How Striiv Works

The Striiv pedometer adds a few new twists to keeping track of your steps.
The Striiv pedometer adds a few new twists to keeping track of your steps.

Motivation to work out can be difficult to come by. This is particularly true for people who are just getting into losing weight or getting fit. Maybe you've had a long day at school or your job. The weather might not be ideal for jogging or walking. Or perhaps you've never established a real habit of exercising each day. It's not difficult to come up with an excuse to avoid working out.

So how can we give ourselves a metaphorical kick in the backside to stay on track? In the last few years, several companies have introduced gadgets designed to get us active. Some provide us chart after chart of data, explaining exactly how many calories we burned versus the number we're consuming. Others pair exercising with music to get us pumped up for that last push. And then there's the Striiv.

The Striiv is a device that's partly a pedometer, partly a mobile gaming device and partly a tool for philanthropy. It adds a layer of gamification -- the integration of game mechanics into something that's not traditionally a game -- to exercising. As you walk, climb stairs or run with the Striiv on your person, you not only burn calories -- you accumulate points.

These points can help set new personal challenges for you to meet and beat. They can also come in handy if you want to play a game on Striiv and use the steps you've taken as a kind of virtual currency. Or you can dedicate your physical efforts to a charity.