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I am not the biggest fan of exercise. Even as a kid, when I played soccer for 10 years, I never experienced the fabled "runner's high" that compels other people to exercise for its own sake. I view it as a chore. So unless there's something about it that's fun, I'm not going to want to do it.
I'm also a big geek. Turning a workout into a video game works on me. I played Wii Fit for over a year — until I unlocked everything and it got boring.
I needed something new.
I don't like the idea of paying for a gym membership, and I don't have room in my one bedroom apartment for fancy exercise equipment. That leaves me with few workout options. I wanted a simple cardio routine, but it sounded so very, very boring. I was unmotivated and out of shape.
That's when I randomly came upon a description of a running app that caught my attention.
The name of the app is simple: Zombies, Run!
If it had just been an app where zombies are chasing you to motivate you to run, that would have been enough for me. But it turned out to be way better.
The key feature of the app/game is that you're running, and every now and then you'll be alerted through your headphones that a group of zombies has spotted you and is giving chase. You'll then be running to the sound of groans and moans in your ears, and the louder they get, the closer they are. The app tracks your movement through a simple GPS system. Running faster helps you escape the hoard. If they get too close, you have to sacrifice some supplies in order to escape.
But there's also a story to it. You start off delivering supplies to various little settlements in the zombie apocalypse wasteland in a helicopter that mysteriously crashes. You survive and have to run to the nearest settlement as they guide you past the zombies to safety through your radio. You then become a "runner" for the settlement, going out for supplies or to help traveling survivors.
As it turns out, a similar helicopter crash happened close to a settlement nearby, and mysteriously, that settlement went up in flames soon after they took on a runner who survived the crash.
You have to pay $20 for the full version of the app if you want to play a new chapter with every run — otherwise you have to wait. However, there is a minigame you can play with your runs where you gather supplies as you travel and can use them to build up the settlement.
There are over 200 missions, and they're making more. To me, it's well worth $20 to avoid gym fees and motivate me to exercise by pushing all of my geek buttons. It also allows you to start out walking or jogging before moving up to running, so it's perfect for the out-of-shape beginner.
If it can get me to exercise, it can get anyone to exercise.