Category Archives: fitness

Monthly Goals 2015: July

HOLY CRAP what a month!! Soo much has happened!

For one, we are so very close to closing on a house… Don’t want to jinx it or reveal too much in case issues come up and our plans change, but it looks like it’s happening… I never expected to find something so quickly, what a ride. It’s been very exciting/nerve-wracking and I’m sure it will continue to eat up my time next month. But we’ll get there in a minute~

We also celebrated our good friends’ wedding this month 🙂 Which means I can finally mention what I’d been working so hard on for the past few months but couldn’t reveal as a goal — a secret video project for the newlyweds. I reached out to their friends and family for short video clips and put them all in a music video that we showed at the wedding. It took a lot of time and work, but I love how it turned out and I think it was a great surprise for them. Mission accomplished! It was a lovely wedding and I’m so happy for them, it was such an honor being the maid of honor.

Aside from these big life milestones, here’s a quick recap on how I did on my goals!

June Goals Recap

  • Japanese – Participate in Tadoku (read a bit everyday) and do daily flashcard reps. I was hoping to write a whole post on this but just didn’t have time… I really enjoyed Tadoku this month! I didn’t really do as well as I have in the past (think I ended up in the 30’s or 40’s), and I only got through 4 manga volumes, once per week. However, I did accomplish what I set out to do. I read every day, even if it was just a little bit, and I actually remembered to LOG my pages this time! And I kinda fell in love with reading again, I’d like to start building a little manga collection for myself based on books from my childhood/teenage years 🙂 As for the flashcards, I did slip a little and missed a few days… But thankfully I don’t have any new flash cards at this point, just reviewing what I already have, so I was able to quickly catch up and am now back on track!
  • Fitness – The Blogilates flexibility challenge calendar. Okay, I’ll say it right now… I didn’t finish the calendar. Bummer. I don’t have a great excuse for this one – no matter how busy I get, taking the time for those stretches was not an issue at all. I did well at the beginning, and then I just started forgetting to do them… And you know what I noticed? This time, I hadn’t printed out the calendar and hung it on my wall. I’m not sure just how big of a difference it would have made if I did do that, but you can bet I’m going to print the next one! I still plan on finishing out the stretches, but I just didn’t have the daily stretches I’d been planning on. Ah well, can’t let it get me down!
  • Big Projects – I’ve already talked about the house and wedding, and it’s looking like my health issues are starting to improve too with all the doctor visits! The apartment could be a little neater, but all things considered I’m fairly happy with how we’ve maintained that. Point is, I’ve survived this crazy month!!

Moving on to next month… I’d mentioned last time that I may take a break from goals. I’ve clearly had less time to dedicate to them (as well as less time to spend on the blog, I haven’t made any other posts this month…). And now that I’m potentially moving into a new house in a few weeks… things may only get crazier.

But I’m realizing I don’t want to take a break from goals just yet! Even just having little goals is enough for now. I’ll be taking a similar tactic to last month 🙂

July Goals

  • Fitness – As well as finishing out the stretches that I didn’t complete last month, I’m recommitting to the next Blogilates flexibility challenge: the Journey to the Splits. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to do the splits, and even if I don’t know if I’ll be able to get all the way there, the thought that I could get really close in just 30 days is exciting! This time, I will PRINT OUT the calendar and physically check off the days!
  • Japanese – Flashcards. That’s all I’ll really hold myself to for now are keeping up with those flashcard reps. I think I’ll continue reading the manga series I started, and I’ve started watching a bit more Japanese TV which helps with listening practice, but I won’t set myself a requirement for those yet, just flashcards.
  • Big Project – Here it is again, my excuse for not creating a third goal. It’s a little different this time though…Yes, my biggest thing is to (hopefully) get this new house and move into it successfully. I’m still looking after my health and making sure that continues to improve, and want to make sure I manage my stress levels as well. But I’d also like to take a bit of time this month and experiment/reflect on what I’d like to do for future projects. There’s still a lot that I’d like to do with this blog when I settle down, but other projects are interesting me too… I kinda miss vlogging, for instance! So I’d like to take some time this month to think about future projects. We shall see where that takes me!

