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Staying fit is important, but at least for a lot of people, it isn’t always fun. Dragging yourself out of bed for a run can be tough even for people who love to run. If you’re a reluctant runner, that can be the difference between giving up on your workout routine or sticking with it.
As with most things in the world, games can help. Whether they’re helping you run further in a given day or do more reps of a certain type of exercise, these apps turn your fitness into a game. The results are real, but the fiction driving you forward probably isn’t.
1. Zombies, Run!
Are you the type of person who would literally need to be chased to get running? If that’s the case, Zombies, Run! may be exactly what you need. This game combines audio cues and music to get you pumped. It’s not all about running away from zombies, though. There’s a story to give you an idea about the world in which the game takes place to make the fright feel even more realistic.
2. The Walk
If you’re not a runner, maybe developer Six to Start’s other game, The Walk, might be for you. This uses a similar approach to Zombies, Run!, only here, as the name implies, you’re walking instead of running. You’ve got a package to save the world, but the only way to stay alive and deliver the package, you’ve got to walk the length of the U.K. That’s a long way, so you better get started.
3. Fitness RPG
Another game based around walking, Fitness RPG maps your progress more directly. You’re training a team of heroes, and every step you take gains you energy you can use to level up your heroes. The app uses the hardware in your smartphone to track your steps, serving as both a pedometer and a fun game.
4. Carrot Fit
Carrot Fit is much less of a game than the other apps we’ve looked at so far. Instead, the app promises to be “your new fitness overlord.” As you work through the Seven Minutes in Hell workout, the app will quip at you. If you’ve used Carrot Weather before, this won’t come as a surprise, but having a fitness app refer to you as a meatbag is a novelty worth seeing.
From the name, you might just think Walkr is a pedometer app, but that’s not the case. Instead, the game has you exploring the galaxy in a ship powered by your steps. This is similar to Fitness RPG, only with a more sci-fi twist. If you prefer lasers to swords, this is probably the fitness game for you.
Fitocracy is less a game and more of a social network build around fitness. That said, it offers Xbox-style achievements, and chasing these can lead you beyond the bare minimum of your daily workout. Tracking your results can also help keep you motivated to continues exercising, with out without the app’s achievements, which is really the goal here.
7. Pokémon GO
As you’re probably aware of already, Pokémon Go is not a fitness app in any sense of the word. That said, if you want to catch more than a handful of pocket monsters, you’re going to need to get out and about to catch them. Yes, you could drive, which will take some of the distance out, but you’ll still need to walk around to catch anything.