Aaptiv: The Best Workout App for Busy Parents

I can’t go to the gym. It’s not a matter of “won’t” or “don’t feel like it.” I can’t. Like so many parents out there, my family’s schedule makes a trip to the gym virtually impossible. As it is, I wake up to darkness. I have to leave for work when most people (my family included) are still asleep. After work, I have to pick up my children and cart them to their extracurricular activities. Working out in a gym is not feasible, but I try to make time to workout after they go to bed or when they are vegging out to some YouTube. The problem is, it’s easy to get in a rut when you are creating your own workouts in the comfort of your moldy basement. Then I discovered Aaptiv, the best workout app for busy parents.

Aaptiv is an audio fitness app that motivates you to workout anywhere and anytime. Whether you have an hour for an endurance run, 20 minutes for some high intensity intervals on the stationary bike, or 7 minutes for some strength exercises, Aaptiv guides you through a workout that works for you. Simply choose a workout and a personal trainer comes on to lead and push you through it. A few months ago, finding myself in a workout rut, I decided to give Aaptiv a try. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this app was a game changer for so many reasons.

The Perfect Playlist

I am a runner. Like most runners, I love a good playlist to get me through a workout. But — it seemed like no matter how many fast-paced songs I put on there, inevitably, the Adele ballad I thought would be perfect for a cool down comes on when I’m in the middle of a run, fading fast, and in need of a little Motley Crue to get me pumped (shut up – I don’t judge your playlist). Aaptiv playlists are a miracle. When the trainer is telling you to go faster, miraculously, a corresponding song comes on to pump you up. If you’re working a hill, the song swells just as you’re nearing the peak, pushing you ahead. The awesome trainers are not going to tell you to speed up unless the beat is moving right along with you. I don’t know how Aaptiv trainers manage to coordinate everything so precisely, but I appreciate no longer trying to unlock my phone with sweaty fingers (impossible!) to skip a song.

New to Working Out?

Stepping on a treadmill or elliptical for the first time can be intimidating. Hell, going out for a walk or run in your neighborhood can be daunting. How fast should you go? What incline do you use? How far must you go in order to erase the shame of eating all that Halloween candy you swore you weren’t going to open yet? (Asking for a friend). Aaptiv takes out all of the guesswork. Your personal trainer will let you know when to speed up, when to push that incline, and when to take a breather. Anyone new to a workout will love having a supportive, enthusiastic guide to lead the way. Plus, there are literally dozens of workouts to choose from in each category, so you will never get bored.

Seasoned Pro?

Are you a disciplined athlete? Are you in amazing shape, but looking to try something new? Aaptiv is not just for beginners. Aaptiv is chock full of advanced workouts. Looking to take your running to the next level? I can tell you that the advanced workouts are no joke. As a gal who ran a half marathon a few months ago, I thought I was advanced. I’m here to tell you, Aaptiv advanced workouts sent me a message loud and clear. In short, they kicked my ass and I’ve decided to stick with intermediate ones for a while! And speaking of half marathons, Aaptiv has amazing training programs if you’d like to try your hand at a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon.

Short on Time

Listen, I’m a mom. I get that time is a precious commodity and we devote almost all of ours to our kids. We are usually the first ones up and the last to go to bed. Personally, I wake up well before the sun and don’t get to bed until 11pm. There are plenty of days when I feel like there’s no time for a workout. Aaptiv is the best workout app for busy parents because all you need is 8 minutes. There are tons of 8-10 minute strength workouts that will make your body burn before releasing you back to your mom duties. Plus, there are more 20-minute high intensity interval workouts than I can count. When my trainer announces that she’s designed a workout that is going to make me burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time, I am willing to push myself knowing the finish line is in sight. Because let’s face it moms, we might not always have an hour, but we’ve all got twenty minutes while SpongeBob is babysitting entertaining our kids.

Something for Everyone

Maybe you hate running. Maybe you hate being on a machine. Maybe you have no idea what you like when it comes to working out. With Aaptiv, there’s something for everyone. Walking (both indoor and out), elliptical, bike, strength, yoga, even meditation! There is literally something for everyone. Oh man, you got knocked up? Well guess what? There’s an entire maternity program that includes workouts for every trimester AND stroller workouts for when baby arrives! What?! Seriously expecting moms, don’t do what I did for my first pregnancy and replace workouts with cupcakes. It’s not cute at your kid’s first birthday party. I guarantee Aaptiv will make you feel better about yourself than buttercream.

Get the App – For Free!

