If you’ve been meaning to include a bit of exercise in your routine, this one’s for you. There are many benefits to exercise, apart from weight loss. Often we get bogged down by the idea of exercise as we make it look arduous and boring in our heads. The routine of getting dressed, wearing shoes and heading to the gym can look monotonous. But if you look at exercise as a fun activity to get your endorphins buzzing, then there’s more chances of you sticking to the routine. Researchers have found that turning everyday exercise into a game is a good way to motivate people to get up and work out more. The study was conducted at the University of Iowa. To that end, UI faculty and students designed a web-based game that can be played by anyone with a smartphone and a Fitbit.
“We essentially found that people who received the game right out of the gates increased their steps by about 2,200 per day, which is close to walking one mile.Statistically, that’s significant. It’s also clinically significant,” Lucas Carr said
The game, called MapTrek, was designed by the Computational Epidemiology Research (CompEpi) Group, a collaborative group of students and faculty in the UI computer science, internal medicine, and HHP departments, Polgreen said. Polgreen said his research involves developing new approaches to monitor diseases. Recently, that research extended to designing interventions. MapTrek is an example of such an intervention.
“Our results suggested that goal-setting alone was not enough,” Polgreen said. “So, we decided to design a game with challenges and to make the game social: the result is MapTrek.”
How to make exercise fun
1) Get a buddy: Exercising with a partner or a friend is always better than going solo. This way if one of you is slacking or lacks motivation, the other can push you.
2) Mix it up: Bored of the same routine? Opt for a different class or a new session like Zumba, barre classes, pole workouts or even aerial yoga.
3) Reward yourself: If you’ve been at it for a while, gift yourself a new pair of shoes or some workout gear. This will motivate you to head out to the gym and feel happy about it.
4) Add music: Workouts can be made fun if you add some music to it. Play your favourite track and you’ll not realise how you managed to kill that 50X3 squat set.