App attack: Finding it hard to get fit? It could be just a download away
A new generation of smartphone apps will make the least motivated game for some serious exercise
I have been a member of a gym several times. That meant mostly I paid about €50 a month, promised myself I’d be there no less than three times a week and went an average of twice a month. Even when the gym was less than 100m from my front door, I still couldn’t motivate myself to go. If GymPact had been around back then, it might have given me the push I needed to drag myself there more regularly.
It works on a very simple premise: people don’t like spending money unnecessarily. When you sign up with GymPact, you make a pact with them: you will attend a gym or get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day on a set number of days. Then you tell them how much you’re willing to stake for each session.
It is a minimum of one session a week, and a minimum stake of $5 (€3.75) a session. If you miss a session, they charge you accordingly, but if you make it, they will pay you a fraction of what you bet. It’s not designed to be a money maker, but rather a financial incentive to get you moving.
Nike+ Fuel Missions
Not an app but an online programme that ties in with the Nike Fuel points system. To take part, you need one of the Nike Fuel products, which will track your movement and convert it into fuel points. This could be anything from the standalone devices such as the Fuelband, to your mobile phone with the Nike+app, which allows you to measure your fuel score earned from walking or running.
You log on to Nike+, take on a mission and then have 30 minutes to rack up a certain amount of fuel points. Fail to reach the target and you fail your mission. You have the option of ramping up the difficulty, which increases the number of fuel points you have to earn in half an hour.
Once you’re done, you sync the fuel device with your Nike + account and you’re one step closer to the end of the challenge. As you complete challenges, you can unlock more levels, giving you more motivation to keep going and hopefully get fitter in the process.