What It Is: Yaye (pronounced “yay”) is a free wellness app that allows you to share your fitness activity with friends and family, praise each other for healthy behaviors and stay on track with your goals.
Who Tried It: Gabrielle Olya, PEOPLE writer and reporter
Level of Difficulty: 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10)
It took a little playing around to figure out how to log my activity, but the app was incredibly easy to use. (Hint: Just press the plus symbol on the chat screen!)
Need-to-Knows: The premise of the app is simple: Set fitness and food goals for yourself, then invite friends and family members to join private groups and share progress on completing those goals. (I set my goals as exercising four times a week and trying one new healthy recipe a week.) Upon completion of a task, snap a photo to show what you’ve done — the shot gets sent to your group.
While I usually feel pretty great after completing a workout or cooking up a healthy dish, it was nice to get the support of my friends too, who usually responded with words of encouragement (or a “yaye” icon) that honestly did make me feel even better about doing something good for my health.
There’s also the accountability factor – knowing that your friends are seeing your workouts definitely made me want to stick to my goals even more. I didn’t want to be seen as the lazy one!
“There’s a bunch of research that says having group support makes you more likely to reach your goals,” explains cofounder Mike Salvaris, who got the idea for the app when he moved to the U.S., away from friends and family in his native Australia. “The big thing is the motivation and the encouragement that users get from their friends.”
Whether you’re super active or just getting started with an exercise regimen, Salvaris believes the app can help.
“We’ve had bridesmaids trying to get ready for a wedding, or just a group of friends who are not necessarily active all the time but want to keep in touch and tell each other what they are doing,” he says. “We’re all about small group fitness motivation. Everyone has to do something, and I think that’s a really powerful motivator.”
The Verdict: I’m usually pretty self-motivated when it comes to sticking to my workout goals, but I have to admit I loved the extra pat on the back I got from using the app!
— Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya