10 Great Apps To Help Gamify Your Workout

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10 Great Apps To Help Gamify Your Workout

In the last few years, the business of gamification has grown to a $3.8 billion-a-year industry. Gamifying something –   leveraging people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, achievement and status by making a game out of a boring task – can have real-world impacts in terms of boosting output and encouraging participation and repetition.

According to several recent surveys, 90 percent of employees said it makes them more productive at work. That fact hasn’t been lost on app makers, especially developers in the health and fitness world. When you add in the fitness options that videogame systems like PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox offer, there are a lot of ways to gamify your workout. 

Maintaining your fitness is tough, but it becomes more difficult during the colder months. So, to help you kick off your Fall workout journey, Paste is compiling 10 techy ways to get your sweat on. From videogames like Ring Fit Adventure to immersive apps like Marvel Move and Ingress, here are the best ways to have fun while getting off the couch. 

Marvel Move

Is a rampaging Hulk enough to get you to run? What if you discovered a hidden mutant ability? Maybe you’d prefer joining Photon, Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Those are just a couple of the scenarios Marvel writers like Tini Howard, Meghan Fitzmartin, Alex Acks, and Matt Wieteska have laid out to motivate users to walk, run and sprint. Each of the Marvel Fitness Adventures takes the listener through a multi-chapter story, immersing you in the comic book world of Thor, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men among others.

This ZRX-powered app works with a low threshold, so anything over 3 mph will move the story along. That means you can train indoors or simulate running if you’re short on space. By progressing through each chapter, you’ll collect related supplies which can then be converted into currency to trade for trophies. Once you complete a storyline, characters like Jean Grey or Thor will send you “milestone emails” wrapping up your progress.  

Ingress Prime

A mix of capture the flag and geotagging, Pokemon Go creator Niantic Labs’ app Ingress Prime has been running since 2013. The service currently has approximately one million users divided into two factions, the Enlightened and the Resistance. Players can attack and defend in-app checkpoints, known as portals, only if they’re in close proximity to those places in the real world. On a small scale these operations happen in public parks and the like across America, Japan and Europe, but hardcore users of the app have organized portal raids as remote as the Canary Islands off Morocco. 

Zombies, Run!

ZRX has been scaring runners into sprinting for their lives since 2013. With apocalyptic storylines chock full of zombies, impending death and gore, October is a perfect time to give the app a try, even if it’s just to get your Halloween pulse racing. In addition to Zombies, Run, ZRX hosts Venture, where you can build up endurance by running from dinosaurs, looting as a pirate in the 16th century or exploring the ruins of Atlantis. 

Pokemon Go

The original hit for Niantic was released in 2006 and is still going strong to this day with 2 million users worldwide. Easily accessible and addictive, Pokemon Go has a low-entry barrier offering a free app and encouraging walking around your neighborhood at the very least. Take a stroll around a few blocks, down the road or even across the street, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a few strange Pokemon hiding out. Strangely addicting even for non-Pokefans, this is a great entry point for tweens, teens and adults who need a bit of encouragement to move. 

Charity Miles

Large charities like the PMC and St. Jude often hold their racing and walking fundraisers during the summer months, but they’ve both tapped into virtual fundraising in recent years to boost participation. Charity Miles takes that idea and allows users to walk, run and bike for a wide array of charities and causes. Users can earn sponsorships via the app and raise awareness for personal causes as well. 

Fit for Battle

If swinging around with superheroes isn’t your thing, maybe slaying dragons and collecting treasure is more your vibe. Fit for Battle combines fantasy elements with storytelling and gameplay features so runners can change the story depending on how well they do with pop-up challenges. Each tale is illustrated by immersive sound effects with in-story companions letting you know what’s happening in the game and when to increase your speed. Adventures range from 20-minute workouts to hour-long narratives, with the option to set your difficulty and duration. 


Launched just a few years ago by Montreal-based developer IntelliSports, PlayFitt is an exercise, health and home fitness app that leverages real-world rewards to motivate your fitness journey. Like other apps, Playfitt tracks daily goals, active breaks, steps taken, stairs climbed, squats and push-ups, but when you hit daily targets, the app rewards you with 200 coins that you can use to purchase power-ups or gift cards for places like Starbucks and Lululemon from the in-app store. The app also plays up the competition, listing weekly trophy winners and a league leaderboard. Users can move from Trainee to Elite rank by maintaining a top 20 spot on the leaderboard for a week. 


In 1988, our collective generation had its mind blown when Nintendo released the Power Pad controller for use with its video game World Class Track Meet. Thirty-five years later, Nintendo is still at it and other large video game companies like PlayStation and Xbox have followed suit. Over on the PS4 and PS5, you can currently buy games like Just Dance, Yoga Master and VirZoom (which requires a stationary bike set up) to get in low-impact workouts with little investment. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, PSVR games like Beat Saber, VR Boxing, Speed Vector or the award-winning SuperHot will get you moving but that requires a separate purchase.

If you have an Xbox in the house, there are dozens of options for breaking a sweat at home. In addition to crossover games like Just Dance, Xbox 360 launched a number of fitness games to coincide with the first generation of the Kinect Motion Sensor, including UFC Trainer, Biggest Loser and Zumba Party. Older systems and games can usually be found on the cheap if you’re looking to save some cash. Currently, titles like Kinect Sports Rivals and Shape Up are the most popular fitness games for the Xbox One.

Nintendo has been a pioneer since the late 1980’s and that streak has carried through the Wii, the often-forgotten WiiU and now the Nintendo Switch. Games that debuted on the Wii more than a decade ago, like tennis, bowling and baseball, have all moved into the next generation with Nintendo Switch Sports. Gamers looking for a more serious workout can try Ring Fit Adventure, which comes with a wide variety of fitness routines, games and a unique controller. 


Finding or creating the perfect running mix can be arduous and waste a lot of time. While curated Spotify playlists might work for a little while, there’s always a song that doesn’t quite match up to your workout. Enter RockMyRun, which curates a playlist in real-time to match your workout. Whereas the app might play a 120 bpm dance track while you’re sprinting, it may switch to a more laid back song as you begin your cooldown jog. 


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