My story is familiar to so many other parents, and I’m sure my desire to stay healthy and fit is the same. Motherhood is stressful and, yes, wine helps, but I’ve found that regular exercise is a much better option when it comes to stress relief. Plus, who doesn’t want to look their best? I know I do. And, while I hate to admit it, my pants are getting a bit snug with all of the Halloween candy floating around. I can’t be the only one, right? So, join me on Aaptiv and let’s show that mini Snickers who’s boss! I’m so excited to offer you guys the code for a free 30-day membership! Just use this link and follow these instructions using the code BURPEES. If you don’t love it, just cancel via the iTunes Store before the 30 days is up. If you are hooked like me, it will auto renew for $9.99/month – cheaper than most gym memberships. Just think of how many glasses of wine each workout earns you!


Mom Guilt: There’s Only One Solution

There’s only one solution.

I have spent my entire day feeling guilty. All encompassing guilt that has seized control of my every thought, making me second guess every decision I’ve made within the last 24 hours.

What, you may be wondering, did I do? Cheat on my husband? Nope. This Mama digs her guy way too much to do that. Plus, what parent on earth has time for adultery? Book a solo spa vacation for myself? That seems fun in theory, but I hate being alone. I’d be bored after the first hot stone massage. Rob a liquor store? Please, as if they wouldn’t recognize me. So what was I agonizing over all day?

Staying home with my sick child.

My 6-year-old daughter had a fever last night. I knew we were in major trouble when she didn’t want dessert and actually requested we bring her to bed. After the kids were asleep, I hopped on the computer to request a substitute for work the next day and got to work on my sub plans. That’s when the guilt started in. My students have an assignment due the day after tomorrow. What if they have questions? Will some of them have anxiety because I am not there to answer them? Will their parents complain that I wasn’t there the day before it was due? Nevermind that it’s 2016 and my students can always email me questions and that they’ve had a week to work on this with me present. Still, I felt guilty.

I woke up and checked my email to discover that they were unable to find a sub for me. I now pictured the stress my absence was causing other people at work. Who was frantically trying to get people to cover classes for me? Who was giving up their much needed prep time so that they could fill in for me? Whose day had been disrupted because I didn’t go to work?       

Then there was my daughter’s after school club. The one I had no business volunteering for, yet I was supposed to teach that afternoon. I couldn’t meet with the other volunteers last week in order to plan because I had a meeting when they were getting together. Plus, because of my work schedule, I will have to arrive to every session 15 minutes later than the others. And now I wouldn’t be able to attend the very first session. I emailed the volunteer coordinator and one of my fellow volunteers to explain the situation. My daughter was sick, I’d have to stay home with her. I got a nice reply letting me know that they would find coverage and sent well wishes to my daughter. It should have been done, but guilt had other plans.

I spent the entire day agonizing about missing a single one-hour session of Arts and Crafts Club. How will they cover for me? How many people will be put out by my absence? What will my fellow volunteers think of me? I fantasized that my daughter would be well enough by the time it started at 3:30 and that I’d be able to fulfill my commitment. A mid-afternoon fever took care of that dream. I seriously considered making arrangements for someone to come watch my sick child so that I could go to the school and help out. Leave my sick child so that I could volunteer at an after school club. Thankfully, common sense prevailed on that one…eventually.

Guilt is an evil mistress. Because no matter what decision I made today, she would have been there, whispering in my ear. No matter what I did, I’d be letting someone down. No matter what I did, I would be causing someone extra work or hardship. If I’d gone to work, I wouldn’t be there to care for my sick child. I’d be asking my in-laws to expose themselves to pungent kid germs. I’d have felt guilty. But I didn’t do those things. Today, I made the right choice.

Today, I felt guilty for doing exactly what I needed to do as a mother.

Guilt comes easily to a gal like me. A people pleaser who has a crippling fear of saying no to people, a person who will subject herself to anxiety and massive inconvenience just to make other people happy,  I care what other people think. I care about other people’s feelings.This is never going to change. I never want it to. Sure, I could do without guilt and anxiety, but all of that comes in partnership with an intense sense of empathy. I don’t ever want to take on a “screw it” attitude. I don’t want to think that my problems are more important than anyone else’s. I never want to lose my connection with the world around me. So what’s the solution when even doing the right thing still results in crippling guilt?

Stop imagining that the world is full of assholes. Profound, I know. Today I realized that my guilt is rather insulting to the very people I am concerned for. Am I not assuming the worst in people by feeling this guilt? My guilt is telling me that my co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors are incapable of empathy and understanding. Haven’t I given up prep time to cover a co-worker’s class? If I had received an email from a volunteer, wouldn’t I instantly reply that I hoped their child felt better and not have given it another thought? Wasn’t it pretty goddamn arrogant to think that no one else would give me the same courtesy?

It takes a village, and today I realized that guilt makes you the village idiot. Have faith in your fellow villagers. Do your part when others are in need, and they will step in for you. The next time guilt tries to whisper in your ear, you tell her that your village is too good for her. And if any of the villagers prove guilt right, kick that asshole out of town.