As most of us head into another month at home in quarantine, we are all finding ourselves craving some positivity, togetherness and fun. So why not add in a little healthy competition as well? Longtime Myzone user, Ralph Rajs has used the power of Myzone and social connectivity to keep his family together, virtually, through exercise.
"Myzone has provided a great deal of motivation to keep our family active over the years"
“Not everyone in our family is as nutty about working out as I am” said Ralph Rajs, “but my wife Elizabeth, daughter Hannah, and son Davis, are all long time Myzone users, which has provided a great deal of motivation to keep our family active over the years. The kids took their straps to college and that was a fun way to stay connected then. Now, we use it to help each other stay motivated working around jobs, responsibilities, and in this case life’s unexpected circumstances.”
Myzone monitors heart rate, calories and intensity using five simple color-coded personalized zones based on a user’s max heart rate, which convert into Myzone Effort Points (MEPs). Myzone prescribes users to earn 1300 MEPs per month equaling 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. The Rajs family decided to test their limits and challenge each other to a family MEPs challenge throughout April, with the overarching goal set at 20,000 MEPs.
"Adding the aspect of gamification in the form of challenges helps keep their engagement"
“Some months are better than others in terms of our levels of activity,” said Rajs. “My daughter Hannah has always been a locked in Myzone user like myself, but my wife and son not quite so much, so adding the aspect of gamification in the form of challenges helps keep their engagement up. We’ve attempted the 20k MEPs challenge in the past but have always come up short, given this is a bit of a stretch goal, but what’s the harm in trying right?”
Each member of the family must aim for around 4,000 MEPs in one month, a whopping 3x more exercise than the recommended monthly standard, to contribute their fair share of work towards the overall 20k goal.
“With everyone stuck at home, we all had more free time on our hands, proving beneficial for my wife and son to get more workouts in and a great opportunity to put my family up to the test again,” said Rajs. “This time we included Davis’s girlfriend Rebecca in the challenge, bringing us to five total participants.”
This is an unsettling time for everyone, and it is easy for motivation levels to slip, especially as normal exercise routines may have become comprised. The social aspect of exercising is often a driving factor for people to get to the gym, which has simply not been possible. As the new normal slowly sets in, so must a new ritual. The Rajs family has traded in post workout sessions with friends for virtual connectivity to help encourage consistent motivation towards achieving their exercise goal.
"I personally enjoy being able to scroll through my feed on the Myzone App and giving Kudos to anyone on the list"
“I enjoy working out by myself, but before being ordered to stay at home, my wife and I would meet friends for a long coffee session on the weekends after the workout, I really enjoy that time and we had to give that up,” said Rajs. “I try to take my encouragement into the world, especially during this time when remaining socially connected is so important. I personally enjoy being able to scroll through my feed on the Myzone App and giving Kudos to anyone on the list. If they have a big workout, I will comment with a little shout out or ask what they did, I want them to know that someone else noticed their effort.”
All five members of the Rajs family contributed a huge effort throughout the month, averaging anywhere from 100 to over 300 MEPs a workout. However, they still found themselves pacing slightly behind their target for majority of the month and were prepared to fall short.
“The evening before the final day of the challenge I sent out the totals and we needed 1,750 MEPs to get to 20k,” said Rajs. “There had been such good interaction around the Challenge so that was already a win for me. I let everyone know let’s just start focusing on May, there are five weekends in the month so we can take another shot at the 20k total then.”
However, the rest of the family were not so quick to call it quits. With around 24 hours to go, there were just 350 MEPs each standing between them and the finish line. Fueled by each other’s encouragement, the entire family stepped up to the plate with determination in mind, not wanting to stop until they had succeeded.
“Everyone agreed the remaining goal was doable, so I was like alright let’s do this,” said Rajs.
Davis ran a total of 11 miles after being instructed to not come back until he hit 350 MEPs. Rebecca ran 3 miles followed by a HIIT class, Elizabeth broke her MEPs down into three workouts, 2 on the bike and one run, Hannah completed 2 long cycle classes, and Ralph ran 11 miles and biked 21 miles.
"This kind of group Challenge epitomizes the best of what Myzone has to offer: building community and social support"
“And just like that, the Rajs Family 20k MEPs Challenge was complete!” said Rajs. “We ended with just over 21K MEPs total, and best of all we enjoyed some great family camaraderie and encouragement on the last day and throughout the whole month. I think this kind of group Challenge epitomizes the best of what Myzone has to offer: building community and social support.”
The Rajs family demonstrated amazing effort and determination to beat a challenge they had previously succumbed to. They have truly united as a family through exercise, which is helping them get through this period of uncertainty, proving that even though life has thrown an unwanted curve ball, we have every opportunity to remain socially connected and emerge stronger together.