This is such an exciting and memorable summer! And it’s only just the beginning… 🙂

Monthly Goals 2015: June

Another month gone by! Let’s see how I did on my goals…

May Goals Recap

  • Fitness/gamification – Complete a chapter of The Walk every week and transition to fitness ball at work. I had success on the former, not quite so much on the latter. I’ve been doing fairly well on walking – I LOVE my Fitbit, I only wish there were more apps that I could sync it to! I’m getting more and more hooked on The Walk app’s storyline, so I plan to keep moving along with that one even if I don’t make a regular goal out of it. So mission accomplished! As for the exercise ball, I set up a game for this goal that I really liked, but it didn’t quiiite work out the way I wanted it to. Part of the reason I can attribute to my own laziness – I’d sit at my office chair for a while and not want to switch to the exercise ball if I was too tired or not feeling well. But at one point I also found out that spending too much time sitting on the exercise ball could potentially tire out/hurt your back, and seeing as I’ve been having some back pains recently, I don’t want to overdo it. I still have the exercise ball at work and use it occasionally, but I don’t think I’m ready to stop using my chair altogether quite yet 🙂
  • Japanese – Daily flash card reps and daily Japanese videos. Did pretty well on this! Not quite as good as April was – I missed a couple of days here and there that I needed to make up – but still got through it and am still scheduled to get through all of my flash cards by June 7th. All in all, pretty happy with this small goal.
  • Housework – 4 mini goals: clean different room every week, finish filing system, water plants daily, pick up clothes every 2 days. Okay, for that first one I’ll admit – I never really picked a room every week to clean. BUT, the reason why is because we had so much going on during the weekends hosting guests and whatnot that we would basically clean the ENTIRE apartment every week, or as much as we could. It means that things are turning out relatively neat though so it’s all good! 2nd goal I accomplished, the filing system is complete yay! Now I just need to come up with a good “inbox/outbox” type thing and actually keep up with all the paperwork 🙂 As for watering the plants, we’ve had so much rain down here in Texas this May that I haven’t had to do much – I just hope they survive after all these storms. Finally, there’s picking up clothes… This was interesting as I didn’t always do a good job of picking stuff up every two days on schedule, but I still did a much better job picking up clothes in general this month. Hooray for gaining better habits! Here’s hoping I can keep this up.
  • Big Projects – Not much to say about these as everything is still in the works, but it’s all going pretty well. Bachelorette went very well, the wedding is is coming up this month, and house hunting is well under way.
I thought May was a big month… June’s only going to get crazier! I’ll admit, I’ve been starting to feel burned out and I still have some health issues on my plate, so there’s a chance I won’t be doing these monthly goals for a little bit starting next month. But no point in trying to predict these things, let’s take this one month at a time! Still have a couple of different things I’d like to get done for June.

June Goals

  • Japanese – The big thing for this month is Tadoku! I’ve been looking forward to this as I’ve bought some new manga that I haven’t touched yet, waiting for the reading contest to start. And it’s here woohoo! My only goal is to read SOMETHING every day, even if it’s just 2 pages of a manga. Also, I really want to try and remember to not just read the stuff, but actually LOG the pages in… that’s always the part I struggle with. Also, I’ll keep doing my daily flashcard reps, I’m seeing the end goal on that one and want to make sure I maintain the knowledge too.
  • Fitness – Cassey from Blogilates has a new calendar this month that I’m really excited about! It’s a flexibility challenge, with different stretches every day. I’ll keep walking and do some aerobic/strength training whenever I can, it’s just difficult to make that a concrete and structured goal at the moment due to the health issues and big projects going on.
  • Big Projects – Speaking of big projects… my main thing for June is to stay afloat. Still have my friend’s wedding coming up in a couple of weeks, doctor appointments, house hunting, keeping the apartment tidy and so much more. I’d rather not give myself toooo many structured to-dos right now in addition to what I already have, so that’s why I’ve kept it light with the Japanese and Fitness goals and am just giving myself ample opportunity to work on everything else. I just need to do the best that I can and remember to take care of myself!
I remember mentioning the sun last month, and then we ended up getting all those storms. So I’m getting excited once again to start seeing some sunshine! It really helps me stay happy and motivated for my goals.

