Monday, November 9, 2015

Get Rewarded for Working Out? What Do You Think?

By Alix Redmonde , Herald-Tribune

Having a hard time getting to the gym? You're not alone.
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition website writes, “Less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.  Only one in three adults receives the recommended amount of physical activity each week.”
So, what will it take to get you to commit to exercise regularly?  How about a motivator that hits you in your wallet?
Photo provided by GymPact
Photo provided by GymPact
Thomas Penafiel, a 26-year old Sarasota resident, found GymPactduring an online search.  The app penalizes you financially when you miss a workout by debiting your bank account.  He has used other health and fitness apps and was impressed with GymPact’s favorable reviews.
“My main issue was not going to the gym because there wasn’t any incentive,” he said.  “Nobody wants to have to pay for not going to the gym and seeing the deduction in my bank account for not going was enough motivation to get off my butt.”
Penafiel has more excuses than most people for having a hard time getting to gym: He is employed full time in IT administration and is also a full-time student.  But after missing a workout, the GymPact app overrode any excuses he could make to himself.
“I never felt so guilty in my life for not going to the gym, especially when I looked at my bank account," he said.
He has not missed another work out.
When GymPact users sign up, they determine how many days a week they will work out and how much money they will pay when they miss a work out.
The app offers more than a penalty for not working out. Those that keep their commitment are paid a small sum among a pool dividing the payments of non-exercisers.
If you don’t have a gym membership the app allows you to work out at home.  All you have to do is turn on a specific mode, your phone detects your movement and reports it back to the app.   It then calculates how many minutes you worked out.
You have to exercise for a minimum of  30 minutes for the app to count your workout.  If you are participating in a sport that is longer in duration but has resting times in-between, the app only calculates the time during which you are active.  Penafiel even uses it for golf as it detects his swing and walking the fairways.
The app is free.  You enter your credit card or pay pal information and are rewarded for keeping your commitments.   You are only charged if you break your pact.“It’s extremely easy,” he explained. “You just hit a big blue button on the interface when you get to the gym.   There is a GPS that makes sure you’re actually at the gym and once you check in you have to be there for the minimum amount of time you set in your app, then you check out and go home.”
Marissa Window, GymPact marketing lead said, "We find the financial incentives have really helped individuals stick to their fitness goals.  Our users make it on average to 90 percent of the days they commit."
It seems to be working for Penafiel.  Since he joined in mid-January he has been working out regularly at his condo gym and at work.

This is an interesting Article! What Do You Think??  Would this motivate you to Workout?

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