Last year, my boyfriend pointed out a program called Nerd Fitness Academy. At the time, it required a subscription to do anything, but this year they’ve opened up an app on the site that allows you to track progress for free. You don’t get the workout and diet content that comes with the subscription, but you do have a place to assign yourself goals (quests) and check them off as you complete them (gain XP).
Nerd Fitness has the appeal of an RPG with the purpose of improving physical health. Just like a fantasy RPG, you choose a class and your activities and diet are tailored to fit that role. For example, Warriors are all about raw power, Scouts focus on endurance, Assassins are all about agility, and Rangers are a mixture of strength and agility. More classes have been added since last year, but one that has called to me for a while is Druid. Druid focuses on a vegetarian diet, flexibility and balance. Yoga is a primary activity for the Druid.
You can change class at any time if you decide you need to work on something different, but the free app gives you incentive to complete goals by allowing you to assign point values and level you (or your character) up. Referring to your goals as “quests” helps give it a gamerly feel. Basic quests give 1-20xp, but you can also take on Epic Quests. These are long-term goals that will require no less than 6 months to complete. Typically, you assign 100xp to epic quests as this this the amount of XP needed to level up.
You can create your character profile and make it public or private. My character Starr Mortbane is public. You can see some of the quests I’m working on. One of the things I worked into my point values was a mile of walking per point of XP. I think it’s fair to level up after 100 miles of walking. Unlike most RPGs, the amount of XP required to reach the next level remains static. This free service means you have to do some research on your own meals and activities, but if you’ve chosen a class, you have a pretty good idea what things you ought to be working towards. Warriors need to consume large quantities of meat and focus on strength training. Rangers are advised to use the Paleo diet.
I just opened my free account today, so I’m a level 1 n00b right now, but I’m stoked to start earning XP. What class would you choose?