Diabetes Self-Management Blog

As we’ve noted here at Diabetes Flashpoints before, finding the time and motivation to exercise is often difficult — yet the benefits of exercise in the areas of cardiovascular health, weight loss, and blood glucose control make it important for most people with diabetes. For those of us who struggle to exercise regularly, finding the right incentive can make the task somewhat easier.

Two recent online articles highlight very different approaches toward motivating oneself to exercise. The first, found at azcentral.com, describes how outdoor exercise can be a pleasant alternative to working out at a gym. As the article notes, gyms can be crowded and noisy, and many people who work indoors in offices crave the fresh air and feeling of space that a gym cannot offer. The article suggests biking, jogging, and outdoor circuit training (offered in some public parks) as alternatives to gym-based activities and notes that a complete workout to improve balance, strength, and endurance can be accomplished outdoors. In addition, according to one person interviewed, “there’s an emotional component to exercising outside … you can purge physically and mentally.”

If getting outside doesn’t sound like motivation enough to exercise, how about the prospect of paying a fine if you don’t? That’s the concept behind GymPact, an iPhone app that was recently profiled in a Reuters article. The program lets users set a fine ranging from $5 to $50 for every gym workout that they skip. After a 30% cut for the company, the money paid in is then redistributed to users for every workout they successfully complete. A user must “check in” at a gym venue for at least 30 minutes for a workout to count. According to the CEO of GymPact, most people are much more motivated to avoid losses than to maximize gains; therefore, a fine for missing a workout is more effective than a reward for completing one. The overall workout completion rate of GymPact members, says the company, is approximately 90%.

What do you think — are you more likely to be motivated by a visceral, immediate reward like enjoying the outdoors, or a punishment like paying a fine? If the two could be combined — charging a fine for missing an outdoor workout — would that be optimal? Are the challenges of outdoor exercising — such as weather and traffic — great enough to make a gym more appealing? Leave a comment below!


  1. This whole gympact thing makes me angry! I cannot believe what some people will do to make a buck by ripping off us diabetics with another goofy exercise program or diet or magic pill. Diabetics Unite!! Stop letting others control you - take charge of your condition and work with your doctors,check your levels and pay attention to what and how much you are eating and most of all, exercise! I was recently challenged to do thirty minutes if intentional exercise every day for 100 days. I am on day 68 and haven’t felt this good in ages. I haven’t had a fasting level over 110 since I started. I am also following the “mindful eating” guidlines that I read in the Winter issue of Diabetic Living magazine. Stop being controlled by others - TAKE CHARGE!!

    Editor’s Note: For more information on mindful eating, see our article “Mindful Eating: Tuning In to Your Food.”

    Posted by Jon S. |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Insurance, Unclaimed (10/29/14)
Potatoes: Good or Bad? (10/20/14)
Sandwich Trouble (10/15/14)
Soda Surrender? (10/08/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.