if you are looking for a fitness-friendly social media network, look no further than foursquare! For whatever reason(s), foursquare has embraced the fitness community, and I am glad to see this. As an avid gym rat and fitness fanatic, it pleases me to see that foursquare has gone a bit further to support healthy living. Foursquare does this in three primary ways, mayorships, points, and badges!
As most of us know, the person who checks into a venue the most [number of days] within a [rolling] 60 days period is considered to be the mayor of that venue! If you have a few fitness fanatics who are also foursquare fanatics at your gym (like we have at my gym), you will soon find yourself in a friendly battle for the mayorship of your gym. On those days where you do not feel like going to the gym, maintaining or earning your gym’s foursquare mayorship can help boost your motivation to get off the couch and hit the gym! I know that it does for me!
Maybe not quite as cool as a mayorship, some people really like to have more points than their friends. When you go to a venue every month, every week, or every day, you have a greater chance to earn bonus points, which will help you jump up the leaderboard! So, checking into the gym more frequently will earn you additional points and possibly bragging rights.
If you love badges, foursquare has a bunch of healthy-living related badges for you to earn today. First, if you go to the gym ten times or more in a 30 day period, you earn the highly-coveted gym rat badge! If you want more badges, you are in luck. Join Health Month, link up your account with foursquare, and you can earn an additional badge each month based on the health and fitness goals that you set for yourself. If you keep track of your workouts using RunKeeper, be sure to link your profile with foursquare and earn badges for completing different cardio workouts! Lastly, if you have a fitbit, now is the time to connect it with foursquare and earn even more badges! Currently, they have two partner badges with foursquare!
I have had my Fitbit since right before Valentine’s Day! It really is a cool gadget that helps me keep track of how many steps I walk each day, and helps me figure out how many floors I have walked up and down, how many overall miles I have walked, how well I am sleeping, and how many calories I burn each day. Like I said above, they offer two foursquare badges, one for when I take 20,000 or more steps in a given day and one for when I surpass 1,000 total miles. I only found out about the fitbit because of foursquare and these badges, and I am now using this device and foursquare to help keep me motivated each day! Just yesterday and in an effort to earn my 20k badge, Elaine, Jamie, and I took their dog up to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park for about four hours of hiking up and down the mountain. When I was low on water or energy, I remembered that my goal was to surpass 20,000 steps that day, so I pushed on. It is amazing how a simple badge can motivate you.
Together, foursquare and fitbit really make a winning combination. Because of the two, I am living a highly-motivated, healthier lifestyle. The great news is that you can do the same! As we approach 4sqDay, take the time to earn some fitness badges!
A week has passed since I drove to Austin and experienced the melee of SXSW and I’m still processing everything. SXSWi was overwhelming in scope: the influx of technology, ideas and extreme time organization was mentally and physically draining. Figuring out where to go, what to do, which startup to learn more about all at the same time avoiding the downpour with a backpack increasingly becoming heaver with free t-shirts, stickers, and koozies was downright exhausting. That being said, it was heavenly and I would return in a heartbeat. I could geek out about unlocking a new badge and not embarrass the people around me. In fact, I unlocked 20 badges while in Austin. Here’s a video of 19 of them. I unlocked the Super Swarm badge retroactively at the foursquare party and didn’t realize it until later.
Some of my favorites: SXSW Virgin (my favorite design of all time), Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and Too Cool for School. I also liked that foursquare organized it into a separate category in the badge trophy case. Alas, I didn’t unlock all the SXSW badges, but I think I put in a good effort.
Foursquare was one of my favorite tools to use at SXSW. I changed my friends list to “nearby” could see where my friends were checked in and reach out to them to meet up a later time – I found friends I didn’t even know were going to be in Austin. There were several opportunities of squarendipity. I used foursquare lists and foursquare tips to find places to eat and the best dishes. I dare-say it was the most helpful tool at for me at SXSW.
I did try out some of the other hyped location-based services debuting at SXSWi, but found the constant notifications annoying and a drain on my phone battery and disabled them after the first day. Perhaps it’s just me, but I may be too introverted to use shared social graph features to introduce myself to strangers. I felt uneasy about it – and if a progressive LBS user is a tad resistant about that level of connectivity, perhaps these apps miss the mark somehow. I did get to respond to Localmind inquiries for the first time and felt useful in that sense. So, not a complete wash! On a sadder note, I saw my first “Highlight Us!” Gowalla cling on the day they closed down.
I’m already wanting to prepare myself for SXSWi 2013; nerd spring break is going to become an annual tradition.
Despite of the recent bad news about the man suffering a heart attack while eating the “Triple Bypass Burger” at the Heart Attack Grill, I must write about The Flame Broiled badge from foursquare. Released mid-January 2012, it is a new expertise badge for checking into burger joints. I had been awaiting the arrival of a burger badge forever and was over the moon when it finally arrived. I just happen to live in the city Travel + Leisure named number 1 on their list of America’s Best Burger Cities. I’d like to introduce you to my very own burger, The Queso Queen, which won a create-your-own-burger contest last year.
Some very good foursquare burger lists for you to follow:
- Best New Burgers in NYC
- Dens’ Best Burgers
- Thrillist’s Burger Lists (for DC, SEA, SD, PDX, Philly, SEA, MIA, LON, ATL, DAL, DEN, BOS, LA, SF, CHI, NYC)
- Birmingham, AL’s Best Burgers
- Burgers To Do (US-wide)
- Best Burgers in Istanbul
- Atlanta Burgers FTW
- and… Best Burgers in the Bayou City
Do we have any level 10 Flame Broiled badge owners in the house? If you have a burger list to add, let me know!
With foursquare reaching double digits on City badges, we decided to list them out for easy reading. Don’t forget you can submit a request to get your city a badge too! Simply fill out this form and … wait.
Be sure to follow 4sqcities on foursquare.
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Cue the marching band. Get excited! More and more colleges are joining foursquare for their own school badge.
26 28 universities have released their special school badge. The schools vary in size, from University of California, to University of Louisville. Each university has different requirements for achieving the badge. However, they all agree on on requirement: follow the school on foursquare.
View College badges in a larger map
We hope foursquare can reach 50 schools by 2013! For all you badge hunters out there, you can only unlock 1 University badge! (I wish I could state how many badges each university has earned) For a clean list of badges, check out aboutfoursquare.com.