Fun Fitness #3: The Walk

I’ve already blogged about Zombies, Run!, which is a great app if you’re interested in – you guessed it – running. But I’ll be honest, as much as I love the app in concept, I haven’t actually used it all that much since I’m not the biggest fan of running. So today’s app is actually way more up my alley. It’s by the same company Six to Start, and the title is just as self explanatory… The Walk. Prepare for some more gamification coming your way!

gaming-the-walk-fitness-app-1 2

The Walk is another pedometer disguised as a game, an audio adventure to help you stay motivated in your fitness endeavors. In the story, you are the star of a thriller involving secret agents and terrorist plots. Unlike Zombies, Run!, you don’t listen continuously to audio here. Instead, you “unlock” the next bit of story the more you walk. For each chapter, the app has a little map so that you can see your progression through the chapter, and as you walk, your icon moves forward along the path. Several points along the path will unlock the next bit of audio so that the story continues, or you’ll come across different items that add to the story. The longer you walk, the more you progress, until you complete the chapter!

The only “downside” to this is that you’re not really forced to do one long walk and complete the chapter all in one go, which ruins the immersion a little bit. You could very well just take your phone around with you all day, get all of the audio clips and complete the chapter without doing anything else, and then listen to all the clips in bulk while you’re not actually walking. The story works much better if you’re walking while you listen.

However, this is not much of a complaint, because nothing is stopping you from doing the walk “properly” and listening to the audio as you go. There are some incentives to do this too – you get bonus badges for a completing a chapter in 24 hours, and completing it without any 3-hour periods of inactivity. And everything depends on the user – if you don’t mind getting the audio clips as a reward for your steps throughout the day, instead of using the app as an immersive experience all the way through, that’s entirely up to you!

Overall, I love this app even more than Zombies, Run! because I actually use it. I just finished Chapter 6 and can’t wait to see what happens next. So go check it out – anyone who can walk can benefit from this game. I strongly recommend it!

Monthly Goals 2015: May

It’s been a fairly busy month and May will only be MORE busy and crazy!! (Case in point, I’m a couple of days late posting this…) Having said that, I’m pretty happy with how my April goals went.

April Goals Recap

  1. Fitness – Blogilates Thigh Slimming challenge and Sleek Arms challenge. Meeting Cassey from Blogilates a couple of weeks ago was a huge motivator! I did alright on this – like last month, there were a couple of days here and there where I missed the exercise and had to double up the next day. It happened once while traveling and a few times towards the end of the month when I wasn’t feeling well. At least I’m not really forgetting to do them anymore, it’s just not always easy to find the time or energy is all. All in all, I’m fairly happy with how it went!
  2. Cleaning – Tidying dishes every day, different room every week, and conceptualizing a filing system. There were successes and failures here… Dishes were cleaned up MOST days. Again, it’s less and less of an issue of forgetting and more of an issue of being too busy and tired to clean everything to perfection every night. Did pretty well on focusing on one room at a time – I do like that system quite a bit and will continue to utilize it I think. Finally, I’ve made a huge dent in the new filing system but alas, I ran out of time! At this point, all of the papers in our apartment has been gathered, looked through, sorted, purged… But I still haven’t actually put things in folders and stowed away in a centralized location that I can maintain. So it’s been a hit or miss but did OK overall.
  3. Gardening – Like I’d hoped, we have now set up a little herb garden on our balcony! We ended up getting this hanging burlap bag that has multiple pockets and packets of different types of seeds. Most of the work went into the set up – putting soil in all the pockets and planting the seeds. Then all we needed to do was check on them every day and water them as needed. Ross helped me out a lot on this one and I’m excited with the results – we have tiny sprouts in all of the pockets. Nothing will be ready to eat for a while yet, but so far this is fun!
  4. 2015-05-03 08.17.17Japanese – Watching daily Japanese videos and completing daily flash card reps. As far as the videos go I did fine. I think I may have missed one day (and watched quite a bit extra the next day to try and make up for it). But the part I’m especially happy about is the flashcards. I did not miss a SINGLE day! I’m sooo proud of myself – it’s very exhilarating! This is the one activity that I can pretty much do whenever I like as long as I’m near my phone or computer so it’s been very doable. In case you’re curious, I’m currently going through this deck on Anki called “JLPT4” vocal with 15 new words a day. I realized the new words show up in alphabetical order, so I printed out a hiragana chart and have been crossing off the character whenever I get to all the words for that character, which has been extra motivation (see below!) In all honesty, since this is only Level 4 I’m actually familiar with the majority of the vocab, even if I’m rusty on the kanji, but I think it’s still good practice nonetheless. At my current rate I’ll finish all 1121 flash cards around June 7th, and then I’ll eventually get to Levels 3, 2 and 1!

