Harish Jharia

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02 October 2011

Editor's Page: Interaction with visitors (Exercise / Workout)

Ashburn, Virginia, USA

Visitor’s post from: Christine Chu

Hi Harish Jharia,

I was reading your blog today and wonder if I could get your opinion on a diet/fitness app I am working on ?

For me, I think the main problem with being healthy is motivation. It's an abstract, overwhelming goal. I think the best way to counter this is to turn it into winnable games and small victories.

So… my app makes living healthy, and fitness into a RPG game, where users earn points, and "level up' as they accomplish their health goals. Everytime they add something healthy like veggies to their diet, they earn points. Everytime they complete a workout, they earn points. As they achieve more and more, they'll level up and unlock badges, and discounts/coupons to rewards like spas, health foods, etc.

There'll be challenges, which will get harder as people level up. And it'll follow a certain structure. First will come changing your environment such as getting rid of all junk food. Then, reducing stress, as stress leads to eating comfort food.

The whole point is to turn it into a game so people will rely less on willpower, and more on fun, achievement, and changing our environment.

What's your opinion on this idea? Would you want to know when I'm done with it? If this sounds too silly, or absurd, just ignore what I just said, hehe =)

Best, Christine


Editor’s Reply post:

 Hello Christine,

Thanks for visiting my blog.  You are doing an excellent job and I feel honored on receiving your queries. 

I agree with your theory of motivation and its importance. The application of reward points system for motivating the people for increasing workout periods and reducing harmful diets like junk food implemented by you, appear to be quite effective. 

I would like to add the following two more vital points in workout regime: 

  1. We should give importance to the length / period of workout rather than its severity. For that please read “How Hard Should Our Morning Walks, Jogs and Workouts Be?” (http://harishjhariasblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-hard-should-be-our-morning-walks.html)
  2.  Secondly the workout enthusiast should avoid eating snacks, salads, fruits or drinking juices prior to their lunches and dinners. We usually feel hungry during the couple of hours prior to our meals. I think it would be quite helpful for us to experience his two hour mild starvation. This will contribute in weight loss program in a big way.

Thanks indeed,

- Harish Jharia

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