GymPact: Get Paid to Work Out

 Posted by on April 17, 2013  No Responses »
Apr 172013

Staying motivated is one of the biggest hurdles people face when it comes to working out, especially for those who are just beginning an exercise program. As someone who has been a (fairly) consistent runner for almost two years now, even I struggle to get myself out of the door. A training schedule for an upcoming race definitely helps motivate me, but still, talking myself out of going for a run is much easier than I would like it to be some days. Now, however, thanks to GymPact, not only do I have to consider the detriment to my training when I skip a run, I also have to consider the financial cost. Continue reading »

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Zombies, Run! Follow-Up and FAQ

 Posted by on April 5, 2012  6 Responses »
Apr 052012

It has now been a little over a month since the release of Zombies, Run! for iOS and I wanted to follow-up on my initial review to offer a few more insights, as well as address some FAQs I’ve compiled. Overall, I would say that my feelings towards Zombies, Run! have not changed in the past month. While I don’t use the app every time I run (I’m trying to stretch out the available missions as long as possible!), it is still a fun and motivating addition to my workout.

One of the best parts of the game is that Six to Start has done a really great job making the audio clips and story feel real. If the game refers to a “red windmill to your right”, I often find myself looking to the right to try to find what they’re talking about! It’s particularly awesome when there is something around you that matches the description of a feature mentioned in the game. Continue reading »

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Zombies, Run! Available Today for iOS

 Posted by on February 27, 2012  1 Response »
Feb 272012

Yesterday, I survived a helicopter crash, escaped from two zombie mobs, and searched an abandoned hospital for vital supplies to help the survivor’s colony–all during my run! In case you’re curious what the heck I’m talking about, this is all thanks to Zombies, Run!, “an ultra-immersive running game and audio adventure for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android” created by London-based company Six to Start and writer Naomi Alderman. For a quick summary of the story behind the game and an overview of how it works, see my earlier post here. Today, I’m excited to report that Zombies, Run! is available for download on iOS. The base game costs $7.99. Because I pre-ordered the game, I was able to access an advance copy on Friday and did my first run with it yesterday. I therefore wanted to take this chance to share a few initial thoughts with you. Continue reading »

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Jan 042012

Image courtesy of

Every runner worth her (or his) shoes knows that cross training is an important part of a training program. In addition to adding some variety to your running routine, cross training helps to balance your muscle development, maintain or increase your overall cardiovascular fitness and can even decrease your chance of suffering an injury. Steven and I, unfortunately, have been sorely lacking in our commitment to cross training since we started running a little over six months ago. However, as we are planning on running our first half-marathon in 2012, we quickly came to realize that we would have to remedy this deficiency in order to safely, and more efficiently, train to run longer distances. As the temperatures began to really plummet a few weeks ago, Steven and I began looking for a way to stay active on days when weather prevents us from running outside, as well as incorporate some cross training into our fitness routine. Enter the Xbox Kinect and Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012, Ubisoft’s recently released sequel to the original Your Shape game. Continue reading »

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Nike + iPod vs. Nike+ GPS

 Posted by on December 16, 2011  18 Responses »
Dec 162011

[UPDATE]: To view the most recent Nike+ GPS (now Nike+ Running) app features, check out our post that includes our thoughts on the update and in-app photos! Note that many of the differences between the sensor system and the GPS-based app remain the same as those described in this post. Now there’s just even more features included with the GPS app that continue to make it the better value!

Nike+ is one of several popular run-tracking applications currently on the market, and is the first motivating tool I used to get myself started, and excited, about running. Initially, I used the Nike + iPod sensor (with my iPhone 4 and a pair of Nike running shoes with a built-in spot for the sensor), but I am currently using the Nike+ GPS application. In this post, I’m going to present a summary and comparison of the two Nike+ options, as well as an explanation as to why I ultimately chose to use Nike+ GPS. For a quick overview of the features offered by each application, see the included chart near the end of the post.

Nike + iPod Sensor

What You’ll Need: The Nike + iPod sensor is priced at $19 and is compatible with the iPod Touch (4th generation or later) and the iPhone (3GS or later). If you have an older iPod nano, you will need the Nike + iPod Sport Kit ($29), which includes a wireless receiver to connect the sensor to the iPod. The new iPod nano, the iPod Touch and iPhone are able to connect wirelessly to the Nike+ sensor without this additional attachment. The sensor, which is about the size of a (rather thick) quarter, fits into a small pocket beneath the liner of any Nike+-compatible shoe and tracks your distance traveled and your pace using an accelerometer. I’m told that you can also buy a small pouch that can be attached to the shoelaces of any running shoe, so there are options that allow you to skip the cost of acquiring a pair of Nike running shoes.

Continue reading »

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