I've been a near-daily exerciser and overall fitness enthusiast since college. But with the demands of work, parenting and—well, life in general—I often find it hard to fit in as much exercise as I'd like these days, and when I do, I tend to have a hard time pushing myself.
I had heard great things about Apple Fitness Plus, which works in conjunction with the Apple Watch or iPhone to guide you through various workouts including yoga classes, runs, walks, strength training workouts and even meditations.
In an effort to up my fitness game, I tested out Apple Fitness Plus for three months—here's how it worked out for me.
Here at Parade.com, we're all about sharing products we love with our audience. When you make a purchase on an item seen on this page, we may earn a commission, however, all picks are independently chosen unless otherwise mentioned.
What Is Apple Fitness Plus?
First things first: What is Apple Fitness Plus, anyway? Apple Fitness Plus is a fitness program that works with an Apple Watch to provide you with 11 different types of workouts. You do need to have an iPhone to subscribe, and you can take your experience further with an Apple Watch, which will give you more personalized and detailed metrics.
The workouts included in Apple Fitness Plus include:
Workouts range from five to 45 minutes each, and new workouts and meditations are added on a weekly basis. Most workouts can be done with or without equipment, so you don't have to worry about having access to a gym to exercise.
Related: 7 Simple Strength Training Workouts
Apple Fitness Plus Cost
If you already own an Apple Watch, you can get one free month and then pay $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually. If you buy an Apple Watch, Apple Fitness Plus is free for three months, and then you'll pay $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually. You can also share Apple Fitness Plus with up to five family members. If you don't have an Apple Watch, Apple Fitness Plus costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually.
Here was my overall experience with testing Apple Fitness Plus for three months:
Makes it easy to fit in a workout anytime
Provides an opportunity for screen-free home workouts
Helps you push yourself
You need to own Apple products to use it
Can take you out of the flow of a workout
Some classes do require additional equipment
Fitness has always been an important part of my life, and while I do still find the time to fit it in for the most part (although it's not easy!), one issue I consistently have is not wanting to push myself. I don't know if that has to do with the pandemic, getting older, parenting—the list goes on and on—but over the past year or so I've often found myself slacking off a bit during my workouts and not pushing myself as much as I know I could be.
While I'm all for taking it easy from time to time, I knew I needed a little extra boost. And that was the main benefit I got from Apple Fitness Plus: While using the Time to Run feature, for example, my guide would let me know when I should pick up the pace and when I could slow it down. When I'm running on my own, I'm not really thinking about that—I'm just trying to get through the run.
And as a yogi, I absolutely loved the yoga feature. Because I've been doing yoga for so many years, I don't actually need a screen for it, but since the pandemic started, I've had to set up various YouTube videos (and sit through ads) on my computer to do yoga. With the Apple Fitness Plus yoga feature, I was able to move through yoga flows without a screen, which I absolutely loved.
I also loved the guided walks. Walking is one of my very favorite forms of exercise, but because it's a bit slower, I will sometimes find myself ruminating rather than staying in the present moment—definitely not something I want to be doing on a walk! Time to Walk helped break that cycle because I was able to listen to the instructor's voice and stay present.
The one issue I have with Apple Fitness Plus is that although the monthly cost isn't too hefty, you do have to own Apple products to actually use it. And I do have an Apple Watch, which really helps. When I'm running, for example, and the instructor tells me to pick up the pace, my watch can tell me exactly how fast I'm going. With just an iPhone, I wouldn't know that.
Would I recommend Apple Fitness Plus? Absolutely—especially if you already own Apple products, particularly an Apple Watch. It can help you push yourself and squeeze in a workout even when you feel like you don't have time. With workouts as short as five minutes, I know this much to be true: we all have time!