Gamified Fitness Apps: How Gaming Makes Exercise Addicting
Learn what fitness gamification is, how games build healthy habits, and how to gamify your own fitness.
July 20, 2021

Games are fun. It’s a simple fact. And with the right  use of game elements, anything can be fun—even working out.

It’s called gamified fitness and it’s a relatively new way to workout that makes fitness fun and engaging.

So what is gamified fitness, how does it work and how can it make your workouts more addicting?

In this article you’ll learn all about how gamified fitness works, the technology that makes fitness a game, and the psychology behind making fitness addicting with gaming.

What is fitness gamification?

Fitness gamification is the addition of gamelike elements to fitness tasks like daily workouts, exercise routines and strength training. Gamified fitness is often achieved using fitness tracking apps like pedometers or rep-counters that track progress and reward users for reaching goals and milestones.

How does fitness gamification work?

Games rely on reward systems to encourage certain behaviours. For example: When you pass Go in monopoly, you get $200, or when someone lands on your property, they pay rent, etc.

These rewards incentivize certain tactics and behaviours within the game. Therefore we strive to achieve more of these milestones to gain the most rewards. The behaviours become a habit as we become more engaged with the game.

But not everything is a game…

How gamification can form healthy habits

There’s many tasks you carry out during the day that offer no immediate reward at the end. Like a typical workout.

When you work out, the reward is abstract. Sure, maybe 2 weeks from now your core feels stronger than it was before, but it’s hard to connect the action with the reward when it’s not immediate.

The harder it is to feel the reward, the harder it is to form the habit.

Gamified fitness changes that by providing a reward system for your workouts and daily fitness—it makes your fitness a fun game with an immediate reward that helps you form a healthy habit.

But in order to gamify your fitness, you have to be able to measure your fitness first. That’s where gamified fitness apps help...

What are gamified fitness apps?

Gamified fitness apps measure and track your physical activity with your phone. For example: PlayFitt includes a pedometer (step counter), squat counter, push-up counter and other activity tracking features.

Tracking these movements makes it possible to gamify your workouts. As you complete daily and weekly movement goals you level up league divisions and earn rewards instantly.

This connects fitness with rewards in a way our brains understand more directly. And that connection is what helps make fitness a habit.

The same reason you love your favorite video game or social media app is the same reason fitness can become a regular healthy habit. All with the power of gamification and one simple app.

How to gamify your fitness

Gamifying your fitness should start small and grow organically as you move through levels and rewards.

Even the smallest amount of movement during your week—like some quick squats or a few brisk walks—measured with a gamified fitness app is enough to start making the connections your brain needs to form healthy fitness habits.

Gamified fitness works differently for everyone. The only way to discover how it works for you is to download a fitness tracker, start moving more and figure out the best way to add fitness to your day.

The best gamified apps for a healthier lifestyle

A well-rounded health and fitness routine can include lots of different apps.

Here’s some of the best gamified health apps to help you form healthy habits:

1. PlayFitt
PlayFitt makes fitness fun with gamified workouts, movement reminders and rewards for leveling up your fitness. Perfect for making fitness part of your everyday routine.

2. WaterMinder

WaterMinder is a hydration app that helps you track your daily water intake, and reach your water intake goals. Simply log your water with one tap and keep your hydration streak going.

3. Streaks

Streaks is a to-do list app that helps you keep streaks going for various tasks like eating healthy, stretching every morning, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Gamify any healthy task you want and start a new streak!

Making healthy a habit

Creating a fitness routine can be tough. Staying motivated can be even tougher.

Gamifying your workout routine not only gives you an easy structure to work from, but also helps you stay motivated with healthy habit forming.

If struggling to keep up with your fitness, or just want a new way to make your workouts less boring, gamify it and find the fun in fitness.

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