Why use STEPN instead of just going to the gym?

This is a question we hear often from sceptics who haven’t tried out our platform before. It’s a fair one — and we’ve talked to many users who said they had their doubts before trying STEPN.

If you’ve already developed an exercise routine that works for you, then that’s great. Not many people are able to create a workout regimen that’s fun, engaging, and rewarding enough to keep them coming back day in and day out and staying fit.

If that’s you, then we congratulate you — we hope you keep up your healthy habit! But if you’re someone who’s never been able to stick to an exercise routine, you might want to keep reading.

STEPN is designed to help you cut out the boring and difficult parts of working out. We’re here to turn the entire concept of exercise on its head and actually make it fun, exciting, and accessible for everyone to stay healthy.

Getting rid of “Gym-timidation”

Going to the gym for the first time can be an unnerving experience. According to surveys, a massive amount of Americans don’t go to the gym because they’re “Gym-timidated.” A survey conducted by OnePoll and Isopure found that nearly 50% of people don’t go to the gym — not because they don’t want to — but because they’re anxious about working out in front of other people.

There are a wide variety of reasons why people experience “Gym-timidation” — for example, over three-quarters of women cite fear of harassment, while others say they experience “gym-xiety” about injuring themselves or not knowing how to work confusing equipment.

Indeed, without a gym buddy or someone to show you the ropes, most people end up avoiding the gym altogether. This is a serious problem, contributing to the growing global health crisis — the WHO estimates that nearly 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the world population were more active.

Enter STEPN. Almost any able-bodied person can take a walk outside or go jogging in their neighbourhood. In fact, walking and running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise available and comes with a huge amount of benefits for your health, from better mental functioning to decreased risk of heart disease. And out in the neighborhood, no one’s judging your form or trying to flex their muscles in front of you — after all, walking comes pretty naturally to most of us!

Of course, it can be confusing to navigate web3 for non-crypto natives, but STEPN is already one step ahead of the curve. In the coming months, it plans to roll out a rental system to easily onboard new users. Currently, it also has a strong community of users with a welcoming culture, eager to answer questions and help new users.

Creating a Caring Culture

Speaking of community and culture, many are starting to point out existing concerns with the current culture of the fitness industry. As Margaret Talbot writes in The New Yorker, “modern fitness is shaped by neoliberal ideas of the optimizable self, by consumer capitalism, by race and class privilege, and by gender norms.”

Indeed, we’ve all seen the toned, muscled bodies that fitness brands try to sell us. “The image of the thin yet ripped body,” continues Talbot, “[has been] transformed from something desirable and maybe athletic into a powerful signifier of ambition, affluence, and self-respect.”

Instead of encouraging us to be more physically active and thus improve our health, a growing cohort of fitness companies are selling the aesthetics of virtue, putting the strong, powerful, and athletic on a pedestal while lumping everyone else into “non-exercisers.” This creates a growing gap, where “the fit get fitter” and the “poor get sicker.”

STEPN, on the other hand, is far from exclusive. The company is dedicated to fostering an inclusive, welcoming community and the founders themselves have championed a sense of helpfulness and inclusion, taking time out of their own schedule to host comprehensive AMAs and spend hours answering questions from users.

On Discord, hundreds of questions are asked and answered every day, a large majority of which are users helping other users. In fact, there are already hundreds of testimonials of fitness transformations of people who aren’t your typical “fitness fanatic” or “gym rat” who are finding that they can develop a regular exercise routine of their own.

For example:

“I haven’t run so much in the last 7 years that I have in the last 7 weeks. Thanks to STEPN for reviving my joy of running”

Augmenting Affordability

This leads us to the question of access and affordability. We’ve seen plenty of people questioning the affordability of STEPN. And we’ll be the first to admit it — a STEPN sneaker isn’t cheap. Again, the team will be releasing a rental platform soon that will transform the accessibility and allow anyone to get started for free, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at how the costs stack up against going to the gym.

An all-access Equinox membership will run you $3,120/year plus a $500 initiation fee. Even more affordable options, like Planet Fitness, require a recurring subscription that you’ll never see a return on.

Not only is STEPN less of an initial investment in the long run, but there are also the daily rewards you get for walking or running with your NFT sneaker outside.

Beyond the token returns, there are also intangible benefits to working out with STEPN. Because STEPN is integrated into the web3 market, it also lends social capital and brings a whole new population onto web3, diversifying the space and closing financial gaps.

Everything else

Family-friendly. We could go on and on about the benefits you can gain from exercising with STEPN instead of the gym.

For example, you can also share the STEPN exercise experience with your family, which is much easier to do than bringing your mom to do some weightlifting! Already, we’re seeing members of our community talk about their excitement about sharing STEPN with their loved ones:

“I’ve become a die-hard fan of STEPN in the past three months, so much so that I introduced my 58-year mother-in-law to it now as well”

Earth-friendly. There’s also the environmental aspect. Gyms use up considerable energy, with many keeping their lights on at all times and using electricity even if no one is working out. Further, studies have actually shown that the soda vending machine alone uses up to 10x the amount of a home refrigerator. Plus, driving to and from the gym adds carbon emissions and local-scale pollution to the air, which actually contributes to health problems in cities.

Of course, there’s much to be said about blockchain emissions as well, but unlike most gyms, which tend to overlook their impact on the environment, STEPN is continually committed to minimizing its impact on climate change, building on carbon-neutral blockchain Solana and offering carbon removal credit purchases to its users.

In addition, STEPN has plans to donate a portion of its Treasury profit pool to purchase Carbon Removal Credit on the blockchain. Holders of its governance token, GMT, will be able to vote to decide how much of the pool will be donated to offset carbon. Others, who want to give more, will also be able to donate their GST earnings to donate to Carbon Credit buying/burning.

Conclusion

Of course, everyone has their own thing and routine that works for them. We definitely don’t discourage people from going to the gym at all.

But if you hate going to workout classes or can’t find an exercise routine that works for you, that doesn’t mean that you should deprioritize your physical health. STEPN is on a mission to provide a more diverse set of workout options to those who want to get fit — on their own terms.

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