Fitness Gets Social. Staying on track with a workout is tough. Face it, when you’re working out on your own, it’s easy to get bored or just plain lazy. That’s where Fitocracy comes in. With this website, exercise becomes a game in which you track your workouts to win points and achievements, and then show off those achievements online. Still in its early days, you need to request an invite to join the site, but it looks so promising, we’d be remiss to overlook it.
Much like Facebook, you’ll see a news stream that keeps you up to date on what others in the community are achieving. You’ll also learn from peers, finding new ways to improve your workouts and achieve your fitness goals. Just like Facebook, you have control over who gets to see your updates.
Newbies are guided through a “New Fitocracy Member” group to help them get a feel for the site and ease into the culture. New members must earn points to reach level 7 before moving on to the general population.
When tracking your workouts, Fitocracy offers tips, ideas and suggestions to help you keep your workouts interesting. Workout routines are offered with a search function that makes them easy to find. After entering your workout routine, you’ll be shown your “coach clipboard,” which logs the points you earned.
One feature that helps keep your fitness regimen interesting is “Quests.” A Quest is basically a challenge to try an exercise outside of your usual routine. Completing a quest earns you points and a quest completion, sort of like completing a level on a video game. In short, Fitocracy is a way to feel like you’re having fun rather than working out.
By encouraging you to enter every type of exercise you do every day, Fitocracy becomes an addiction. You begin looking for opportunities to exercise so you can add some points to your score. Driving to the mall? Before, you might guiltily find the closest parking space. With Fitocracy, you’re parking as far away from the building as you can because you can log that walk and get points for it. In fact, any physical activity counts and some users make a game of figuring out how to categorize some of their activities so they can count towards achievements. Scrubbed the floor? Arm exercises! Chased your two-year-old around the park? A jog! The website makes users hyperaware of their physical activity, helping them to discover untapped opportunities for fitness.
Keas is another social fitness site, primarily aimed at bringing fitness to the workplace. Employees can join teams and compete for prizes. Rewards on Keas are based on more than just being active. You can earn points for eating your veggies or meditating too. Anything that improves your overall health goes at Keas. But if you have fewer than 6 people to join in a group, you won’t benefit. Teams are the ruling theme over at Keas and the site centers around the principle of making exercise a social event among people who know each other face to face, not just online.
Keas is also geared towards beginners. The goals are very simple and limited in number to three per week. That sort of waters down the excitement and kills the whole idea of getting in as much fitness as you can.