It’s day one of lockdown in South Africa and this could easily go beyond the minimum 21 days set out by president Cyril Ramaphosa. Whatever the reality turns out to be, keeping active for your own wellbeing should be a priority.

For those who don’t know where to start and want access to free programs that you can complete in your lounge, bedroom or garden, here are my top 5 picks during the lockdown. Most of these apps (iOS and Android) are offering free access due to social distancing.

FITBIT PREMIUM (90 DAYS FREE)


If you wear a Fitbit, you might want to take a look at Fitbit Premium as they are currently offering a 90-day free trial during the global pandemic. It includes Guided Programs like an intro to healthy habits; beginner running; beat cholesterol; kick your sugar habit; and understand calories. Then Workouts are categorised by easy, medium and hard, which include under 15 mins; easy go-tos; dance cardio & kickboxing; no equipment needed; dumbbell workouts; yoga; and abs & core. There is also a section on Mindfulness to boost body positivity; meditate; stories for sleep, etc.

Sign up here: https://www.fitbit.com/us/products/services/premium

J&J 7 MINUTE WORKOUT (FREE)

I’ve written about this before for a traveller and it still applies, especially if you want something simple. Made by Johnson & Johnson, and as the name suggests, it’s a collection of 7 minute workouts but includes longer ones like 8/9/21/24 minute ones. Start with your level of fitness like easy, moderate or hard, and pick something from the library, like first timer, full workout, core, strength, sports conditioning, variety, etc. There is a timer within the app, including rest time between sets, but more importantly, a video of what you need to do. No reason to feel intimidated if you’ve never done it before. You can also create custom workouts for yourself. It’s a simple, fuss-free app without the bells and whistles. 

Check it out here: https://7minuteworkout.jnj.com/

NIKE TRAINING CLUB (FREE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

Nike Training Club Premium is free until further notice due to the global pandemic, with loads of options that will appeal to whatever level of fitness you’re at. All the programs show you how advanced it is, how long it is, and includes videos of what to do. You can find workouts like 7 minute total body desk detox, upper body express, 20 minute strength kickstarter, 10 minute hit: legs and core, and it goes on. You can also browse by type of workout, i.e. what you want to target. The collections cater for big workouts in small spaces, elevating your game, agility, and stuff in under 20 minutes. I don’t think I’m doing it justice with what I’ve listed because it’s comprehensive. Did I mention it has nutrition and wellness guidance from experts? 

Check it out here: https://www.nike.com/za/ntc-app

DOWN DOG APP COLLECTION (FREE TILL 1 MAY)

Down Dog has a collection of apps to workout anywhere, like Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre and 7 Minute Workout. Due to the global pandemic, they’ve made all apps free to download and use until 1 May 2020. I love that they’ve got a separate yoga app for beginners, so if you’re looking to start, now’s the perfect time. If you love HIIT (high intensity interval training), the app has workouts for levels per part of your body; i.e. upper, lower, core with the choice of choosing a focus area (aerobic, back, upper, thighs, etc), and you get the option to choose music type, length of workout and recovery. A great way to chop and change workouts, rotating on different parts of your body.

Check out the collection here: https://www.downdogapp.com

ADIDAS TRAINING (90 DAYS FREE)

The Adidas Training app by Runtastic is offering a 90-day free membership during the lockdown period, including access to the Adidas Running app. All new users get access to over 260 home workout videos, how-to vids and no equipment workouts for all fitness level types. Upon sign-up, you can choose what you want to get out of it and why you’re doing it, for a more tailored plan suited to you. There’s quick workouts, fat burners, toned abs, and a 12 week body transformation plan that you can use for the duration of the 90 day free membership. The community shares transformation pics and participates in challenges, as well as give you health & nutrition tips.

Check it out here: https://www.runtastic.com/