Boost Your Motivation
The hardest part about exercising is getting motivated to do it. Athletic company Nike is attempting to solve that age-old problem with its Nike+ system. A tiny accelerometer measures running distance and speed and reports the data back, in real time, via an Apple iPod, iTouch or, as of a few months ago, a small wristband. On good days the voice of marathoner Paula Radcliffe or bicyclist Lance Armstrong might tell you that you’ve just finished your longest run or your fastest mile—effortlessly feeding our natural psychological desire for positive feedback. Users can also upload exercise data onto an online site that shows trends over time, helps you set personal goals and shares details with friends. Nike+ turns you into your own biggest competitor and fiercest personal trainer.
As for boosting the desire to exercise, I can attest to the power of this product. Although I have used Nike+ for only about two weeks, I’ve run a whopping 40 miles in that time (a personal best), and I feel faster and more powerful than I ever have in my life. I attribute it all to the fact that I can see my progress each day and—gosh darn it—I know that whatever I did yesterday, I can do better today. Indeed, with Nike+, all you want to do is get out there and beat your last running time—suggesting that competition, even just against yourself, can be an extremely effective incentive. —Melinda Wenner
This article was originally published with the title Brainy Gifts.