Let’s face it, sometimes it can be a real challenge to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in every week. From work to running around taking care of the family, it can sometime seem hard to squeeze in a 20 or 30 minute workout. However, there is an ever-expanding crop of mobile apps that will incentivize you or allow you to incentivize yourself to be more physically active.
In other words, these apps will pay you to exercise! How great is that? And there have been some studies which suggest that incentivizing works. A 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association (“JAMA”) study found those who have a financial incentive to lose weight were almost five times more likely to reach their target than dieters with no money at stake.
Here are a few apps to get you started:
1. Pact – Pact is an app that uses cash stakes to help you achieve your health goals. Each week, you make a “pact” to eat healthier or exercise more. You set what you’ll pay other members if you don’t reach your goal. Use the app to track your progress and you get paid when you achieve your goals, by members who don’t.
2. HealthyWage – Healthy Wage is an app that rewards you for losing weight. After you’ve signed up for an account, you can use HealthyWage’s calculator to determine how much your winnings would be based on your weight loss goal. Next you place a monthly monetary bet that you set based on the time you have set to lose the weight and how much you’d like to win. You just have to stay on track and once you meet your goal, you collect winnings.
HealthyWage has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show and other national media outlets.
HealthyWage allows you to participate individually or with a team.
3. DietBet – Once you join DietBet you can choose from games starting soon, or start your own and challenge your friends. To begin you’ll put money in the pot. After four weeks, whoever’s lost 4% of their body weight will split the pot. Before the game starts, you will do a weigh-in that is verified by a DietBet process.
There are three different levels of DietBet:
- Kickstarter where you are challenged to loose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.
- Transformer where you are challenged to loose 10% of your body weight in 6 months.
- Maintainer where you are rewarded for keeping your weight off for 12 months.
For the Kickstarter level, the average bet is $30 and winners receive 1.5 to 2x their bet on average. The Transformer and Maintainer levels have set bet amounts.
DietBet has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, US Weekly, the Today Show and other national media outlets.
4. StepBet – Once you sign up, you can join a game that is starting soon. You’ll place a bet (most bets are around $40) on yourself to meet your personalized step goals during every week of the game, and win money if you do. The winners split the pot. Most games last 6 weeks.
5. Wellcoin – Wellcoin is an app that rewards your for hundreds of healthy activities. You can redeem Wellcoins for goods, services in deals through their rewards store.
6. Achievement – Achievement rewards you for the healthy activities you are already doing. Simply connect your fitness trackers / apps (they are compatible with over 40) and get rewarded. You get $10 for every 10,000 points.
7. Walgreens Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices – Connect your fitness trackers to the Walgreens Balance Rewards app and you can earn rewards for activities such as walking/exercising, blood pressure readings, weight check-ins and more.
8. FatBet – FatBet is like the other wager apps that motivate people to lose weight. Once you sign up for FatBet, Set your weight-loss goal, enter dates, and create a FatBet wager. Send others a FatBet challenge. Once the FatBet ends those who reach their goals win and those who don’t pay the FatBet wager.
If you feel like you need a little more motivation to get healthier, I hope you’ll consider these apps. If you have other apps that help incentivize your diet or exercise plan, be sure and share them with us!