If you don’t have a personal trainer or a workout buddy, sometimes the only person around to motivate you is yourself. But we also get it – removing yourself from a Netflix TV show binge or the funk of a bad day all on your own just isn’t going to happen.
A handful of startups in Nike’s tech accelerator found ways to excite people into working out, from a video game for Nike’s FuelBand to discounts for a cup of tea after you’ve finished a yoga workout.
If you have a FuelBand, which tracks and charts your levels of activity, you could earn and use Fuel points like currency. FitCause allows people to put Fuel points toward a good cause, and already has a partnership with Hurley. Imagine running a marathon, scoring a bunch of points, and then being able to contribute all those points as a donation from your employer or a sponsor to a local nonprofit.
Another startup, Chroma, created JumpBot, a mobile video game that exchanges Fuel points for “Jump” currency, which can buy skills and moves to battle giant robots. Hey, if it’s as addictive as Bejeweled and will get us off the couch, we’re in.
For the multi-tasking young professional, NextStep.io integrates your social media on a personal dashboard and keeps track of all the small things that keep you active. Maybe it’s taking pictures on Instagram, biking to a restaurant or walking to a meeting. NextStep combines all of these streams so you can meet your fitness goal.
The most developed startup is GeoPalz, which made the iBitz to track the activity levels of kids. They can measure all their activity, and their parents’ Fuel points, on a family interface. Kids can earn “NRG” to keep a virtual pet alive, play games or earn coupons set up by their parents for TV time.
But maybe the thing that will best keep us off our booties is the HighFive ad network. If you work hard, you get a little something back. Mobile apps can integrate HighFive coupons, so that once you you meet a fitness goal, you can immediately use the discount for that juice bar you saw during your afternoon jog.
Maybe one day, someone will merge fitness technology and fashion, so that even as we’re prancing in Louboutins, it might still count as a workout.