No doubt the item “exercise more” will be on some of your New Year resolutions lists, especially after indulging in all the tempting goodies that show up at end-of-year parties and family gatherings. Nexercise can help you reach your goals, plus provide you with incentives to get up and get moving.
How, you ask? By awarding you with points based on your activity levels, and then turning those points into cash in the shape of discounts at name brands and stores. Click “more” to see how it works.
There’s a lot to this app, as it’s not only an exercise log, but also a reward system and a social network for fitness-minded individuals. Let’s take a look at two of its most prominent functions, that of exercise tracker and that of motivator/reward system.
You’ll need to sign up with Nexercise upon launching the app. Nexercise recommends connecting the app with your Facebook account to access more features and gain points faster, otherwise you can supply your name and email. The first option would probably be best for those who want to take full advantage of the social aspects. I, on the other hand, am more interested in using the app on a personal level, and therefore went with the latter option.
There are five tabs at the bottom of the screen, and the center one, labeled Nexercise, is where you’ll record your activity. As long as you did/or plan to do at least two minutes of exercise, it can be logged. And you’d be surprised what counts; there are more than 150 different activities included in Nexercise that will earn you points (even housework), so when in doubt, check the list.
The best way to track exercise with the app is to wear your phone somewhere on your person while doing so. For example, I did this with my iPhone in my pocket while going on a short walk in my neighborhood. I selected Walking from the list of activities, and then pressed Start on the timer. Nexercise recorded how long I spent walking (about five minutes), how many steps I took (about 300), and how far I walked (about one-tenth of a mile). When I submitted this activity, Nexercise awarded me 25 XP for my efforts.
By the way, if you exercised but couldn’t or forgot to carry your iPhone, you can log past activity as long as it was within the last two days.
The app has a few different ways of rewarding users for what they do, which is really to everyone’s benefit. These include user statistics; medals and level-ups; and monetary rewards.
First, on your Profile (that’s the second tab) you can check out your stats, broken down a number of different ways. For those who find motivation in knowing what you’ve already accomplished and all the minutes you’ve already racked up, this is helpful and important.
In that same vein, you can view all your activities in list and calendar formats, too. Under Profile, select the Activity tab to see a list of all the Nexercise activities you’ve logged, as well as the date and time. Click any activity for more statistics about it. Under Profile, click the calendar icon in the top right to see all your activities organized on a calendar. Every day you spend time “Nexercising” gets a gold bar on the calendar — another form of visual motivation.
Second, the more you exercise and the more your use the app, the more medals you earn. Just by signing up I earned the Nexerciser medal, and in a week’s time I also earned the Diversity, Mix It Up and Monday Maniac medals. It’s great to see all of these each time I navigate to the Medals tab.
Third, your exercise can turn into rewards like gift cards, entries to win prizes and charitable donations, thanks to Nexercise’s collaboration with SessionM, through which you can earn mPOINTS, a virtual reward currency. Check out your mPOINTS total and possible rewards by navigating to the Home tab and clicking the “m” in the top right corner.
The mPOINTS program is completely free, and you earn them simply by performing actions in the app. And hey, if you think you’d work out just a little bit harder if it meant a free $10 gift certificate to iTunes (10,000 mPoints), then this aspect of Nexercise could be invaluable to your weight loss or fitness goals.
You can turn off everything to do with mPOINTS if you’re not interested in them, but I have a hard time determining why anyone would, since it’s a free program to earn free stuff. You know all those laps you take around the office every day to pass files off to your co-workers? Consider using Nexercise to turn those steps into gift certificates to Amazon, iTunes, Athleta, Old Navy, GAP, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Sephora, CVS and other retailers; or to make charitable donations to American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Goodwill, The Wounded Warrior Project, Habitat for Humanity and other organizations.
While I take issue with bestowing points upon users for completing actions like rating the app and viewing short commercials, I understand that a certain amount of customer and advertiser support is necessary to keep the app free.
Overall, though, Nexercise is very easy to use, utilizes a number of methods for motivating users to lead more active lives, and includes an mPOINTS rewards system with a lot of variety, both in retailers and charitable organizations. In short, if this app can’t add the fun factor that’s been missing from your workout routine (or lack thereof), I’m not sure what could.