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(Doctor to patient whose nose has impaled an iPad) No need to be embarrassed. We see a lot of using-a-tablet-on-the-treadmill injuries these days.

Run-time error

Run-time error published on 4 Comments on Run-time errorPurchase print

That looks painful, I know. But there’s no easy road to six-pack apps.

As someone who struggles with going to the gym, electronic devices may well prove to have been a life-saver for me. Without an ingrained workout ethic, it’s been hard for me to see a half-hour on a stationary bike as anything more than a sweaty waste of time.

Yes, I know it improves my lifespan over the long run, increases my endurance over the medium run and enhances my energy in the short run. But in a world of a million urgent deadlines, it takes a lot of self-talk to convince myself to take the time to get to the gym, change, work out, stretch, shower and get back to work.

But devices – they provide that immediate sense of accomplishment that working out, at least so far, doesn’t quite manage to do. I can listen to an audiobook while I row, read an O’Reilly tome while I run, or catch up on my favourite podcasts while I flail.

All well and good… but I’m getting pretty good at identifying moments when I’m dividing my attention instead of being truly present. The fact that I feel the need to multitask to feel productive, while I’m doing something that is objectively very productive, tells me I have some more work to do. There are mental muscles I need to work on in tandem with my lats and quads, wiring in some positive associations and finding a few immediate rewards.

Maybe those rewards come in the form of an endorphin rush, or the short-lived-but-gratifying muscular definition that sometimes emerges in my arms. Or maybe devices can come to my rescue again.

There are, after all, scads of apps (possible new word: “scapps”) devoted to encouraging, tracking and reporting your workout progress, and a slew of social networks centered around fitness and exercise.

Fitocracy caught my eye with the single phrase “turn working out in the gym into an RPG,” suggesting I can address both my basal metabolic rate and that conspicuous gap in my geekiness resumé around role-playing games. And the Kickstarter-funded Zombies, Run! had me at “Hello– AIEEEE! (gurgle)

What’s working for you?

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb

4 Comments

The Gympact app for iPhone that purports to pay you if you make it to your workouts, using money from people who missed their workouts sounds like motivation and third way to feel productive (making money). I feel like I missed the boat not being an earliest adopter, not using an iPhone any longer, and a friend has made $12 so far!

Gamification is everywhere these days.

I saw something similar with a more holistic approach the other day. https://www.superbetter.com/ (with accompanying IOS app) encourages you to improve your physical, mental, emotional and social strengths… all the usual stuff with power ups, challenges, obstacles & things.

I found it via Jane McGonigal’s TED presentation: http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html (worth 18 minutes of your life cos she’ll earn you 7.5 minutes back… watch it & find out)

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