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10 Apps That Will Pay You to Work Out
Staying motivated to lose weight or stick to a workout schedule is no walk in the park. But what if you put some money on the table?
According to NPR, a rash of new wellness apps may keep fitness fiends on track by offering users cash as motivation — or the possibility of losing that money if they don't meet their goals.
"I knew that if I put money on the line, it [would be] a double-motivating thing," Ben Carnes, a high school football coach and user of the app HealthyWage, told NPR. "I didn't want to lose the money I was putting in."
But the gist of apps like HealthyWage is based on real science. In 2008, The Journal of the American Medical Association published findings that suggested participants in a weight loss study lost more weight when there were financial incentives involved.
If you need some extra motivation on your quest to get fit, here are 10 apps that will pay you to work out. They offer everything from cash and big-name gift cards to donations for your favorite charity — all for shedding weight, logging miles, or making healthy choices.
To date, Achievement has more than 1.5 million users who've earned a collective $500,000 — all for logging health-related activities.
"[We] will reward you with points for activities such as walking, meditating, logging food, sleeping, tweeting, answering surveys or opting into a challenge," explains the service's website.
If you already use apps like Health for the iPhone or MyFitnessPal to track steps and calories, Achievement could give you even more reasons to keep your fitness logs up to date.
If you've wanted to experiment with cryptocurrency but have been unsure about how to jump into the fray, Bitwalking might be your way in.
The platform helps you earn W$, a cryptocurrency generated by movement. For every 10,000 steps you take, you earn 1 W$, which you can spend in an online store, transfer, or trade for other currency.
Perhaps surprisingly, the venture is meant to address social inequity, as people in less developed countries have to walk further in their daily lives. According to the BBC, users in rural global areas might earn up to 26 W$ per month, while urban dwellers might earn more like 15 W$.
You can sign up to use Bitwalking here.
Like Achievement, Bounts will connect to your other fitness tracking app to tally points, steps, and other goal milestones. The app assigns each of these activities a point value, which will allow you to join in-app fitness challenges.
To keep things interesting, challenges range from swimming a triathlon to sweating it out on the tennis courts. Users can redeem their points for special prizes or offers from corporate sponsors.
Try it out here.
4. Charity Miles
Walk, run, or cycle to earn money for your favorite charity — and get healthy in the process. That's the premise behind Charity Miles, which, in January, announced that it had raised more than $2.5 million for charity.
According to Runner's World, the platform offers a range of both charities and reward levels.
"Choose from more than 30 of the world's top charities and start logging miles," reports Suzanne Allaire. "Each time you run, you can earn up to 25 cents per mile for your favorite charity courtesy of corporate sponsors."
Now that's a pretty good reason to track your miles.
Want some extra incentive to get fit? Use DietBet to pick a challenge, place a bet on yourself, and join other users to lose 4% of your bodyweight. Winners take home part of the pot, and the losers — well, they're out their original bet.
"Diet betting is definitely becoming more popular among friends, relatives and co-workers," Joy Bauer, a regular contributor to TODAY, told The New York Times.
"It makes life easier if everyone around you is cutting calories, and the amicable competition keeps people driven," she added. "You are less likely to eat bad things from the candy jar."
Place a bet here.
Like Bitwalking, FitCoin gives exercisers an entrypoint into cryptocurrency — all you have to do is log in and work out.
If you like more structured workouts, the currency is also linked to the Studio platform, which offers hundreds of audio fitness classes for $15 per month. Studio users earn FitCoin for every class they take, which can be traded in for rewards like free classes or a new pair of sneakers.
With studio memberships topping $75 per month in New York, Studio & FitCoin are an affordable way to get started working out — and earning cash.
DietBet isn't the only app willing to put you in the hot seat as you track your fitness goals. HealthyWage wants you to place a bet on your ability to lose weight, too.
Users join group challenges, but individuals can calculate their own prize and place their own monthly bet as they work toward a weight loss goal — making this app particularly customizable.
Because of its flexibility, HealthyWage has also gained popularity with corporate wellness programs, according to The Washington Post. Nancy Rotz, receptionist for Meritus Health, which joined one of HealthyWage's corporate challenges, was particularly enthusiastic.
"I said, 'Look, this is $10,000,'" Rotz told the Post about her motivation to join the challenge. "C'mon now, $10,000 right before Christmas. This is awesome."
Like logging miles on your local road or trail running routes? Runister will help you earn money for staying fit — about $0.08 per mile. The only caveat? You have to run outside.
While eight cents may not seem like a whole lot, it starts to add up over time. The app also requires you to take a survey about your fitness habits before cashing out.
If you already enjoy taking brand surveys online and you're prone to running outside anyway, Runister could help you combine two hobbies into one money-making wellness scheme.
9. Walgreens Balance Rewards
Finally, a store rewards program that helps you earn cash just for being healthy! The Walgreens Balance Rewards Program connects directly to your FitBit or fitness tracker to help you earn points for your workouts and healthy choices.
If you're a workout aficionado and a regular Walgreens customer, you could be earning up to 20 points every time you log a workout, sleep pattern, or weigh in. 1,000 points will earn you a dollar, so it's time to get moving!
Find out more about the rewards program here.
While FitCoin and Bitwalking are cryptocurrencies masquerading as fitness apps, WellCoin seems to more effectively straddle the line between a rewards program and a fitness tracker.
This might be because of its partnerships with major retailers, like Whole Foods, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Reebok. Unlike FitCoin and Bitwalking, where the cryptocurrency you earn is essentially exchanged within the app, you can exchange WellCoin for gift cards and other rewards from name brands.
Find out more about the inspiration behind the app at Digital Trends.
Have you tried an app that rewards you for healthy choices? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below:
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