Friday 21st July 2017

Get fit: get paid

Fitness
With these apps, you can make your workout pay - literally!

You know the cliché: new year, new you. Early January sees the gyms filling up, the streets full of pavement pounders, and empty fruit and veg aisles, as we look to shed some of the excesses of the holiday season. But, with nearly a third of us abandoning our New Year’s resolution by the second week of January, surely there must be a better way to keep up a healthy lifestyle?

At Mouthy Money, we think we might have found one – in the form of apps that pay you to get fit. We explore five of the best on the market to reboot your resolve.

Bounts

Bounts incentivises and challenges users to get fit by utilising data from fitness apps and converting them into points which can be exchanged for prizes. You can earn points by undertaking challenges and checking into approved sports/gym venues. You are required to complete 7,000 steps in a single day if you’re using a device such as a Fitbit, and if you’re using an app such as Runkeeper or Strava you’ll need to complete a 20 minute walk/run above an average speed of 4km/h. If you’re feeling altruistic, you can even donate your points to Cancer Research.

Users earn 20 points for each activity, and can earn up to 180 points a day.

Available on iOS and Android.

Verdict: An accessible app that suits everyone from the casual exerciser to committed trainers.

Sweatcoin

This app draws from behavioural economics; claiming that humans are programmed by nature to procrastinate rather than to get out there and train. It tracks and verifies your outdoor steps using your phone’s accelerometers and GPS locations. Steps taken are converted into Sweatcoins.

This app is marketed very much at self-improvement aficionados and this is reflected in the prizes on offer. Sweatcoins can be exchanged for goods, services, and experiences ranging from anti-gravity yoga classes, life coaching sessions, and sports equipment to iPhones and Apple Watches. As with Bounts, you can also donate to a number of charity partners. However, earning coins doesn’t require anything too strenuous, with the app paying you one Sweatcoin for every 1,000 steps.

Currently available on iOS only, but soon to be launching on Android.

Verdict: Early days yet, but with its focus on high achievers, and a strong alignment with healthy living brands, it could be a useful tool for those targeting high to moderate level exercise regimes. This may be off-putting to those at lower fitness levels though.

Fitcoin

Fitcoin takes the concept to a new level, by tracking not just distance covered, but also intensity of workout, which makes this a useful app for gym users (particularly those who spend long periods of time in one place, such as weight lifters). After your workout, your wearable device sends the data to the Fitcoin app that is analysed to find out how hard you were pushing yourself. Your average heart rate, distance, and pace are then counted and turned into a FitCoin value.

The app pays you in Bitcoin so you do need to have a valid Bitcoin account.

Available on iOS.

Verdict: while payment based on workout intensity could be a great motivator for some, having to sign up to bitcoins could put many potential users off. A voucher system or one that pays directly into a traditional bank account could be a better option.

Dietbet

Designed especially for those wanting to lose weight, Dietbet allows you to put your money where your mouth is and bet on yourself to lose 4% of your total body weight. Your stake goes into a pot with that of other users and, if you successfully complete your challenge, you win your original stake plus a cut of the total prize pot.

To verify your weight loss, you simply need to upload ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. This app harnesses the power of the group – as users are encouraged to post their stories and spur each other on (think Weight Watchers but digital).

Boasting a slick dashboard; charting total weight, total money earned, and % lost since last weigh-in (denominated in dollars as it’s a US based app), it takes gamification to new heights.

Available on iOS and Android.

Verdict: providing that you are committed to losing weight, this could work for you. While the initial payment may put some users off, these are capped for ‘public’ challenges and the app guarantees that you won’t lose money if you are successful.

Pact

Pact rewards you for healthy living, giving you points for exercising (GymPact), eating more fruit and veg (VeggiePact), and tracking what you eat (Food Logging Pact). Users set themselves weekly pacts where they commit to challenges, such as eating 20 portions of vegetables, or running a certain amount of times a week.

Rewards are based on the number of days committed and completed in your Pact. If you meet your Pact, you get a cash reward for each day committed, paid for by those who didn’t make it. These rewards generally range from $0.30 to $5 per week, depending on the number of activities committed. If you don’t manage to complete a Pact, the app charges you an agreed amount. So, if you don’t want to pay up, you have to take it seriously.

Available on iOS and Android.

Verdict: a must-have for those who value accountability.

 

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Sophie Robson

Sophie Robson

Mouthy blogger

Sophie is constantly looking for ways to make finance easier for the younger generation. Read her monthly round-ups of what's hot in the world of mobile money apps.

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