Play Your Way through Exercise
I an allergic to a monotonous routine and I guess, so are many others. Don’t mix this up with the daily chores and routine each of us follow to lead our lives. Its not about doing something different every day but doing the same things differently by introducing small changes to them. We need to get up, finish with morning chores, cook, eat, work at office, sleep and repeat the same the next day. The routine remains the same but why is it that some people enjoy it while some others dislike it? Its mostly those who handle things/people with passion and interest who treat every day as a blessing while it is a chore for those who see life as a ringmaster and do their work for the sake of duty. Exercise too follows the same principle. Its not wrong to get up at 6’o clock in the morning and go for a walk every day in your life irrespective of rain or sun until you enjoy doing it. If you are one of those who gets easily demotivated or distracted doing the same stuff repeatedly you surely need fresh ways to motivate yourself and accomplish goals.
Self-motivation is a gift and not everyday do you see people encouraging themselves to achieve bigger feats in life. Obesity/overweight is raging high everywhere and most people worldwide are into sitting jobs that don’t require much movement. Advertisements promoting fitness, apps that stare right into your face while you surf through Instagram/Facebook and people around who exercise and eat healthy are blatant examples that insist upon the importance of a healthier you. We are strong as a rock when it comes to such issues and we don’t give heed to anything around until danger strikes. So, how do we motivate such people to exercise and make them literally workout?
A group of researchers have come up with a solution that calls for turning everyday exercise into a game. They designed a web-based game that can be played by anyone with a smartphone and a Fitbit called as MapTrek. Data is synched between the fitness device and the game. The web-based game moves a virtual avatar along a map depending on the number of steps taken by the participant. Participants were split into groups and they competed against each other in weekly walking challenges every week. The race is virtually held at different places on the map such as the Appalanchian Trail, the Grand Canyon and likewise every week. The participants also use the map feature to view their current position in the map and fasten the pace to walk or race through different locations. The game reminds users to wear the fitness band, provides encouragement and gives them the option of taking part in daily challenges to earn bonus steps.
On the whole 14 participants took part in the study. All of them were sedentary workers aged between 21 and 65 years who spent their day at work sitting for at least 75% time. These people were split into two groups and both the groups were given the Fitbit band but only one of the two groups used the band along with the MapTrek game. Each of their activities were monitored in the Fitbit’s activity monitor. When results were compared some 10 weeks after the study it was seen that the Fitbit and MapTrek group walked 2,092 more steps per day (equivalent to almost 1.5 kilometers) and accomplished 11 more active minutes of per day compared to the other group. Active minutes are defined as those that got the participants take more than 100 steps.
Researchers feel that 2,000+ increase in steps every day improves overall health and reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 10% in the long run. Heart health is not only based on physical fitness but depends a lot on mental well-being too. Keeping your mind and body healthy is the best way to protect your heart and there are even studies supporting this theory which have been elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
Gamification is the process of using games to tackle problems such as inactivity and smartphone engagement. Nowadays people are taking a particular workout regimen and fusing it with game mechanics to motivate and encourage people. This activity-cum-game concept has become popular with people.
The foremost question here is sustaining the health improvements. But we are well-aware that humans love to engage in things that they enjoy doing. Gamification is growing to be a great choice and people are loving it already. Work stress and lack of time prevents people from working out, but gamification makes them feel like they are playing a game instead of working out. Wearing wearable activity trackers for gamifying exercise and fitness is encouraging, advantageous and motivating.
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