Workout tips


In recent years, and especially since the pandemic, the surge in the popularity of digital fitness apps and wearable fitness trackers has been hard to ignore. With features like workout tracking, goal setting, and gamification, these tools have made it easier than ever for people to monitor and improve their physical activity levels.
But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know whether these apps are actually effective in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Let’s find out what are the benefits and risks of these apps, and if they do contribute to getting and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. 


What are digital fitness apps and digital fitness challenges? 

Digital fitness apps are applications usually designed for mobile that offer various tools and resources to help individuals track, monitor, and improve their physical health and fitness.
These apps may include features such as step trackers, calorie counters, workout routines, nutrition guides, and gamification elements to make physical activity accessible, engaging and entertaining.
Most allow users to set fitness goals, monitor their progress and connect with friends or a community for social support and accountability. 

Some famous examples of consumer-oriented digital fitness apps include Strava or Pacer, but also more game-oriented apps, like Pokemon Go. 

For companies looking at developing their own fitness trackers, some specialised app development agencies, like SG-based District Technologies, focus on creating branded fitness challenge apps for brand activation, employee engagement or charities. 

It is also important to note that the segment is also looking at covering more than fitness, as the demand from consumers is shifting toward a more holistic vision of wellness & well-being.pokemon sleep fitness trackerMeditation apps have also increasingly gained popularity, with audio tracks and daily reminders.
Even more surprising, the new Pokemon Sleep app, where the user gets rewarded if they sleep and rest well every night, is a fascinating example of healthy behaviour gamification. 


What are the benefits of Digital Fitness apps? 

Promoting physical activity as part of a daily routine

Digital fitness apps can encourage individuals to become or stay physically active by setting goals, taking part in challenges, tracking progress, and promoting consistency with notifications and reminders.
Most of these apps include step trackers or GPS-based features for users to monitor their daily activity levels and encourage them to meet their targets. They can also b  linked to wearables (connected watches) for more accurate tracking. 

Making fitness more accessible and convenient

Digital fitness apps are widely accessible and can be downloaded easily on mobile phones, making them convenient for users to access anywhere and anytime.
These apps can be used as a complement to a fitness routine, or as a standalone – replacing an expensive gym membership or home equipment for some users.

Easy-to-read data to optimize progress tracking

These apps can help users track their progress and monitor their health and fitness goals. While some fitness trackers allow users to record and analyse their physical activity, some also offer to keep an eye on food intake, stress and sleep patterns, which provide valuable insights into users’ overall health and fitness.

Gamification to increase motivation

Many digital fitness apps use gamification elements, such as rewards and challenges, to motivate and engage users. These features create a sense of competition and achievement, which helps individuals stay committed to their fitness goals and maintain their physical activity levels over time.


Are digital fitness apps and challenges effective and transforming their users’ lifestyles? 

Yes, there is evidence suggesting that using fitness trackers and fitness apps can help people be healthier. Many studies have shown that these tools can effectively promote physical activity and healthy behaviours. For example, a review of 28 studies published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that using fitness trackers was associated with increased physical activity and improved health outcomes, including weight loss and cardiovascular health.
Another study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that people who used a digital fitness app were more likely to engage in physical activity and had more significant improvements in their fitness levels compared to those who did not use the app. Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who used a smartphone app to track their physical activity and diet had better weight loss outcomes than those who did not.

That said, there are also some limitations and risks associated with digital fitness apps.
The absence of fitness and health professionals involved fails to ensure that the participant is physically able to take part in virtual challenges, and some apps may not suit individuals with certain medical conditions or physical limitations.
Additionally, some programs may not provide reliable information and advice, leading to incorrect training (and therefore less or no result) or injury.
Keep in mind that everyone can develop a fitness app; no credential is required.
We would therefore highly recommend doing some research and selecting a reputable digital fitness app before use, especially if you fall under a population with specific health concerns.

Finally, a fitness challenge app should be an addition, but not a substitute for an overall healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, daily movement (8000 to 10000 steps a day) and regular physical activity. 

