Nexercise: The Perfect Match of Gamification and Social Media

Nexercise: The Perfect Match of Gamification and Social Media

By: Shelly Kramer
October 10, 2011

Nexercise: Adding Gamification and Social Media to Fitness

Gamification paired with the power of social media is a component of digital marketing strategy we can’t get enough of. And we’re not alone. People like games. Whether it’s Angry Birds, Words with Friends or Dora the Explorer, we collectively spend a lot of time and attention, not to mention money, playing online games. Our favorite example of gamification for the week – Nexercise.

What the Heck is Gamification, Anyway?

Not sure what gamification is? Let’s talk about it. Gamification is the integration of game dynamics into content, a website, a campaign, an app, a community, you get the gist – all designed to add an element of excitement and encourage participation.

Gamification is a lot about psychology and a little about technology. Gamification is about adding an element of fun that might get people to do something they might otherwise not want to do. Like exercise …. ding ding ding!

While games like Words With Friends let word nerds like me exercise vocabulary and strategy skills, educational games help teach kids to read or about math, and Angry Birds gives us a great excuse to goof off, the Nexercise app, adds a gamification element to fitness. It lets you work your body as much as your mind and compete against yourself – or others – and reap some benefits. Seriously good stuff.

Gamification – Making Fitness and Exercise Fun

When you think about it, fitness and exercise are really all about gamification. Whether you’re competing against yourself in an effort to stay fit, lose weight, compete in a marathon, triathlon or bike race, bodybuilding competition, etc., it’s all a big game. I know that when I was running 30 miles a week, I relied on all kinds of mind games to help keep me sane and slog through the miles. Or now, when working out with a trainer, she routinely plays games with my head to force me to work harder and either to compete against myself, or against my (slacker) workout partner. It’s psychology – and it really works.

What about you, are you nodding right now, thinking about how you’ve gamed yourself when working out or doing something athletic? I’ll bet so.

That’s what makes the Nexercise app so awesome. It’s all about exercise and fitness.

Nexercise: Making Fitness Fun + Social

Nexercise it uses the power of social media and gamification to make fitness a game. It’s fun to do and helps make working out social. And competitive. Even better, while competing – whether against yourself or others – you earn points that go toward winning rewards that can be redeemed for cool stuff – all for “playing” along and working out. Sweet! Wait, maybe that should be SWEAT!

Nexercise is a D.C. based startup. CEO and co-founder Ben Young was inspired by his own fitness and weight challenges to devise something that was geared not only toward the non-athletic types, but also to us geeky types. You know exactly who I mean – those of us who spend waaaay too much time parked in front of computers or devices and not nearly enough time doing physical activity.

With Nexercise, all you have to do is exercise a minimum of 15 minutes, your device tracks motion and activity, you can compete against friends or work out with friends. You can see what others are winning, what the prizes are and track your progress. Want to get more points? Work out more. This is seriously awesome, in so many ways.

Here’s a video of Young talking about the product this past spring at Startup 2011, New York’s Entrepreneurship Conference:

Nexercise is literally our new favorite toy around the office – we’re a competitive bunch, for sure. We also see tons of opportunities for brands to partner with Nexercise and expose their products to a pretty targeted consumer group. Extra sweet.

Go ahead, you know you want to — download that puppy right now! Bad news for Android lovers – the Nexercise app is only available for iPhone now, but surely an Android app is just around the corner.