Friday, September 14, 2012

Queen (or king) of excuses? There's an app for that!

Are you a couch potato but wish you weren't? Do you have a health or fitness goal that you're having trouble achieving? Has your doctor told you to exercise or lose weight but you just can't seem to find the time? Then GymPact might be for you!

A Sole Sister told me about this FREE app last week and I was eager to try it out. (I have no affiliation with the company and am not receiving any compensation for endorsing it.) GymPact is an app available in iTunes (the website says an Android version is in the works) that allows you to create a pact to exercise, but if you don't keep up your end of the pact then you must pay! Conversely, if you meet your goal, you will be paid! How cool is that?

You control your pact, so you choose the number of weekly workouts and amount to be charged to your credit card for not meeting your pact ($5 minimum, with additional amounts in $5 increments). It's easy to set up, and then it's up to you to get moving!

There are two ways to meet your pact:
  1. Walk, run, or bike outside for at least 30 minutes and track your workout using RunKeeper (another FREE app and my all-time favorite). You can't cheat because you must maintain at least a 2mph pace.
  2. Check in at your gym and check out a minimum of 30 minutes later.
I met my goal of 3 workouts this week and tried logging them both ways. The integration with RunKeeper is perfect and I had no problems, except when I paused RunKeeper to fiddle with the stroller and forgot to restart it! I'm always so mad at myself when I have a good run or ride and I've forgotten to start RunKeeper but of course I have no one else to blame for that.

GymPact has a database of gyms (located via GPS) but mine didn't show up when I tried to check in. It was easy to add and now it should be there for the rest of my Sole Sisters who work out at the same facility!

I won't go into all the FAQs as I don't want to be responsible for any negative outcomes, but there is a way to schedule a break in advance if you're vacationing or otherwise unable to meet your pact. If you become sick or injured, you can submit a digitally signed doctor's note or note from your employer to avoid being charged for those missed workouts.

I think this is a fantastic idea for those who need a little extra accountability or motivation to exercise regularly. The app itself is free, so the only money you stand to lose is what you leave on the table. Check it out and let us know what you think!

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