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Apple Launches New Offerings for Fitness Lovers

We spoke with the company to learn the details.
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In the world of fitness services, there are a lot of options from which to choose. Apple launched Fitness+ in December 2020 with the idea that it would be accessible to all and thereby encourage people to find new ways to move. Over the last two years the tech giant has continued to evolve the product.

We’ve seen artist collections, most recently with the likes of Taylor Swift, as well new workout types. They’ve even created walks with people from all walks of life. With Time to Walk, you can go on a guided stroll with, say, Dolly Parton, Anderson Cooper, Chaka Khan, Meghan Trainor or Ted Lasso’s own Hannah Waddingham.

Most recently Fitness+ launched Yoga for Every Runner, a program created by Fitness+ trainer Jessica Skye and ultramarathoner Scott Jurek that tackles the not-so-easy task of encouraging runners to try out yoga and reap the benefits. It’s not just for runners, though, or just for yoga enthusiasts.

So to unpack Yoga for Every Runner, as well as Fitness+ as a whole, we chatted with Apple Vice President of Fitness Jay Blahnik as well as creators Skye and Jurek.

Yoga for Every Runner

As it stands, Yoga for Every Runner is a six-class program — one that you can take in full, jump around between the classes, or continue to come back to. Apple’s goal here was to craft and create something that is curated for runners.

So when Jurek and Skye got together, they began to create a program designed with that audience in mind, hoping to get users to start yoga. After all, while runners love to run, it’s not ideal to just focus on one area in a workout regime.

Yoga for Every Runner aims to make starting yoga or diving back into it a little bit easier and more guided. “I think a lot of runners know they should be doing supplemental training,” says Jurek. “I was fortunate enough early in my career to be turned onto this idea that running isn’t just logging miles and, oh, I need to get faster. [But rather] how can I become a more well-rounded runner so that I can enjoy this for me.”

The program has six main pillars that are offered in 10-minute, bite-sized blocks. “Everything from ankle stability, limber legs, powerful glutes, strong core, stress free shoulder, all of that jazz,” explains Skye. “You can do it anywhere, anytime. You can use it for a warmup, a cooldown or just one of its own. You could do all of them back-to-back, it’s just so versatile.”

These 10-minute doses let you learn a fundamental block and take it at your own pace. It’s a clear boon from a scheduling perspective, but it’s also an easier way to ease into yoga and reduce the intimidation factor. And while some other programs are more intentional with order, Blahnik notes that Skye and Jurek were “really adamant about starting with whatever one appeals to you or do them in order or as often as you like.” They also can be used as a gateway to jump into other Fitness + yoga classes (many of which are taught by Skye).

And as someone who is not a runner, Yoga for Every Runner is a great way to just experience some different routes for yoga, too. With Fitness+ there isn’t the concern about wasting a class that might be a long drive away, but rather you can jump into a program from anywhere with your iPhone or iPad and give it a go. That’s a key benefit to Fitness+ over an in-person class. If you find a class is not for you, just close out and pick another.

Fitness+ on the iPhone and Apple Watch

Apple delivered one of the biggest changes to Fitness+ with iOS 16.1 just a few weeks ago, as you no longer need an Apple Watch to use the service. Yes, it still provides advanced real-time metrics, but you can now use it just with an iPhone.

You won’t see the full detail of metrics that the Apple Watch provides, but you’ll still get to fill up a Move ring and hear on-screen trainer callouts during the workout. This update lets a lot more folks take advantage of all the classes on the service.

“I think the northstar for us has always been to create the most welcoming and inclusive fitness service on the planet,” Blahnik says. Apple has made strides in the inclusivity space, incorporating sign language into its Fitness+ classes and designing workouts around Black History Month and Pride Month. Apple has also been exploring its enhanced audio experiences with Time to Walk and Time to Run. “We want to inspire people to live a better day by being more active and improve their well-being,” says Blahnik. “We really do feel that the reason many people like outdoor running or outdoor walking is for not performance—they do it for stress relief, to clear their mind, and to reset their day.”

Getting Started With Fitness+

Fitness+ now only requires an iPhone to get started—with that you'll be able to browse and take any classes with a membership. And that’s everything from Yoga and Mediation to HIIT, Core, Strength, Pilates, Dance, Cycling, Rowing, Treadmill and Mindful Cooldowns.

With just the iPhone you can take classes on that device's screen or on an iPad, and even on an Apple TV for a bigger screen experience. You can AirPlay the content to a newer Mac. And while you won’t get as detailed metrics, you can still work towards your Move ring and close it. The experience is taken to another level with an Apple Watch as your metrics in real time—calories and heart rate—will be displayed on the class screen along with your Activity rings (Move, Exercise and Stand).

You can see our full review of the Apple Watch Ultra here, but if you’re after an Apple Watch to get started with Fitness+, the Apple Watch SE is an excellent value at $249. Ahead of Black Friday, the price is down to as low as $229.

As for the cost of Fitness+, it’s $9.99 a month or $79.99 for a year, but you can get a 30-day free trial. If you purchase an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV 4K starting this fall, you’ll get three months of the service for free. Same goes for the purchase of an Apple Watch, so chances are, you can get a few months for free. And if you’re currently a Target Circle Member, you can get four months of Apple’s fitness service at no cost.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.