2015-04-30 15.29.11

That was then… this is now. Let me introduce you to my goals for May! I actually debated actually making goals this month just because this month will probably be particularly busy (see goal #4)… I’ve also been feeling a little burnt out lately, between my everyday to-do’s and my goals to-do’s I feel like I have so much to get done every day. So I’m trying to keep them fairly light and see how that goes!

May Goals

  1. Fitness/Gamification – I was really hoping to do the next Blogilates fitness challenge since I’m finally caught up… but there is no new one this month! I was so sad when I saw that. Though I understand there’s only so many body parts to focus on, and it’s probably better to cycle through them. Anyway, I’ve decided to take a break from the calendars just for now. Instead, I have a couple of other little fitness goals I’d like to tack on this month! One involves the app Walkr (I’ll blog about how it works next week), I’d like to complete at least one Chapter on the app every week. And then, I just brought a fitness ball to my office and I’d like to try transitioning to that instead of my office chair. I’ve heard it can help strengthen your core and back, so I thought I’d give it a try! I’d like to slowly ease into it, giving myself this month to get used to it. I already have a fun gamification idea to help me stay motivated in that regard, so I’m sure I’ll be blogging about that as well. Also – this isn’t really a goal, but I now have a Fitbit!! I’m really excited to play around with it and see how it can help me.
  2. Japanese – I feel so great about how this went last month that I’d like to do the exact same thing once more! Daily flash card reps (which will start getting tougher the longer I go as I have more and more reps every day), and some kind of Japanese video every day. June will involve a bigger Japanese focus so I’ll keep it to just these two for now.
  3. Housework – I’m starting to feel like this one’s a bit of a cop-out… I’m never going to completely stop cleaning after all. But I’d like to stay on track and keep building some habits here. For one, I’ll keep focusing on a different room every week. Second, I’d like to take another stab at figuring out the filing system that I started last month. Third, I need to continue watering the plants every day since they seem to be doing well. Finally, the one new focus this months is clothing… I tend to leave things lying around. Things like leaving shoes by the front door instead of stowing them in the shoe rack, leaving socks on the bathroom floor or jackets on the couch, and neatly folding up all of the laundry only to neglect to actually put things away in drawers. In the past I’ve tried forcing myself to clean up every day and have struggled, so I’ll try committing to every other day and see how that goes. Better than nothing!
  4. BIG PROJECTS – I feel like I need to write this down, even if I’m not planning on sharing too much and it’s hard to form definite goals out of this. But May could potentially be a big month for me. For one, one of my best friends is getting married next month and I have the privilege of being her maid of honor. Things have been going pretty smoothly thus far and she is by no means a bridezilla so it’s been really great. But there’s still some stuff I’d like to really focus on this month concerning the wedding and bachelorette. The other big project is for my own future… nothing’s set in stone, but we plan to start some house hunting and who knows where that will take us. Definitely exciting stuff, but also potentially exhausting. So it’s a big goal of mine to dedicate myself to these projects and make sure I don’t get too overwhelmed with them. I’d like to have as much fun with it as I can!
So there we have it~ I’m looking forward to the sunshine that we’ve started getting, it really helps with my mood and motivation 🙂

Meeting Cassey from Blogilates!!

