The amazing fitness and nutrition icon Jack LaLanne died on Sunday. He was 96 years old. It’s gotten us to wondering is there any way to get motivated to do what’s good for our body?  

Joining a health club is pricy. Paying monthly dues a drain on the budget. Worse, yet, regularly motivating yourself to go, once you’ve joined, challenging*.

What if you got rewarded for going to the gym and punished if you didn’t? (Oh, don’t get all excited we’re not referencing our WHAP! proposal.) The Boston Globe just wrote a story about a novel local start-up venture called Gym-Pact: Enforced Fitness.  Their idea is to motivate you to get to the gym, or Yoga studio, or dance center, by offering discounted fees for working out and ‘motivational’ fees for not working out. They write:

” As a member, if you successfully fulfill your commitment, you enjoy great discounts on a fitness membership that you actually use.  If you fall short of your commitment, a motivational fee is charged for each day missed that week to motivate you to get back on the fitness track.  Members can choose both the number of days and the motivational fee, with a minimum of one day per weekand $10 paid each missed day.”

What do you think? Is money motivational? If Gym-Pact were offered in your area would it keep you moving?

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*From the book Bitches on a Budget:

The American strip mall landscape is littered with health clubs, swim clubs, and tennis clubs of every shape, size and stripe.  You know, the one you joined with incredible enthusiasm, seduced by the super-duper introductory special offer just for you on the day you visited. Instead of $150 to join, the pleasure could be yours for just $100 and a low $75 monthly fee.  With great energy and determination you worked out on your way home from work for several months, or, even more righteously, set the alarm one hour earlier in the morning.

Then you got a cold, your kid got a cold, maybe even the dog got a cold, and you missed a morning, then another, and pretty soon you fell off the wagon. Yes, on occasion you dragged your a** in on the weekend to a complete mob scene, and oh, how oppressive it felt!  By now the bloom was off the rose.  Not only were the locker rooms stinky, but you felt your skin crawling and were sure some pervert had wired the showers for video of your privates. It wasn’t fun. The dues were automatically deducted from your checking account for the year of that contract (yes, those sleazy suckers figured out how to mainline your cash when you signed up), and every time you thought about it you soothed your guilty conscience with a SnackWell’s cookie.