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If you’re like me, a lot of days you just don’t feel like being active, even though you know it’s good for you. Too many other responsibilities and pleasures vie for your attention, so what’s going to keep you active day after day, week after week? For me, it’s how good I feel after getting in some movement, whether it’s volleyball, resistance training, hiking, or just working on my mobility. Another key motivator for me has been the ability to monetize my physical activity by linking my wearable tracker to several lucrative programs. How do you start making money for your exercise? Read on to find out!
Invest in a wearable tracker
First things first. This is your quickest way to access monetary rewards. A tracker is not mandatory if you would rather use a pedometer app on your phone instead, but I prefer wearable devices since they easily integrate with so many more programs and they can track not only your steps but also your sleep, pulse, cycles, etc. If you only exercise outside, the pedometer apps might be fine for you, but if you also exercise indoors, you’ll want to invest in a wearable since they count both indoor and outdoor steps. My brand of choice is Garmin, but there are plenty of other good options out there from FitBit and other brands as well.
This is a super easy program I really love. Achievement gives you a nice variety of ways to earn, in addition to just steps. You can earn points by:
- checking in to healthy locations like the gym or a park
- posting anything health-related on Twitter
- logging food on MyFitnessPal
- taking quick surveys on health
- reading health-related articles
- participating in cutting-edge research by tracking symptoms of things like migraines (completely optional to share any health information)
I like their holistic approach to rewards, rather than only focusing on step count. Once you hit 10,000 points threshold, you’ll be rewarded with $10 you can redeem via Paypal or direct deposit. I’ve already gotten several $10 rewards from them so I can vouch for the fact that they are legitimate! Sign up here.
DICK’s Sporting Goods App
This is a newer one to me, but the MOVE section of their mobile app rewards you with 3 points for each day you either – get in 3 miles OR 30 minutes of activity. Totally doable! You get 100 points just for signing up, so that’s a nice starting bonus for your ScoreCard. Once you reach 300 points, you earn a $10 reward. It will take a little while to earn, but what a great motivator to get some activity in each day.
Walgreens Balance Rewards
This program allows you to link your activity tracker and has similar point-earning opportunities to Achievement like logging weight, steps, and blood pressure, with the difference being that 1,000 points = $1 credit to use in-store at Walgreens. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I stop by Walgreens and have enough Balance Rewards points to pay for my purchase! You can sign up here.
With this app, you will have to pay the “bet” fee upfront, but if you reach your step goals for the whole challenge, you get your money back AND usually end up making money (I made $10 on my first 6-week challenge). You can read my full review of how much I have made using StepBet here. There is also an app called HealthyWage for those whose focus is weight loss – you bet on how much weight you can lose and if you reach your goal, you win the money. Be warned, Healthy Wage is risky because you lose ALL your money if you don’t reach your goal, so I’m not as much of a fan of that model unless you have a significant amount of weight to lose and are completely confident you can lose it. I’d rather have my results completely in my control based on my activity.
Check with your health insurance provider (or your HR person at work) to get the details on your wellness plan. Some insurance carriers have established incentives where you can reduce your deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in) by completing regular exercise, wellness exams, etc. Don’t leave this money on the table – it can add up to HUGE savings considering the cost of healthcare today! My insurer’s wellness program gives me an entry into a prize drawing for each week I am active at least 3 days. I have won a $50 gift card so far, but one of my coworkers won the $5000 grand prize a few years back!
Also, why not Take the Pledge to be more active and explore great routes to enjoy movement in your city (Note: I am not employed by UnitedHealthcare – I just love their focus on physical activity)
I hope these tips will help you put exercise to work for you and I’d love to hear what motivates you to stay active each day!
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