About a week ago, I had an awesome, AWESOME experience. I got to meet Cassey from Blogilates!!!!!

I actually made a post about her and her site quite recently, and it was totally a coincidence, I had no idea this would follow. I genuinely really love her stuff and was so excited to hear that she was going to go on tour and do book signing for her book that just came out — and that one of the locations would be in Dallas. I got tickets right away and was super pumped!!

And then, they morning before the event, I get another email… I’d gotten VIP access to a POP pilates class that happened before the book signing and would be led to Cassey herself. My friend Brooke, who was planning to go with me, got the same invite for the class and we were SO SO excited.

2015-04-10 17.56.39

Arriving at the event!

2015-04-10 17.56.05

So many people were there to see Cassey!

2015-04-10 17.58.21

We were so excited to be there~

The evening was amazing. It was so cool to see so many other POPsters who had the same passion for Blogilates that I did. Cassey was adorable and energized, and even though it was a huge class and it was oftentimes difficult to see/hear her, she did a great job leading everyone. I’m usually not a big fan of doing exercises in a big group class like that as I get embarrassed if I feel like I can’t keep up, but I surprised myself with how far I was able to push myself, and it ended up being a blast. A good workout, a fun atmosphere, and one of my internet idols being at the front of the room the entire time!

After the class came the book signing. We stood in line for quite a while, but I didn’t mind because it meant that Cassey wasn’t just sitting there rushing people through. She was hugging people, taking pictures, taking the time to chat. I’m sure she was absolutely exhausted by the end of it, I don’t know how she managed to keep up her enthusiasm and just be so nice to everyone and make that effort to connect with each individual.

2015-04-10 19.32.50

Waiting in line… closer and closer…

2015-04-10 20.22.07

So happy to meet her!

2015-04-10 20.23.11

And Brooke was clearly excited too~

2015-04-10 20.24.36

Awww yeah!

I was pretty nervous, but it honestly was such a pleasure to meet her and I will treasure these memories forever. (Not to mention I am loving her book!! Take a peek here if you’re curious)

 

As a bonus to the story… the next morning, feeling sore from the night before but very motivated, I participated in my first charity walk! It was a Walk for MS and it was a really great experience.

2015-04-11 08.32.27 HDR

So many people had come out early

2015-04-11 08.45.57

One of the best parts were all the cute doggies everywhere :3

2015-04-11 08.31.59

The walkers are ready to go!

2015-04-11 08.53.33

This was seriously cool

There were so many people, and even though it was just a walk, it was a decently-sized 5k for a good cause. I walked away from it feeling great, it was definitely worth getting up a little earlier.

Not only were all of these moments special and fun… we got some exercise out of it too! I strongly recommend finding some great active adventures like this, it makes fitness so much more enjoyable 🙂

Fun Fitness #2: Zombies, Run!

The topic for today just EMBODIES the “fun” in Fun Fitness for me 🙂 There are a few different exercise-related apps that I’ve used and would like to write about, but the ones I’m especially excited about are the ones that employ gamification! When it comes to exercise, I will use all the motivation I can find.

Let me introduce you tooooo… Zombies, Run!zombiesrun

This is probably the most popular of the apps from the creator company, Six to Start. I’ll be going into more of their apps at a different time, I just love them. Zombies, Run! is an audio adventure that is rather self-explanatory… it’s a running app that involves zombies.

The basic premise is that you play as a character that lives in a post-apocalyptic world teeming with zombies. You come across a team of “Runners” that have a home base and go out on missions to gather supplies and whatnot, and thus the tale begins. Just pop in your headphones and get ready to go on a run and listen as the story unfolds!

The app is very interactive, and that’s where all of the fun lies. Your virtual teammates guide you through the adventure, so that you feel like you’re traversing an abandoned warehouse, grab some medical supplies, and then zombies show up and you have to outrun them! The game has many audio clips scattered throughout the run, and then the rest of the time you can have your own music playing, all within the app. So the game just adds a bit of excitement to your run, and makes you excited to start the next run (and the next chapter of the story!)

