A lot of people have become victims of quarantine kilos, let’s take a look at some of the best-gamified fitness apps out there that can help you get back on track and achieve your fitness goals.
Gamifying your exercise through an app store fitness tracker can help motivate you to form healthy habits. Through the use of game mechanics, such as points, competitions and challenges.
Here is a list of fitness apps in 2020 that best utilise gamification to help you stay motivated on your fitness journey.
This app is a strong example to kick-off this list of fitness apps that utilise gamification elements.
For those of you that enjoy upgrading levels in video games, this app has tapped right into this game mechanic for real-life results.
It is almost as if you become a World of Warcraft character that you level up with your recorded workouts. Fitocracy’s goal is to put its users in a position of improvement by completing tasks and earning experience.
The app offers a host of workout routines and expert advice, along with a community to keep you motivated.
With over 1,300 exercises (technique demos included), this free app is perfect for both tracking your progress and also communicating with others who have the same fitness goals.
Jefit taps into the social aspect of gamification. Encouraging people to share their progress and compete with others within the apps’ community.
It is easier for us to lose motivation when we are working out alone. Jefit prevents this problem by empowering you to connect socially with friends, family, and people with shared goals. They can encourage you to keep going, you can challenge them, and it increases your accountability for your long term health.
There is also a pro version that offers access to a greater range of functions.
One of the most well-rounded apps on this list. In collaboration with Headspace, this app looks to take care of not just your physical health but your mental health also.
The app is always monitoring your fitness level and adjusting your goals in order to help you reach a greater level of fitness. This self-adjusting difficulty is an example of the challenge game mechanic, this helps keep people engaged in their fitness progress.
Just when participants may begin to feel comfortable with their level of achievement, when plateauing is imminent, the difficulty adjusts so that users aim for the next goal.
Overcoming these challenges will make people feel they have earned their achievement.
Nike’s app keeps users on their toes with strategically placed challenges meaning the longevity of user attention goes further. Gamification is all about user engagement and challenges are a way of compelling individuals to plug into what they’re doing.
Couch-to-5K has a very clear title. Designed to gently ease couch potatoes, casual runners and joggers, into running 5K courses over time. Users get a training course of 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week over nine weeks.
You can choose from four virtual coaches, complete with audio cues to help motivate you on the run. The app also has automatic or manual logging for easily keeping track of your progress.
Social network features which inspire peer pressure have been actively used in some of the best-gamified fitness apps. People need support from peers and are more likely to enjoy training with a friend than alone. This is a feature that Couch-to-5K does quite well, providing community support and notifications of 5K races near you.
While this app is designed to help people start their fitness journey, its also just as good at helping people with staying fit.
Strava Running and Cycling adds some great gamified features to the usual run-tracking recipe. The app records your running speed, distance travelled, time and course taken, but also combines it with leaderboards, achievements and challenges. Strava supports a variety of running trackers, in addition to Android Wear and Apple Watch. A premium subscription improves the experience with filtered leaderboards, exercise goals, more detailed analytics and more.
Strava has one of the biggest online fitness communities out there along with a bunch of useful features that make it one of the best apps of its kind. Complete with a competition feature that allows users to log their fastest time on a route for others to compete against. The app has both a free and paid tier, with the latter offering in-depth performance analytics.
Strava is known for a vast number of badges and challenges. The service also motivates people to share their experiences and compare their results quite intensely. “If it isn’t on Strava, it didn’t happen” connects with our human desire to display our accomplishments.
Strava’s talent for engaging people in fitness (self-gamification), pushes users to compete with their own previous results. Another game-like aspect, unique to Strava, is the ability to use maps of completed runs and cycles in creative ways.
Fitbit has managed to be a long-standing fitness app on the market, due to its ability to update its functionality. Currently boasting step counters, calorie-burn calculations, heart rate monitoring, and more.
Fitbit manages to gamify fitness with its use of leaderboards that are usually full of Facebook friends. Odds are you already know several people who have the app installed.
Games are always better when played with your friends. This is why Fitbit allows users to set-up groups and to chat and compete with Fitbit equipped friends and family. Always ensure where possible that any gamification supports social network groups and interactions.
Sometimes game mechanics aren’t enough to motivate people to exercise, sometimes you need to provide an immersive experience.
That is exactly what “Zombies, Run!” does. Providing an audible survival experience that simulates the sensation of a zombie horde chasing you while you’re jogging. Scripted radio transmissions are intermingled with your regular music collection that builds upon the Zombies, Run! story and random zombie events will trigger during your route, forcing you to run faster or lose in-app points. It's intermittent exercising in a whole new way.
The storytelling techniques help to inspire users to push themselves beyond their usual speeds and distances to avoid pursuing zombies. The use of the gamification principle “Loss Aversion” really does empower users to run faster when they may have plateaued.
As you can see, many fitness apps implement some form of gamification to make exercise more pleasurable and immersive. Some examples rely more on the power of storytelling while others are fixed on game mechanics. Both examples are still considered gamification in fitness or exergames.
It seems that gamified fitness is only just starting to hit its stride!