3 Smartphone Apps That Pay You to Be Healthy
We’re about a quarter into 2017, which means that all those health-related New Year’s resolutions have likely begun to wane. We hate to be the bearer of non-motivating news, but out of all of us who ring in the new year with certain goals in mind, only about 9.2 percent feel they’re successful in actually achieving them, according to Statistic Brain. Does that mean you’re doomed? Of course not! But it does mean it’s worth taking some time to re-focus and find that motivation to stick with it.
Hopefully the spring weather will inspire you to lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement with more regularity. But if nicer weather isn’t quite doing the trick, watching your bank account tick upwards just might. For some additional motivation, we’ve rounded up a few smartphone apps that will actually pay you for making healthy choices. If you’re not doing it for your health, at least do it for the money!
How It Works: The Achievemint app connects to other platforms and smartphone applications, including but not limited to: FitBit, FourSquare, iHealth, MapMyRun/Hike/Ride/Fitness, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper and Twitter. You’ll earn points for various activities, be it a run or hike, or even just taking steps on your commute to work. You can also earn points by tweeting about something healthy, like the picture of that salad you had for lunch. For every 10,000 points you earn, you’ll receive $10, which is sent in the form of cash or a gift card.
How to Use It: Download the app and open an account with your email address. Simply opening the account and connecting with one app will earn you 50 points. Connect with the apps you regularly use, and watch the points accrue. For example, on a day where I walked 13,124 step, I earned 35 points, and my “Healthy Tweets” earned me 6 points each. You earn points pretty quickly once you sign up and sync your apps. Note that the point-earning slows down over time, and there are caps to how many points you can earn per day. Still, this app passively earns you money simply for being connected to (and using) your other health apps. It may also make you more likely to go for that run if, say, you’re close to earning a gift card!
How It Works: The Pact app asks you to set specific fitness and diet related goals for yourself. For example, you can set a goal to go to the gym twice in one week. If you miss that goal, you must pay out $5 per day missed. If you do make that goal, you will receive a cash reward that’s paid for by all those people who didn’t make their goals. This amount ranges from .25 cents a week to $5 per week. You must earn at least $10 before you can withdraw your funds to PayPal.
How to Use It: Download the app and open an account. Once you do, you’ll be registered as a “trial member” and given $5 to test out the app. Once you feel comfortable enough to commit, you can sign up within the app to become a bona fide user that earns rewards and pays out. At this point, you must connect your PayPal account and be diligent about checking in and making sure you’re proving that you’re meeting your set goals. Pacts available are gym check-ins, food logging via MyFitnessPal, and Veggie (photo verified within the app).
Cost: Free, unless you can’t meet your goals. In that case, pay up!
How It Works: This app motivates you to lose weight. Members sign up and indicate three things: How much weight they want to lose, how long they are giving themselves to lose that weight, and how much they’re willing to bet per month. You must bet at least $100 total. If you meet your goal, you will earn the prize you agreed upon at the beginning of the bet via Amazon or PayPal. If you do not make your goal, you forfeit the money you put into the bet.
How to Use It: Download the app to your phone (or sign up online) and indicate your weight loss goals and amount you’re willing to bet. Once you do this, you’ll be given an estimate for your cash prize range. For example, if you indicate you want to lose 20 pounds in 6 months betting $20 per month, your cash prize range is $133 – $352. After you enter your sex, height, weight and measurements, you’ll receive instant notification of your exact prize amount. For me, that amount was $163, which was an earning of $43.79 in six months if I met my 20-pound weight loss goal (a 36% return). This amount is guaranteed and will not change. You must enter your credit card information at the beginning of the bet, and you must have your weight verified at the onset and conclusion of the bet by following the app’s on-screen instructions to let one of their “referees” witness your weigh-in (a two-minute process). Alternatively, you can make a short video of yourself weighing in. At any time during the last two weeks of the bet, you can submit your final weight and collect your money.
Cost: Free to download, but you must pay a monthly bet amount. If you meet your goal, you will earn all that money back, plus some. If you not meet your goal, you will lose that money, so be sure you know what you’re getting into.
Here’s a stat that might sway you to get more concrete with your goals: Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted a study to determine how likely people were to meet goals based on several factors. She found that “those who sent weekly progress reports to their friend accomplished significantly more than those who had unwritten goals, wrote their goals, formulated action commitments or sent those action commitments to a friend.” She also found that “those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.”
All the above apps hold you accountable within a community, and they clearly outline the goals you’re trying to achieve. Add to that the element of earning cash for your hard work (or paying out should you lose), and you may find yourself even more motivated.
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