Tag: Gamification »
It's a plight suffered by many. I want to be fitter. I want to be able to run a 5k without feeling like I'm going to die. Heck, I want to be able to run any distance without feeling like I'm going to collapse into a wheezy heap. I'm not overweight, I don't smoke, drink or anything else particularly negative. I am lazy, though. Given the choice between hitting the gym or playing a video game, I'll take the latter every time. I suspect I'm not alone there. However, this is starting to change, courtesy of my iPhone and the wealth of apps I can pick up to encourage me to achieve my goals.
Last year, I discovered the Fitocracy website. It turned exercise into experience points, it offered me awards and challenges to work towards. It immediately boosted my motivation levels. Relatively soon afterwards, the iOS app for Fitocracy was released.
It's great. I can enter all my activities while I'm in the gym. Reps take a second to enter and I can watch the points flow in. It's not perfect, though. Given my weak cardio exercises, the points aren't massive. Longer runs or cycles are needed, and that takes time and effort. I needed an extra carrot to tempt me along.
I dabbled with MiCoach, a great gadget that connects to your trainers tracking my every move.
It's a useful app and gadget. Tracking how I was performing was great and I could also use my stats to progress in MiCoach Soccer. I needed more newbie focused guidance, though.
Two of my all round favorites are Two Hundred Situps and Get Running, the apps that I recommend to anyone vaguely interested in pursuing such things. They do a great job of keeping me exercising while not exhausting me, reminding me not to push myself too far.
As a zombie loving gamer though, I have a huge soft spot for Zombies, Run! 5k Training. It's quite new compared to the competition, but it's great. It offers a similar set plan to Get Running but with a zombie themed storyline to follow. It's the little things like that which make me keen to 'play' the next section and actually look forward to the next treadmill session.
The best part? I have a direct route planned for once I, hopefully, complete the 5k, in the form of Zombies, Run!
For those days where I'm not on the treadmill but I want to keep track of my progress, I stick to Striiv. Offering me a steady trickle of trophies and rewards for walking a lot, it gives me a nice sense of satisfaction, even if I'm just walking around the grocery store. Even better, it's free and helps me resist the temptation to pick up a more expensive solution such as a Nike+ FuelBand.
While I might still need the motivation to get out of bed on a cold, wintery morning in the name of getting fit, such apps encourage me to do it. Sure, I should have the willpower alone but no one's perfect! Fitocracy, in particular, has changed my outlook immensely. Turning potentially tedious work into a game is guaranteed to help matters.
Tempted? Go sign up and feel free to follow me on there to see my progress. I'm slightly behind at the moment, as no app can yet keep you 100% healthy at all times!
Productivity app Clear is one of the most talked about to-do apps of the last year, and has just released an update that brings features like iCloud storage for to-do lists, easy quotation sharing on Facebook and Twitter, Clear for Mac OS, list pasting abilities, and an API that will let other apps send lists to Clear.
In a more interesting blog post over at TouchArcade, however, it seems as if the developers of Clear have hidden some pretty cool gamification features as well. In addition to the achievements already present in Clear, like unlocking a special theme for completing 100 tasks, there are some extra unlocks that only happen if you have other apps installed.
Now here's the cool part, the part that reveals Clear's affinity for games. Today's update has within it the seeds of three other unlocks. Each one ties into a game: The Heist, Temple Run and Bumpy Road. Those games will need to update before this works (The Heist's update should come mid-week, and the others are on the way), but once they do we'll get new themes in Clear for each of those games we have installed.
This is the kind of innovation that made Clear such a huge hit when it released. Well, that and the amazing user interface. Clear is available in the App Store now for $1.99. Check it out if this intrigues you as much as it does us.
As someone desperate to get fit, I've been an avid user of the Fitocracy website since its beta launch. I've also been keen to gleefully discuss it with anyone willing to listen and been eager for an iOS app. So, the announcement that it's been launched for all to use, and alongside an iOS app is pretty exciting stuff.
Fitocracy turns getting fit into a game of levelling up and watching the experience points shoot up. It's an ideal gamification model for those who need a gentle kick to get them to pursue their goals.
Besides simply offering users points and level ups for completing numerous fitness based tasks, there are achievements to gain and quests to complete. With a huge support network of other users, it's pretty satisfying to compare progress with others and race friends to the next level up.
Everything about Fitocracy is free with both website and app linking together nicely. Give it a try and watch how you get excited to see what routines invoke the biggest gains.