My husband, Ben, who belongs to the Jewish Community Center, says that his gym fills up around this time of year as people make their New Year's resolutions. But, he tells me that he's not worried, that the people who aren't committed to their new workout routines clear out by March.
I know that motivation can be difficult to come by. Two years ago, I joined the YMCA in Orchard Park and never stepped foot in the gym except to have a photo taken for my membership ID.
Now, an iPhone app called GymPact gives you a new motivation to meet your fitness goals – cash.
Here's how it works: you specify the number of days each week that you'll exercise and how much you're willing to pay if you don't. Each time you visit the gym, you'll check in with your iPhone. A 30-minute visit (minimum) is required for the check-in to count. Meet your weekly pact, and you'll be rewarded with cash. Fall short, and you'll have to pay up.
How much can you earn? GymPact bases rewards on how much was paid by those who didn't work out. The money is then divided among those who made their pact, based on the number of days committed (i.e. 3 days Pact = 3 portions).
GymPact claims its pilot had a 90 percent success rate at keeping users on their committed schedule.
Would a cash reward (or penalty) motivate you to work out?