For a lot of people, exercising feels more like a chore than a way to remain healthy. Working out can become repetitive and boring. Giving exercise a competitive spin can increase productivity and add zest to any workout!

For SUNY Plattsburgh seniors Colleen Kallop and Deena Bader, competition seems to be the only thing that adds routine to their workouts. The college couple emphasizes the effect of relationship weight, while also being in a very cold environment.

“Gaining weight while in a relationship seems to be normal nowadays. We tend to get comfortable with our partner,” Kallop said. “A lot of people forget working out is to remain healthy and not just to look good.”

The couple hit a point where they both realized they were a bit heavier than they are usually comfortable with. The two also blame the Plattsburgh environment for their lack of activity.

“It’s always super cold in Plattsburgh and the winter feels like forever. No one wants to drive in bad weather or go outside to do anything, let alone working out,” Bader said.

The couple uses two strategies while working out competitively. They engage in FitBit competitions and play Pokemon Go whenever they can. Both tasks are a unique way to stay active, with a harmless and competitive twist.

FitBits have become a well known way of tracking exercise. The device is wireless and tracks data specific to the user. It measures steps walked, heart rate, steps climbed, quality of sleep and more metrics.

FitBit has challenges that users can enroll in. The FitBit challenge that Kallop and Bader joined compares their number of steps per day to their FitBit friends steps. Being in a competition with friends has pushed the couple to be more active.  

“I could be laying in bed and see that my friend has more steps than me. Then before I know it I’m on a two-mile walk with my dog,” Kallop said.

“It’s also easy to mix in FitBit competitions with everyday life. Instead of taking a cab home from the bars downtown, me and my girlfriend walk back to our apartment and multiply our steps for the day.”

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 10.48.10 AM
Photo taken by Colleen Kallop

Pokemon Go has also become a crucial part of the couple’s competitive workout routine. Pokemon go is a free-play app that allows users to travel between the real and virtual world. Players use a map on the app to navigate to different spots with pokemon. Players compete with other people on the app and try to catch the most pokemon balls as possible.

I’ll walk around Plattsburgh catching Pokemon and forget I’m exercising at all,” Bader said. “I like playing games like that where it doesn’t feel like I’m pushing myself to be active, it’s just kind of happening and I’m having fun while doing it.”

Working out with a partner and adding competition can push people to reach personal gains. Healthy competitions can add excitement and make working out feel less tedious.

“My advice to people who are in a workout slump is to start doing what we do. First, find your niche,” Bader said. “Whether it’s running marathons, weight-loss competitions or even Pokemon Go! Once you find it you’ll care so much about winning and progressing that you will forget you’re working out at all.”

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