Tag Archives: fun

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!

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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!

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.

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Arriving at the event!

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So many people were there to see Cassey!

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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.

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Waiting in line… closer and closer…

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So happy to meet her!

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And Brooke was clearly excited too~

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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.

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So many people had come out early

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

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The walkers are ready to go!

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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! 🙂

Gamification: Pokemon at work

I’m back with another idea to gamify your life! (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here) Today, we’re gonna catch ‘em all 🙂

So one thing that I used to do in my previous position was translation work. I did some manual translating (from English to French if anyone’s curious), but I mostly spent a lot of time reviewing batches and batches of translations, reading over them for mistakes and tweaking them for my needs. While I don’t dislike doing this at all (I quite enjoy it, actually!)… it was a lot. And it wasn’t always particularly exciting. So I thought, just for fun, that I’d try making it a little more exciting.

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Yeaaaaah Pokemon! I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a big kid at heart, and I’ve loved Pokemon ever since I was little. This isn’t the first time that I’ve tried incorporating these lovable monsters into my gamification ideas, but I feel like this method really stuck and makes me a little happier and more motivated at work.

Essentially, each Pokemon is a translation batch that I need to get done. Of course, you can apply this concept to almost anything, but I’ve found it helps that every Pokemon is the same type of task (ie translation batch). I print out a bunch of them and cut them out individually, leaving a bit of room at the bottom, under the picture.

I started out with a trusty Charmander!

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I kept a bunch of printed out Pokemon tucked away in a drawer, ready to be captured. When I get a new batch I need to work on, I draw out one of the Pokemon at random. The game is on! I then draw a “life bar” below the picture, which correlates with the steps I need to take to accomplish the task and “catch” the Pokemon.

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So for my translations batches, I usually had between 15-30 pages to proof per batch. I used the page count to draw up the number of hit points for that Pokemon. Then the little guy just hangs out at my desk while I work, and every time I finish a page, I just use a red sharpie to fill in one of the hit points, “depleting” its health, until I complete the job.

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I would sometimes have multiple jobs going on at the same time, but no matter, just add more Pokemon! The sky’s the limit (or in this case, the desk space…)

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Finishing a translation batch is just that much more exciting when it also means I get a new addition to my Pokemon team! At the end I then just put the captured Pokemon back in the drawer with its other friends.

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Depending on your situation, it’s easy to have these displayed in front of you as you work, or tucked away out of sight. Not going to lie – I got a couple of bemused looks from people who came by my desk and noticed the Pokemon, but it wasn’t really an issue 🙂

Simple, silly and fun! The small amount of planning/set up is well worth the motivation I get out of this game.

 

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.

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

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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!

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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!

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Trying to replicate my little pony magnet

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

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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!

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More cardstock and sticky tack will do the trick!

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Prizes make the journey that much more exciting!

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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.

The wonderful world of Gamification!

Today I’m kicking off what I’m planning will be a major part of this blog: gamification. I have a passion – maybe even an obsession – of finding ways to turn all sorts of less-than-fun aspects of my life into a game. I call it the Mary Poppins method… “In every job that must get done, there is a little bit of fun. Find the fun and –snap! – the job’s a game.” I just find that it adds a bit of spice to life and helps motivate me to get stuff done! (If anyone’s interested, I touched upon this topic in an old video I made and gave some examples!)

There are tons of ways to gamify your life, such as the many desktop or mobile apps out there, and I will be sharing some of my favorites. But I also really like making up my own games, actually using paper and pencil instead of storing it all in my phone. It’s way easier than you might think!

I’d like to use this page as a hub to all of the gamification blog posts I make – I hope to make an ever-growing library of ideas and inspiration to help you achieve your goals! If you have any ideas or suggestions of your own, or if there’s a particular chore or goal that you would like an idea for, please let me know! I’d love to try and come up with a ton more.

 

Exercise map

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Struggling to find the motivation to exercise? Try out this adorable board game to keep you on track!

Pokemon at work

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I’ve used this one at work but it’s extremely versatile, perfect for bringing out your nerdy side. Get tasks done and catch ’em all!