You also pick up virtual items throughout your runs, and you use these to level up your base (upgrading buildings and fortifications and whatnot) in the app, so the game remains engaging even outside of the run itself. Overall, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to find the motivation to exercise!

Here’s the trailer for the game – it helps to see a visual of how it works, so check it out!

Have fun! 🙂

Fitness Fun #1: Blogilates

I’ve been wanting to share some of my favorite tips and resources for working out – a new series I shall call “Fitness Fun”! Today I just wanted to make a quick post about one of my most favorite fitness sites out there: Blogilates.

601178_467279909987609_1957865097_n

If you do pilates or are at all interested in them, I strongly recommend Cassey Ho’s site. She’s an active blogger and Youtuber who regularly posts work-out videos and vlogs, and I enjoy everything she produces!

Here’s why I love her stuff so much:

  • The workouts are easy to follow. I was a complete newbie when I started watching these videos, I’d never done pilates in my life. Cassey has some really great beginner’s videos to help you understand the basics, and almost all of her videos walk you through an entire workout. She doesn’t show you to do a move and then say “okay now do that five times” – she does the workout with you from start to finish.
  • Cassey has a great, infectious attitude. While some might by a little turned off by her over-exuberance, I personally love it. She has such a passion for what she does and I find her excitement contagious. Makes me look forward to a workout with her!
  • The workout calendars are wonderful. This is a HUGE one. The way I discovered Blogilates is by looking for a new work-out calendar, and Cassey’s are just top-notch. She has Monthly printable calendars (that you get access to by signing up to her newsletter for free – I did not regret doing this), with recommended work-out videos for every single day that you can check off. She then has a couple of month-long calendars for Beginners, and she’s recently been creating “Challenge” calendars that have much simpler daily exercises than her regular Monthly calendars, focusing on one area of the body at a time. While I haven’t jumped in on a regular Monthly calendar myself yet, I’ve done her original Beginner’s calendar and am working on some of the Challenge calendars, and I absolutely love them. I love schedules and checklists, and her printables are so pretty and fun to fill out.
  • It goes beyond pilates – Cassey has great inspiration for healthy eating and overall wellness. You really get to know her by watching her videos, she has some great vlogs that are both fun and inspiring. Other than the actual exercise videos, I think my favorite thing about her site are all the recipes. Lots of great ideas and inspiration, and I’ve tried several of her recipes that take a normally unhealthy meal (like a hamburger or mac and cheese), and makes it better for you. There’s a lot of fun content on the site.
  • Her products look great. Cassey has a lot of stuff going on – a athletic clothing line, a book, yoga mats, water bottles, calendars, planners… Now I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually bought any of her stuff, so I can’t really do a product review. But I’ve definitely been tempted – especially with the planners. I love the aesthetic of all her stuff; they’re so colorful and bright.

So yeah… check out her stuff at blogilates.com and youtube.com/blogilates

For the record, I’m not being asked to make this post/getting paid to do it or anything. I just want to share my favorite resources with the world, and Blogilates is one of them!

Food for thought #1: Portion control

So I’ve discussed exercise before (even had a post on it recently!) but haven’t really gotten into a health aspect that’s probably even more important… diet. Now, everyone has an opinion on what types of food we should be eating, how much etc, and I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. But I LOVE food, love trying to be healthy, love having fun with it… and I have some thoughts and experiences I’d like to share!

One thing that can sometimes be a struggle (especially here in the US) is portion control. Growing up, I would typically watch what I ate, but not necessarily how much, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately. It really can make a difference, I’m sure I’d feel better about myself if I always had just what I needed to not be hungry, instead of having those occasional moments where I’ve eaten too quickly and realize I had more than I needed. It can be hard to have that self-control when breakfast was hours ago and you’re starving!

Ross and I had discussed this topic before, and one day he came to me with a new project for us to help with portion control. I was enthusiastic to try it and it’s been working pretty well for us so far!

The tactic is not altogether novel: 5 smaller meals a day instead 3 bigger ones. So during the work week, one of us makes breakfast, and the other packs a healthy snack, and we’d both pack our own granola bar or something as well. Meaning our day would contain: breakfast, mid-morning snack, small lunch, mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.