Despite these limitations, we can’t deny the effectiveness of digital fitness apps in promoting healthy lifestyle habits. As technology advances, these fitness apps and digital challenges will likely become even more personalised, effective, and accessible, making them an even more valuable tool for promoting physical activity and healthy living.

Singapore is an incredible place to live and visit for sports lovers. The city-state is home to hundreds of gyms and training facilities – from big box gyms to niche boutique studios – but it doesn’t stop there! One of the best things about Singapore is the unbelievable number of parks & green spaces, that welcome brisk walkers and athletes alike.  If you’re looking to add variety to your fitness routine, here are a few ways to make the most of Singapore’s parks and outdoor spaces.

Most of Singapore’s parks are easily accessible and open 24/7. Most parks have well-maintained paths and trails perfect for walking, jogging, or running. Many parks also have outdoor fitness equipment, such as stationary bikes, pull-up and dip bars, benches for abs exercises and monkey bars that you can use for free.
To make the most of these, make sure you go there with a training program, or join one of the bootcamps that regularly take place there. Other activities, like Zumba, Tai Chi or Yoga, are also available in various parks.
Some of the best training stations (also called fitness corners) are located in Fort Canning Park, along East Coast Park, and in Tiong Bahru Park. They can be hard to locate (and there is no exhaustive list of them as of now) – make sure you ask around if you find yourself in a new neighbourhood.

workout station at East Coast Park
One of the fitness corners in East Coast Park

Another great way to incorporate Singapore’s parks into your fitness routine is by trying out a new outdoor activity. Many parks have sports facilities, such as basketball courts, tennis courts, and soccer fields, that you can use for free or a small fee. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a kayak at Stadium, or take a stand-up paddleboarding lesson at East Coast Park – plenty of outdoor activities await. 

Finally, don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the beauty of Singapore’s parks. It is easy, when you live somewhere, to forget to look up and admire the surroundings. Most parks have beautiful gardens and natural areas where you can relax, and even meditate.
Of course, you can also take a leisurely stroll along the park’s paths, go birdwatching, or have a picnic – not every day needs to be a gym day!

In conclusion, Singapore’s parks and outdoor spaces offer endless opportunities for incorporating fitness into your daily routine. Whether you’re looking for a challenging workout, a fun outdoor activity, or a peaceful place to relax and unwind, Singapore’s parks have something for everyone. Now you know what you should do next weekend!

Now that Singapore residents can travel (almost) freely again, we are all tempted to book trips around Asia or further.
If the primary objective remains to have fun and make the most of the trip, people currently on a weight loss or muscle gain journey can find it quite challenging to maintain their lifestyle while travelling.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to stay on track during your trip – and come back even stronger.

1. Stay on the lookout for a way to train – and be ready to embrace the unexpected

Depending on where you go, it is not always easy to find exactly the type of gym or facilities you are used to. The bad news is, it is very likely that you will have to go with the flow and go to a traditional gym if you are into Crossfit, or rent a less-than-adequate bike if you are a cyclist.
The good news is that it is an excellent way to discover new disciplines, try out new equipment, and maybe find a new hobby on the way.
If your sport isn’t available where you are spending your time off, you will probably find other ways to exercise – pick up Muay Thai or diving, go hiking in the mountains, or visit the open-air gyms that are available in most warm countries. It is not about sticking 100% to your usual program – it is about enjoying your time away and still burning some calories or working out these muscles.

muay thai gloves

2. Stay active on a daily basis

For many of us, being on holiday pretty much means doing nothing. There’s nothing bad about it, but you might want to consider implementing at least 1 hour of physical activity (walking, hiking, cycling) every day. You have plenty of time on your hands, and dedicating 4% of your day to your health is a great thing to take care of your own body.
Staying active is all about small choices – take the stairs instead of the elevators, walk instead of hailing a cab (even if it is very cheap), rent a bike rather than a motorbike… It all adds up.

hiking training

3. Keep your nutrition in mind – but don’t forget to enjoy local delicacies

Again, it’s not about making new changes to your diet or counting macros rigorously – that’s what daily life is for. But if you are trying to lose weight, try to avoid substantial excess calories when possible, by going for smaller portions and avoiding bread or sweets when you already feel full. Avoid as well to drink your calories – like in fancy coffee drinks, milkshakes, cocktails… Focus on what you really want to eat and drink, and avoid what’s unnecessary.
And of course, if you are trying to gain muscle or maintain your muscle mass, ensure you are getting enough protein, by having at least one source of protein (animal or plant-based) on your plate at each meal.

