Finding the motivation to get healthy and lose weight is hard. Even with the hundreds of calorie-tracking apps and fitness devices available, it can be hard to muster up the willpower to actually use them. Sometimes rewards are a stronger motivation to get your butt in gear.
Here are six easy-to-use apps that actually reward you to get healthy.
1. Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse, a reward program employers can enroll in for their employees, awards users with Virgin Health Miles. I was able to use the program through my husband’s work, and users were rewarded Health Miles for calories tracked, exercise tracked, and special programs completed. Users could then trade in their reward miles for gift cards.
Quite a few companies offer this program, so check to see if yours does through Virgin Pulse’s company search. If your company does not have it, try suggesting it. Virgin Pulse offers demos for companies, and the use of the program could potentially save your employer money by decreasing health insurance costs.
higi rewards users for a multitude of health-orientated tasks, even including checking in with Foursquare at the beach or church. higi syncs with your fitness tracker apps and rewards you points for steps taken and exercise completed. There are also many higi check-in stations that allow you to get your higi score, which includes your weight, BMI, pulse rate, and blood pressure. These check-in stations are available nationwide, mostly at RiteAids and other retail pharmacies and grocery stores. Find a location near you through higi’s search.
In comparison to the other reward programs, higi’s rewards are not the best. There is not an option to redeem your points for cash or gift cards. Instead, you can redeem your points for coupons or free health products. Right now, you can redeem points for a 25% off coupon for Garmin products or a free eight-count box of Element bars (plus the cost of shipping).
The nice perk about higi is that it connects with so many health trackers and devices, so it is nice to see all of your information in one place.
AchieveMint awards points for a variety of things, like weighing in, tracking calories, and even being social about your healthy habits. Once users reach 50,000 points, they can redeem the points for $50 Visa card. If you connect your AchieveMint profile to your Fitbit, you will earn points for steps taken. Achievement rewards one point for every 125 steps.
Like higi, AchieveMint also rewards points for healthy tasks, such as tweeting a healthy tweet (worth 5 points), sleeping (worth 20 points), and Instagramming a healthy photo (worth 20 points). Logging food and exercise other than walking can also earn you points.
Even though it will take a while to get to 50,000 points for a $50 Visa card (walking 10,000 steps every day for 400 days will get you there), the app is a nice perk for a healthy habit you already want to do.
Sign up for the Walgreens Balance Rewards program for a way to earn points on purchases and healthy activity. The Balance Rewards program syncs with popular fitness trackers and apps, and it also allows you to track activity manually. First-time sign-ups earn 250 points automatically.
Even if you do not shop regularly at Walgreens, the Balance Rewards program can still be a great way to earn free stuff. Walgreens has many great deals on cosmetics, grocery items, vitamins, and baby supplies, so it shouldn’t be hard to figure out how to spend Balance Reward points.
Points expire three years after you earn them, but it shouldn’t be hard to accumulate enough to get some free products before they go.
Want to eat better or workout without missing a day? For that level of dedication, it might cost you. Pact allows users to link their bank account or PayPal account and make a healthy pact for $5 or $10 per day. You can choose from one of three pacts: gym, veggie, or food tracking.
You only pay if you miss a day, and at $5 to $10 a day, you are less likely to ditch your health goal. However, if you stay dedicated to your pact, you can earn money. According to the site, “If you meet your Pact, you get a cash reward for each day committed, paid for by those who didn’t make it. Rewards have generally been $0.30 to $5 per week, depending on the number of activities committed.”
DietBet is another app that allows you to gamble legally and get healthy at the same time. For those who wish to start out slow, DietBet has a “Kickstarter” level that allows you to try it out. All you have to do is lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks. For someone who weighs 200 pounds, to win the DietBet round, you will have to lose eight pounds, or two pounds a week.
Winners usually get one-and-a-half to two times their bet. Betting $35 on yourself could earn you $52.50 to $70, and you will have lost weight in the process. To verify ethical competing, you must take specific pictures before and after the bet. DietBet has been highly successful and the site brags, “Out of 406,919 DietBetters, 93.32% have lost weight during their challenges. Combined, they’ve lost 5,150,182 lbs and won $23,300,999.”
Take Advantage and Get Healthy
It can be frustrating when it seems that you have tried everything to stay on a health plan and get healthy. Take the hassle out of getting healthy and make it fun with reward programs or fun apps, like the Pokémon Go or Zombies, Run! apps. And share your favorite apps and website for getting fit so we can try them out!
What websites and apps have you used to eat better, lose weight, or exercise more? Did you find them helpful? Or were they just distracting? Share your thought in the comments below.
Image Credits:running on treadmill by Dean Drobot via Shutterstock