Money in Your Pocket

This intrigues me…there are now websites designed to help you keep track of your exercise habits and reward you (in some cases monetarily) for doing what you set out to do.

When we first seek to get (back) in shape starting is the hardest thing.  We can’t believe how out of shape we are and how everything seems so difficult.  How many times have you thrown in the towel and gone back to your same habits?

Those of us who exercise on the regular (especially runners and CrossFitters) will tell you that it feels GOOD to exercise and when you miss a few days you actually crave movement.  While this may make us seem neurotic a bit crazy to most people, there are intrinsic benefits to regular exercise, namely the release of endorphins – feel good chemicals that act on the pleasure center of your brain.  But it takes time to get there.

So, what can you do in the mean time to keep you coming back to the gym until the intrinsic reward of movement takes over and a true mover-for-life is born?  Click the name of each to try these strategies on for size:

Gympact

Would you fulfill a goal you had set for yourself if money was on the line?  Gympact allows you to make a little extra bank when keep an exercise pact you make with yourself.  Register online or download the app to your iPhone and choose the number of days per week you plan to hit the gym along with the penalty that will be charged to your credit card if you don’t follow through.  Check in each time you hit the gym (the GPS in your phone will know if you are lying), meet your weekly target, and collect some cash.  The money you earn by keeping your promise comes from those who fell short of their goal.

The Breakdown – Get paid to get in shape.  That’s almost like sponsorship…you’re one step closer to being a professional athlete 🙂

Health Rally

Step One – choose a health goal.  This is where this program sets itself apart.  The goal (or rally) you choose does’t have to be a weight loss goal.  It could be increasing your health in any number of ways, for example lower cholesterol, quit smoking, quit drinking soda, run a 5K, etc.  You can choose to set up your own rally, or make a rally for a friend.  Set the goal – something measurable and time sensitive – then invite family and friends to join in.  Your support community can make pledges and donations toward your reward as well as offer encouragement.

The Breakdown – Building a supportive community is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a lifestyle change.  Letting everyone know what you are up to creates community and the positive pressure of not wanting to let your community down – especially if they’ve pledged or donated toward your chosen reward.  Do what you set out to do and become an inspiration to your community in addition to getting your chosen reward!

Make or Break a Habit in 21 Days

Research shows it takes approximately 3 weeks, or 21 days to change a habit.  This site capitalizes on that 21 day time period and helps you stick to your desired change – I will not watch TV, I will go to bed at 9pm, I will not drink diet soda, etc.  Pledge $21 dollars via PayPal or credit card and each day you check in you keep one dollar.  Skip a day or fail to check in and you dollar is donated to a charity of your choice.  When the 21 day time period is up, you collect what you’ve earned in terms of money and habit.

The Breakdown – “Invest in Yourself” as the website states.  Totally blow it?  At least the money goes to a good cause…

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2 thoughts on “Money in Your Pocket

  1. davebrown9 says:

    A pundit once remarked, “We are emotional creatures pretending to be rational.” Of course, the rational part of us says exercise is good for us. The emotional part decides whether we exercise or not.

    Motivation to exercise can be vanity (body building) or accomplishment (gardening, hunting, mountain climbing) or some form of biochemical reward (sex, runners high). But let’s face it. Exercising, in and of itself, to lose weight, is not that much fun if one doesn’t FEEL energetic and not particularly effective if ones hormones are out of balance.

    So here are remarks by two people who lost weight by adopting (Gasp!) a high-fat diet.

    Emily Greene, “LA Times” Staff writer:

    “I have long suspected that the best way to lose weight was to eat rich food in moderation, not diet food in abundance. During the last 52 weeks, I put that idea to the test. And I lost 52 pounds. To my knowledge, not a single low-fat food passed my lips… For me, the result of this diet was not simply weight loss, not simply fresh delight in rediscovering good, simple things; it was vigor. My eyes are brighter, my skin is better and–to the astonishment of my neighbors–I now bound out of the house in the morning wearing a sweatsuit. Which brings the story to the exercise part. I didn’t lose weight just by eating all this good stuff and tossing back Pinot Noir. I lost weight eating good, nourishing food that gave me energy to exercise.” http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/13/food/fo-52-13

    Timothy Noakes, South African fitness expert:

    “For those of us with carbohydrate resistance (CR), our metabolism is the problem and if we want to do the best for our bodies, then we have to change forever the nature of the foods that we eat. But I argue that this change is much easier than most would ever believe. Unfortunately it is also the advice that many dietitians may be scared to prescribe for the reason that they have been taught that high fat, low carbohydrate Banting diets full of “artery-clogging” saturated fats are dangerous. But this is an unsubstantiated dogma that does not stand up to an intelligent and independent interpretation of the complete scientific literature…My experiment has shown me that I can do any amount of exercise I wish without increasing my carbohydrate intake. (I walk for 6 hours on the mountain and race up to 21km without needing any more the 50-75 grams of carbohydrates a day that is already in my diet). We are currently researching a group of serious and some elite athletes who have adopted the Banting diet and who have found that their performances have improved substantially with weight loss and reduction of their carbohydrate intakes both before and during racing. We need to understand why this is possible.” http://www.health24.com/fitness/Diet_Supplements/16-481-512,73175.asp

    And here is an article about how the low-fat dogma came to dominate our thinking: http://jhmas.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/2/139.full

    • Kathryn says:

      Exercise, in and of itself, is an essential nutrient – without we can not survive. Hopefully the links above will target your emotional selves, motivating you to get moving. Lasting change is about taking baby steps.

      Thank you, Dave for providing links that further emphasize the importance of healthy fats in our diet. For so long we have been lead to believe that carbohydrates are what we need to fuel the exercising body. If that were indeed the truth then why would our bodies store excess energy – stored for future use – as fat?

      Remember, your body -its capabilities and potential – are build on what you feed it. Feed you body well and meeting your body’s movement requirement will be something you look forward to 🙂

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