Making Fitness Fun: A Fitness And Weight Loss Game

I was just discussing with my wife how neither of us are very competitive and therefore we are not very good at pushing each other towards our goals. This conversation occurred specifically around our concurrent goals of losing weight (her a little, me a lot). It got me to thinking about what motivates us both, and what we could possibly use as leverage against each other to inspire some healthy competition (pun intended). I finally settled on one of the few things we tend to see a little differently, and that is how we spend our 'extra' cash. I want ski gear and a new jacket, she wants an Xbox and new shoes. So from this is born a game I like to call: Big Jack's Motivational Game of Fitness!

Since our progress can't really be monitored by net weight loss (because I have such a significantly larger number to lose) we are going to compete to see who can exercise the most every week, counted in 30 minute increments. Each 30 minute span of exercise will count as 1 point. 'Exercise' will be defined as any activity that raises your heart rate above the level of a brisk walk. Only 30 minute increments will be awarded points. 45 minutes will still only be 1 point, as will 50, 55, or 59 minutes. Because we are pretty avid hikers a hike will count as 1/2 time (i.e. 1 hour of hiking is worth 1 point). All other forms of exercise will count as regular time. At the end of each week, all the points will be added up, and the demerits will be subtracted (more on this later), and whoever has the most points will win $25. This contest will run for the next 12 weeks so there is $300.00 up for grabs.

Obviously this will be on the honor system because I work a retail job and therefore have an inconsistent work schedule. To ensure that we are both properly motivated we will be erecting and scoreboard in our kitchen to watch each other's progress and leave nice little motivational messages. We will also be weighing in, taking measurements, and photographs to help us monitor our individual progress. A bonus point will be awarded each week for the following:

1) Exercising for at least 30 minutes 5 out of 7 days of the week.

2) Reaching a fitness or weight goal (5 pounds lost, running a mile in a new best time, etc).

3) Exceeding 5 hours of exercise during the week.

4) Not having consecutive rest days (at least one rest day must be taken each week).

Demerits will be given for any activity that is deemed detrimental to the overall goal of fitness. This includes, but is not limited to,

1) Eating out at fast food restaurants.

2) Eating any form of junk food.

3) Not taking at least one rest day every week.

4) Any unethical behavior such as disabling a favorite piece of exercise equipment or hiding necessary articles of clothing (i.e. running shoes).

The hope here is that we are able to keep each other motivated and quickly monitor our successes is easily measurable increments. Feel free to adapt this method as you see fit (no pun intended) and please let me know if you are having success! I believe we will be adding in some other incentives like food rewards and the monthly loser buying dinner for the winner. We will see, hopefully this is the last diet/exercise plan we ever have to be on. Thanks!

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