In all aspects of life, we seek to make activities more fun. In education in particular, we will often call this process “Gamification.” Introducing new elements like competition, roleplaying, use of reference, or the inclusion of already fun activities can spice up an otherwise dull task. Working out certainly isn’t dull for everyone, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and others may just need a little extra push to get started or keep going. For both of them, and the super-motivated, here are some tips to help gamify your workout and hopefully make it a little more fun!
This is about as literal as gamification gets. Some gyms have video games built into some of the machines, but there are at-home solutions that might ultimately pay for themselves when compared with a gym membership. Just about every home video game console made since 2000 has had a decent amount of dancing games or more varied workout titles made for it, most of which require peripherals.
A lot of us listen to music while we work out, but is it just something to listen to or is it something that’s actively incorporated? When people do dance exercises or take spin classes, they almost always do it to the beat of the music. The same can be done with other workouts. Whenever you’re listening to some great music, think about when you might be able to use it working out and start making a playlist!
If marathons or triathlons don’t appeal to you, try training for an obstacle-based race like Tough Mudder and/or a Spartan Race. The idea of running an obstacle course may seem a lot more fun to me than just running. You might also consider a “fun run” like the Color Run, a race where participants are doused in different color powder paints as they complete each leg of the race.
Of course, plenty of people DO play to win, or at least compete. If you work out with one or more buddies, maybe you could play HORSE with your weights and repetitions. Perhaps you could set high goals for yourselves at the beginning of the workout and see who gets closest, or who can push themselves the farthest?
Chris Traeger from “Parks and Recreation” said that a goal of his was to run to the moon. Ten miles per day for roughly 65 years would do it, but the moon is a pretty extreme goal that will take a long time. For those of us with shorter-term vision, we can set lighter – but no less fantastic – goals.
TV Workout Games
Finally, for those who want to work out at home or during their down time, modify a drinking game into a workout game! Do a search for one of your favorite TV shows, followed by “drinking game.” Most of them revolve around drinking for X seconds or taking shots when certain fairly common things happen on the show. Replace “X seconds” with “X pushups,” or sit-ups, or multiply it by something and do planks for that many seconds. To translate shots, you’ll likely want to do something more challenging like burpees, or suicides if your living room is big enough.