If you’re looking to add some pep to the same old boring workout routine, the newest trend in fitness might be just the answer.
“Gamifying” your workouts is a new way to make exercise more fun and give you the motivation you need to stick with a regular exercise program. Gamification incorporates game mechanics into your workout to motivate and improve your engagement. Essentially, it can turn any activity, whether running or lifting weights, into a game.
With technology such as FitBits, fitness apps, and video games, there are multiple ways you can turn your workouts into a game and make them more fun. There are a few different ways you can gamify your fitness regimen: some apps or gadgets allow you to compete against yourself or others in competitions to win money or other prizes, while other games tell a story and keep you engaged with various challenges that are more like a video game.
Gamification builds healthy habits.
In a typical workout, you don’t see immediate, concrete rewards. You may begin to see some rewards after weeks of consistent exercises, such as weight loss or increased stamina, but because these rewards are not immediate, it’s harder to connect the reward with the action. This is one reason many people give up on an exercise program. It is more difficult to form a healthy habit when you aren’t seeing the benefits.
One way gamification can change your workouts is by providing a more immediate reward system. When fitness becomes a fun game where you see instant rewards, it can help you build a healthy habit and keep you motivated to stick with it for the long term.
Fun fitness apps
In order to gamify your workouts, you first need to be able to measure your level of fitness. Fitness apps can help you do just that.
Gamified fitness apps measure and track your activity using your Smartphone. They allow you to complete daily and weekly activity goals, where you level up and earn instant rewards. Think of it like your favorite video game or social media app; your brain associates the connection to the rewards these programs give you (i.e. “likes” on social media), and that connection is what turns it into a habit.
These five popular fitness apps will gamify your workouts and help keep you motivated to stay on track to better health and fitness.
1. Zombie, Run! This popular running app combines storytelling with exercise. With Zombie, Run! you’ll be running from zombies and will be forced to increase your speed and intensity in order to survive the zombie apocalypse. Users are given missions and are sent to gather information, supplies, and discover secrets surrounding the zombie outbreak.
2. Superhero Workout. This is another story-driven fitness app that turns the user into a superhero tasked with saving the world from the threat of invasion. You must complete various exercises to activate shields, weapons, and other superhero abilities to fight the enemies. This app helps you get a full-body workout and can also track reps and calories burned.
3. Exercise. This fitness app tracks your activity and rewards you with points the more you exercise. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards for stores such as Home Depot, Sephora, and more.
4. Healthy Wage. This is another app that helps you earn tangible rewards the more you exercise. Healthy Wage keeps you motivated by offering you the chance to earn money for meeting your health and fitness challenges.
5. Pact. Competing with others can keep you motivated and with Pact, it can also win you money! Users make pacts with other users for exercising and reaching healthy nutritional goals. If you stick to your goals, you get paid. If you don’t meet your own goals, you have to pay out to other users who have stuck with their programs.