stick with it
Work out and win: Get paid to get off your butt with GymPact
We’re less than a week into the new year: How many times have you hit the gym? Assuming, of course, that one of your resolutions was to get in shape (it’s a safe assumption; according to CNN, weight loss is a popular goal for the 100+ million Americans who make resolutions).
While it’s easy to intend to work out more, actually getting to the gym, going for a run or joining a yoga class takes motivation — if it was easy, we’d already be doing it, right? After several weeks spent snacking on holiday treats (and sampling festive cocktails), that energy can be hard to find.
Though hypnotists, inspirational tweeters and arcade-style gym machines try to train us to love exercise, there’s one motivator that trumps appeals to reason: cold hard cash. A new website and iPhone app, GymPact, promises rewards to members who meet their workout goals. It also punishes those who choose TV over the treadmill.
“The basic GymPact model is built on co-founder Yifan Zhang’s experience in an undergraduate behavioral economics class at Harvard, plus fairly basic technology,” reports Slate.
Here’s how it works: to get started, download the GymPact iPhone app and select your gym from their roster. Every week, you make a “pact” to visit it a certain number of times. You also set your penalty fee — the amount the app will charge you for missed visits. If you make it, check in and you’ll be rewarded (don’t lie — GPS tracking can tell if you’re really there). If you don’t, you’ll be punished — the minimum fee you can set is $5.
You won’t make a million clocking hours on the elliptical — the reward amounts correspond to the time you spend exercising. If you do miss a trip, your fine is added to the payout pool, so the lazy literally fund more motivated members’ get-fit resolutions. Nothing more frustrating than losing cash and gaining weight, eh?
If you’re determined to make 2012 the year you learn to love the gym but you’re having a hard time imagining yourself actually at the gym, maybe GymPact is that extra push you’ve been looking for. Those memberships are expensive, after all, so don’t waste your money — try making a little, instead.