety, helping moderate your mood, keeping your cardiovascular system healthy,” Gust said. “For kids it’s hard now because everybody’s attached to their phones and kids used to just go out and play, even high school kids.”

Lynch said she uses the apps, like one made by Nike, as tools to inform how she should exercise when she goes to the gym.

“It helps because especially if I’m working out on my own I don’t have anyone to tell me what to do and when,” Lynch said. “Obviously the people that make these apps and workouts know a lot more than I do about what’s good together and what would work better and help me get stronger and healthier.”

Fokuo said she has participated in physical therapy for various sports-inflicted injuries, but fitness apps like 8fit helped her make progress toward her fitness goals.

“I actually was a swimmer for a long time. I got a concussion, sadly, so that kind of stopped everything for me,” Fokuo said. “Finding a new regime was really the way to go for me.”

According to Fokuo, fitness apps help her fit exercise into her busy schedule so she can gain control of her workout regimen.

“8fit has become something like a goal for me because I can’t do all my workouts that I usually did before, but I’m working up my ability to do those workouts again by doing modified versions of my 8fit workouts,” Fokuo said.

Gust said she is concerned about the possibility of students injuring themselves while working out on their own.

“My worry is that if kids are using them without the appropriate background knowledge and the appropriate coaching that it just increases the risk of injury if they’re doing things incorrectly,” Gust said.

According to Fokuo, it is important for students to keep their health in mind. She said she feels fitness apps provide a simple, accessible way for students to work out.

“I would say get an app. It’s just nice to have such a quick reminder, or at least I like having that structure,” Fokuo said. “It makes me feel better that I have a backup plan.”