health

Is this the best new app of 2015?

As an exercise-loving-tech-phobe, I’d become quite retro in my workout choices and didn’t see a problem with it.

I happily went for a 30 minute jog most mornings, at peace with being alone with my thoughts and choosing to run without music blasting through my head.

I’d do a few sets of push ups while watching my favourite TV shows each night and I never, ever went to a grocery store in work out gear.

Putting the ‘tech’ in fitness ‘technique’.

I’d done it this way for over a decade until….

Just as an FYI, you should know that this advertorial is sponsored by Medibank’s GymBetter.

I entered a local fun run. I’d never done one before and always wanted to try. I turned up all by myself – because that’s what I was used to – and jogged the entire way devoid of any gadgets. In fact, I was pretty much the only competitor who wasn’t at least wearing a FitBit, or one of those arm straps that holds your smart phone.

I felt naked.

Then I started to feel quite lonely. Everyone else at least had one friend they were jogging with and the competitors I envied the most were those who had clearly organised a team through their local gym. They were all decked out and hooting and hollering and having a blast.

They really put the word ‘fun’ into the phrase fun run.

Putting the ‘fun’ in fun run.

For the first time in years I thought about joining a gym again. I wanted to work out with friends too. I wanted some support and camaraderie. I used to go to a gym in my early twenties before deciding to only every exercise outdoors, on my own. But exercise doesn’t have to hard or lonely. There’s an amazing world of fun exercise out there, and I suddenly realised that going back to the gym was an easy way to join it.

Before calling my local gym – conveniently located IN my nearest shopping centre – I called my private health insurer because sometimes you can claim costs associated with staying fit and healthy. Thankfully my insurer, Medibank Private, went one step better. They had an app called GymBetter which instantly opened all the doors for me, not just to my local gym – but to gyms within the Fitness First, Anytime Fitness and Goodlife Health Clubs networks.

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You can get the GymBetter app from the App Store or through medibank.com.au/gymbetter. It hooks you up with all the participating gyms in your area. Sign up to GymBetter and instead of paying something like $20 casual rate at a new gym, you’ll pay just $11.95 per visit.

Through GymBetter you can access over 500 gyms no matter where you live in Australia and there are no contracts or joining fees. You just pay as you go and Medibank members with hospital and extras get a DISCOUNTED RATE of $8.50 per visit at the participating gyms. Lucky for me, this included my local gym which is Fitness First and the gym my husband loves, Anytime Fitness, as well as GoodLife Health Clubs. Winning! It’s never been easier, or cheaper, to get fit. And now I have no more excuses.

No more excuses.

I don’t know why I went for so long not letting technology help me with my fitness goals. I’d carved out quite a lonely little calorie-burning-world. Now I feel more supported and I’ve made some friends too. Next year when I do the fun run, I will be part of one of those awesome packs running around in our gym-sponsored t-shirts and toasting protein bars at the end.

I really want this year to be a year of not only health and wellness, but also one of new friendships. Exercise can be fun and technology makes it much easier to achieve.

Refer to Terms of Use at medibank.com.au/gymbetter

How has technology helped your fitness regime?

GymBetter gives all Australians access to over 500 gyms nationwide. There’s no contracts, no joining fees, just pay as you go. Medibank members with hospital and extras cover get discounted rates at Fitness First, Anytime Fitness and GoodLife Health Clubs networks nationwide. So a Medibank membership with hospital and extras will be the only gym membership you’ll need.