Healthy Resolutions

For the past decade, I have been following my father’s lead by not drinking alcohol in January. The idea is never to give it up entirely, but to simply withhold for a month as a “check-in” with one’s self-control. Over the years, I have inspired some folks to join in on no-booze January in addition to making additional rules for myself, such as Meatless March.

It turns out that Buster Benson has had the same yearly tradition, and has turned it into a monthly online game called Health Month. The site is currently in beta, but the idea is simply to give yourself a set of rules, (no booze, 30 min of exercise / 8 glasses of water a day, etc) that you want to try to follow each month. You check in daily, and it provides statistics, reminders, and encouragement. I only started using it during the last 10 days in January, but I’m a big fan of data visualization and the idea of turning the mundane into a game…. and I really need to work out more. So at the risk of creating another digital distraction, I’ve started using Health Month.

But I still hate going to the gym, not that I’m a member of one anyway…

That’s where the second piece of the healthy resolution puzzle comes in: Still only in alpha, and started by a geeky sports enthusiast friend of mine, Gain Fitness already looks like it’s going to be great. At it’s core, (currently) Gain creates customized workout plans that take into account factors such as your sex, what type of workout you are looking for, what equipment you have on hand, and how long a workout you want. Each exercise is coupled with helpful diagrams (videos on the way) in a very clean, attractive layout. The coming beta will see updates that allow the site to track a user’s progress and make future recommendations.

Between Health Month and Gain Fitness, the tools for keeping your New Year’s resolutions year-round have never been better.
Now only if there was a way to download more time & willpower…

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