We all know how important physical exercise is but it also feels increasingly difficult trying to find the time to workout. Our friends at The Business Times have discovered three new apps that can help you get organized and find the perfect fitness class to suit your needs and schedule!
IN line with the general swing towards more healthy living, the number of ways you can exercise has exploded exponentially in recent years. Treadmills are so last century. Now it’s everything from pre and post-natal yoga to parkour. Not to mention the niche offerings that pop up every other week – bounce fitness where you do exercises on your own trampoline, yoga on a surfboard and stand-up paddling – which makes the usual gym and spin classes sound almost archaic.
Even the conventional gym membership is being viewed in a new light as fitness buffs agonise over how to try out all the different exercise fads without burning a hole in their gym shorts pockets from paying all the membership fees.
The answer may well lie in fitness “aggregators”, or fitness-sharing platforms, that have come onstream. Think of them as the Uber of the fitness industry. Since March, at least three major players have emerged. Passport Asia, GuavaPass and KFit all offer monthly memberships providing access to hundreds of classes a month for a flat fee starting from S$59.
You could hit a gym in the morning, follow it up with a Zumba class, and then tick off another two or three activities in the afternoon like pole dancing or yoga. Or pick an activity in any part of Singapore every day of the week and even in Bangkok, Dubai or Hong Kong if you happen to be travelling there.
Read more at The Business Times.
Here are three helpful apps to get you started:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KFITAsia
Hashtags: #kfitsg #myKFITlove
LAUNCHED in May, KFit’s mobile app on iOS and android phones is easy to navigate and fast to use. For those who want to check it out, try the basic package which gives free access to one class per month for an unlimited time. But this is a waste of time as you don’t get a real feel of the service. The all-access package is S$99, and users aren’t locked into any fixed period beyond the first month (although there have been complaints that it’s not as easy to opt out as you think).
The landing page of the app shows the different categories of the sports: yoga and pilates (1,304 activities in a mid-September week), bootcamp and crossfit (202), gym (424), dance and zumba (554), martial arts (296), strength and conditioning (1,308), sports (469), leisure (590).
When you click on a class, the page has an explanation of the activity and the service provider’s address, as well as a button to reserve the activity. The location is further indicated in a Google map with directions and a quick button to call. The map isn’t all that accurate, though, as it was a task to find, say, the exercise studios at Horse City, Turf City. It might be best to call ahead for better directions.
When you click on the calendar view, the activities of the day are listed according to time, and then there are categories like facilities and gym access in addition to classes. The search function is obscurely tucked into the “map” view, and there are still occasional glitches.
The company only lets you make bookings up to a week ahead, with a minimum 24 hours’ notice so you can’t arrange classes on the spur of the moment. But it’s working on this and expects to introduce same-day booking in Singapore soon. KFit is the only platform that has guest reviews, which is a useful reference.
Soft-launched in March and officially in June, Passport Asia’s distinctive red logo is eye-catching and the app itself is a smooth search engine. It offers entry-level membership for as low as S$59 for four activities a month, and unlimited sessions of any activity per month at S$99. The subscription-based service says it provides a choice of over 20,000 classes available per month from 200 gyms and studios.
Categories include women only, martial arts, gyms, pilates and dance. Activities are listed according to the time, starting from 12am (because, surprise, there are actually 24-hour gyms in Singapore).
When you click on each link, there is a running man to indicate that the page is being processed, which is quite apt. Bookings are real time, and the page also tells you suitability level and how many slots are still available for the sport you’re eyeing.
A click on “directions” takes you to Google maps, with the service provider’s phone, e-mail and website listed on the same page. It’s also easy to share the activity you’ve booked with friends via Facebook and other apps like WhatsApp or Twitter.
On the morning I tried to book an afternoon class, it disappeared from my screen after I scrolled through a few times. In the end we managed to book that yoga class through GuavaPass instead.
The biggest drawback of GuavaPass is the lack of an app although its website is optimised for mobile viewing. The feel isn’t the same, especially if you’re constantly on the go, and would like to book a class on the fly. Just a couple more clicks to get to what you want gets pretty annoying very quickly in this age of app flexibility. That said, it’s the only platform that allows for multi-city booking, which is fantastic.
The website does look good, though, and it immediately makes you feel like a global citizen as the landing page you go to lets you choose your cities – Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Taipei. After logging in, the page then informs you how many workouts you’ve booked and how many days more are left in your membership.
Yoga offerings are aplenty but there are also pole dancing, crossfit, gym, dance, golf and so on. The page will list the name of the class, studio, time, category of activity or exercise, and even the name of the instructor if applicable.
GuavaPass also has a referral programme so that friends you refer get 50 per cent off their first month’s fees. If they stay on for another month, you get a credit. Get two credits and you get one month’s membership for free.
By Cheah Ui-Hoon, The Business Times, October 2, 2015