Stay healthy, the tech way

Post a party binge through December, everyone’s New Year resolution tends to focus on becoming fitter or hitting the gym with a vengeance to lose the extra kilos. In fact, it is well known that gyms across the city report a rise in memberships in January. But as the month passes, the resolve wavers and, before you know it, you’ve skipped a week of exercise and are on the verge of giving up completely.

“That is when I discovered GymPact. This app actually deducts real money (not virtual cash) if you skip a single workout. The loss of hard-earned money actually motivated me to stick to my regimen of hitting the gym thrice a week and lose my flab,” says Anish Singh, a banker who used the app to shed three kilos.

For people like Singh, being motivated enough to keep repeating an activity, like cycling, running or walking, is the biggest factor to exercising. That’s when apps like GymPact or Nexercise step in. While the former deducts hard cash, the latter offers gift certificates if you manage to stay on course for your goal. This carrot-and-stick approach keeps people hooked to their routine.

Also, weight loss now can be a way to give back to the community. For example, Big Loser India is a Twitter initiative that encourages fitness for charity. For each kilo that a participant loses, the sponsor will donate a minimum of R10 to a charity chosen. The initiative has been on since 2011. Says Mihika Karnik, who signed up for it when it launched, “When you know that every kilo you lose is going to fund a child’s education or help in women’s empowerment, there can be no greater motivation to hit the gym.”


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