I even set up a little space on my whiteboard at work to keep track of what I’m eating. Having a snack to look forward to makes it easy to get through the day with a smaller meal – and something about setting up a little schedule and checking things off makes it more fun for me!

2014-11-13 09.28.15

Packing snacks has also helped me get a bit of my bento-making fix. Here are just a couple of ways to pack hummus & veggies!

2014-11-11 06.36.23-1

Pack the hummus in the box itself

2014-11-13 06.51.08

Or pack the hummus dip separately (and a sweet treat every once in a while is A-ok in my book!)

 

Also an excuse to use ALLLLL the mason jars! I’ve been a little obsessed with these recently…

2014-12-09 06.35.05

Breakfast: overnight apple oatmeal. Mid-morning snack: rest of the apple with peanut butter energy bites. Lunch: salad with potato, tomato, green beans, chicken and egg. Afternoon snack: Sweet peppers and dill greek yogurt dip.

It’s not always easy to follow this regimen – it requires way more planning than I’m used to. So we’re not always great about sticking to it, we’re definitely still experimenting. But it’s still a fun project that I’ve been enjoying and plan to continue working at! ☺ I’m now always looking for cute, fun, tasty and healthy snacks!

Gamification: Exercise map

I’m back with an idea to gamify your life. (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here)

One thing that many people struggle with (and I am no exception) is exercising. I personally have never really liked sports, and I usually prefer sitting around with a book or playing a video game then lifting weights or running laps. I’d force myself to work out, but it was always so difficult to find the motivation.

I finally went all-out and started this new game for myself. I took several pieces of paper, taped them all together to make one massive piece that could fit on my fridge, and made a very simple board game.

1

Here it is on the floor since I no longer have it on my fridge 😛

2014-11-23 08.44.02

The adorable little magnet that I used… Yes it’s a Jack Frost style pony, don’t judge 🙂

Snaking its way along the map was a path split up into little sections, and I used a magnet that I had gotten as a gift as a little character that represented my progress. Every time I would work out, I’d move my pawn forward. Simple as that. Having that visual was enough to get me excited to run to the gym – I wanted to get to the end of the board!

While originally I had this giant map up on my fridge, this can be a much simpler project too. When I moved into a new apartment (and no longer lived alone), I had at that point finished my giant board and was ready to start a new one. I didn’t want to take over the fridge again, though, so this time I created a much smaller version of the next board and hung it on the mirror in my room. This is the one I’m still going through right now, and I already look forward to drawing the next board!

11

Creating the character pawn for this was even simpler than a magnet… A simple drawing on a piece of paper/cardstock and some sticky tack and voila!

12

Trying to replicate my little pony magnet

13

Sticky tack can still be quite useful… and so easy to use!

2014-11-23 08.25.24

Ta-da!

I made a few rules for myself that you could alter however you like. With a normal 30-minutes-ish cardio routine I moved a space. I liked doing some lighter floor exercises as well – two of those would get me a space. If I went out and played tennis for an hour or more with friends, I’d get two spaces… You get the idea.

As further incentive, I also instituted a bit of a reward system, making little presents and scattering them throughout the board. Once I reached one, I could reward myself! They wouldn’t be anything too major – maybe a bubble bath or a new book. If I saw things at the store that I wanted but didn’t have any urgent need for (movies, video games, books, puzzles, etc), I would sometimes get them, wrap them up, and then keep them in my closet until I reached my goal on my exercise map. Then I could pick something up and unwrap it – so fun!

14

More cardstock and sticky tack will do the trick!

2014-11-23 08.25.59

Prizes make the journey that much more exciting!

2014-11-23 08.26.18

Here’s the point I’m at now. Making my way to the top!

Creating a game like this can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Everything I used is made out of computer paper, cardstock and markers, and I hang everything up with tape, magnets or sticky tack. I’d strongly recommend trying this out if you’re struggling to find motivation for something! I have many other ideas for a variety of other chores and goals that I look forward to sharing.