Get paid to exercise
The idea of “gamifying” your exercise regime is not a new concept. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular examples of exercise gamification in practice were designed and released by games companies. Not a gamer? Don't let that put you off!
Capitalising on the popularity of the Pokemon card game in the 90s, Nintendo brought a gamified pedometer to market in the early 2000s, encouraging their fans to “walk” their pet Pikachu. Over a decade later, in 2016, Pokemon was back and gamifying walking yet again when the app, Pokemon Go, swept the world.
But there is more to gamification and reward for exercise than evolving Pokemon characters. In fact, you can even make money. So, if you’re not a fan of Pokemon, but want the thrill (or incentive) of getting rewarded for exercising, we have rounded up our favourites from Beryl HQ:
For the community-minded:
Running Heroes or Cycling Heroes
Running and Cycling Heroes are communities that plug into whichever app you use to track your exercise (be it Strava, Fitbit, Garmin etc). Joining the community gives you access to great discounts with fitness brands, as well as the opportunity to enter brand-sponsored challenges and be in with a chance to win some free gear.
And the benefits don’t just stop there - if you struggle with feeling alone in your training, having a community of other runners logging their runs is great motivation to keep going.
This month, you can enter a challenge to win great Beryl prizes
For the crypto-minded:
Sweatcoin was founded in 2016, based on the premise that “it pays to walk”. The app pays you in “sweatcoins”, a cryptocurrency that you can exchange for products from partner brands. The concept clearly resonated with the general public, as the app consistently reached number one when they launched a new country.
Although not a reality yet, the vision for the Sweatcoin team is that Sweatcoins will be a standalone cryptocurrency, outside of the app’s marketplace.
If you want to get in early and bet your (actual) sweat equity on the value of this cryptocurrency going up, this might be the app for you.
Start earning those Sweatcoins
For those who like the thrill of the lottery
WinWalk is an app that gives you a point per 100 steps, making it one of the most generous apps out there. You can exchange your points for vouchers, or choose to enter the lottery for a random, spot prize.
This is also one of the lightest-touch apps; they don’t use GPS tracking (only step counting via the pedometer feature in the app) and it doesn’t require a login.
Please note: unfortunately it is currently only available on Android phones.
For the competition-seekers:
WalkBet and RunBet are apps from Way Better Inc., a US-based company that brings people together to bet on their exercise regimes. The rules are simple; you place a bet up front (the flat rate seems to be $40), and then you follow the agreed plan. If you complete every single walk/run, you are considered a “winner” and you get to split the pot with the other winners. If you stick to your fitness regime, worst case scenario is that you get your bet back. Best case, you could walk away with a tidy profit, and a little bit fitter.
Practical note: although the currency is in US Dollars, the app is available to those outside of the US, and you can use PayPal to join the betting pot.
For the civically-minded:
There will be many of you who aren’t looking for more stuff, but like the idea of the miles you run or cycle having additional value. Enter, Charity Miles. An app that lets you collect points for exercise, and then donate it to a chosen charity. They are transparent about how the model works - the app has advertising, and their advertising sponsors apportion a certain percentage of their budget to donate to the chosen charities, depending on the amount of activity.
If you are someone who is motivated by collective action, they regularly post brand-sponsored challenges where you can contribute your miles. For example, brands will pledge $1 for every mile run, up to 200,000 miles. So then it’s just up to you to log your miles and help reach that goal!
Please note: Charity Miles is also a US-based company, but also available to users outside of the US.
If this has inspired you, Beryl will be partnering with both SportsHeroes and Sweatcoin in September, to encourage people to do more exercise, despite the days getting shorter.
Want to join us and kickstart your autumn/winter training momentum?
Connect SportsHeroes to your tracking app, or download SweatCoin to participate.
Participants must be based in the UK.