It is fairly easy to learn how to spot the healthier options in restaurants:

Make sure your choice contains one source of protein – Meat, fish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, mix of cereal & legumes, etc
Go for steamed or boiled, instead of deep-fried. Stir-fried is better than deep-fried, but still more oily than the 2 first options.
– Avoid heavy sauces (tomato-based sauces are the lightest) when possible, or ask for the sauce on the side, so you can control the portions.

Finally, keep in mind that you can ask for less sugar, no MSG, or extra meat or tofu in most restaurants.


Enjoy your trip away and stay healthy! 

Everyone is busy – but finding a few hours every week to exercise is a great way to stay healthy, control your weight and improve your mood (thanks to the endorphins!). If you’re new to the gym or getting used to a new routine, you might be wondering though: how many times a week should I work out? Am I overtraining, or maybe not training enough? Here a few principles to follow, to get the most benefits from your training schedule.

1. If you’re new, don’t over-do it

One mistake people often make when they start training is going all out – going to the gym or classes every day, hoping they’ll make tremendous progress. Unfortunately, you will probably feel great for a while, then your motivation & performance will go down, and you’ll struggle to drag yourself to your sessions, being exhausted and reluctant to move. 

Why? Because you’ll be overtraining. Your body needs to rest, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. It needs some time off to rebuild your muscles and replenish its energy levels. You will get better results and faster progress if you allow yourself to recover.

Beginners and people resuming working out after an extended period should aim for 2 to 3 sessions a week, at moderate intensity.

2. Don’t train more, train smarter

If you already have an active lifestyle, you need to think about what you need to achieve: is it about weight loss? Do you want to get better in one specific discipline, or learn some new techniques? Just having fun with some friends? You need to set up your goals first and plan your workouts accordingly.
Doing so, you have to be very honest with yourself: What do I want to achieve, and why is it important to me? How much time am I ready to dedicate to this goal? 
Find yourself a precise, reachable, quantifiable and time-bounded objective. “Losing weight” is vague and not very motivating – “losing 2kg by the end of next month” is both doable and easy to keep in mind.
Most goals won’t require you to train every day – recovery is essential, and if you’re not aiming to become a professional athlete, taking a few days off the gym a week to do other activities you enjoy isn’t a bad idea. But there’s one golden rule…

3. Aim to work out at least 3 or 4 days a week

To make a difference, you need to invest time & effort. It is true for pretty much everything – playing the violin, cooking, learning a language – and it also applies to sports.
If you want to get any results from your hard work, you need to make it a part of your daily life – and within a week, always try to get more days on which you work out than days on which you don’t.
Of course, you can still get results with 1 or 2 sessions a week, but they will be much slower, and you could lose your precious motivation.
You can also choose to train more often, but make sure you give your muscles enough time to rest. If you want to train every day, divide your sessions between muscle groups, so you don’t hit the same group twice in a row. You can also slot in some active recovery days, where you stay active without asking too much to your body – It could be a light jog, some cycling, a dance class.. just pick something light and easy.
Finally, and even if it can be hard for athletes & gym addicts, remember that you need a full day of complete rest once in a while.

4. Keep it FUN & challenging

At the end of the day, working out should be something you enjoy doing, not a chore. If you have your training schedule in place but are dragging your feet every single day, there’s something wrong with it. It’s ok not to enjoy lifting weights or running, everyone has their preferences. Find something YOU like and that you see yourself fighting a bit to get better at.

My personal advice would be to find something you enjoy doing and sign up for a competition in 2, 3, 6 months. Something you can keep in the corner of your head, that you can use as a reminder of “why” you’re doing this. Challenging yourself is the only way to get better at something – it is also a fantastic opportunity to achieve something big, and be proud of yourself. Everyone needs a reason; you just need to find yours!