Digital fitness: Can I really get paid for going to the gym?

Update: At the time of publishing this, the intro line should really say ” I have just returned home after my not-so-usual 5km run by the Limassol seaside”. 

I have just returned to my desk after my usual lunch time gym session. Today was another one of those days where I had to really convince myself to get off the comfort of my office chair, stop telling myself that “I am too busy today, I’ll go tomorrow” and usher myself to the gym door.

Driving there I thought to myself how much more motivated I would be if all this effort I’m putting in my gym sessions was rewarded; not only with that “feeling of satisfaction” you get after the gym (no complaints, that’s a great reward too!) but perhaps something more tangible..?

It’s already the end of March and undeniably the “beach-body countdown” has started for most of us.  You had promised yourself, just like every other year, that this year, THIS YEAR, you will make it and fulfill your NY’s resolution to “get fit – insert arm emoji here -!!”.

If you have managed to stick to your New Year’s fitness Resolution – kudos to you, you legend! Unfortunately though stats usually support the opposite.

Arguably, from the 62% of the population declaring that they will be making New Year’s Resolutions (“NYRs“), only a 15% of those will actually go about and make some and only a quarter of those will manage to keep them (at least until after April…).

In 9/10 occassions the doomed NYR list includes an element of fitness, such as either:

A.  The usual vague/unrealistic ones of the sort “To go to the gym more often/every day of the week no matter what”; or

B. The more specific ones (you were told if you make it specific it’s easier to achieve…) like “To complete 300km in runs”, or

C. The very general and comforting ones, (giving their creator a chance to say that at least they did put it on there), like “To be healthier and fitter this year!”.

In the haze of it all and amid the yearly disappointment of failed NYRs and the lunch-time gym decision-making struggles, have you ever considered how different things could be if your health and fitness goals were in fact more measurable, better tracked, analysed and even monetized?

How more motivated would you feel if the data from your fitness tracker/mobile phone/other wearable technology was aggregated, shared and rewarded?

Well, this is where Lympo comes in.

The Lympo ecosystem, powered by user-generated and user-controlled fitness and wellness data, allows for the exchange of value through the introduction of the LYM utility tokens.

Their goal: to create an ecosystem where data is used efficiently by all industry stakeholders and everyone is rewarded fairly.

Essentially, by downloading the Lympo App* on your phone you can complete challenges, receive rewards and buy products using your LYM tokens from within the app-marketplace. In other words: you exercise – you earn – you buy using what you’ve earned. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Either you go to the gym 3 times per week or you are in a profession which requires you to walk for most of the day, or even just taking your dog out for a walk every evening would be the sort of exercise you could be rewarded for.

In a similar mindset, the General Insurances of Cyprus (part of the Bank of Cyprus Group) have launched an app of their own called “Drive Safe“. The app recognizes through your phone’s GPS, location and mobility tracker systems how well you drive – on your way to work, on your way home, speeding from one meeting to the other. It then gives you a score from 0-100 at the end of your journey and your collected points can be used towards rewards such as discounts at insurance schemes and prize wins for roadtrips. Despite not introducing utility tokens (well, here’s an idea for BOC), the Drive Safe app has a similar purpose with Lympo – they are both designed to help you achieve a goal (be it in fitness or to be a better, safer driver) in the most fun way possible whilst receiving real value rewards for your efforts.

Does all this mean that we are moving towards an ecosystem where your everyday fitness or your everyday drive to work can actually bring something back to you? Should we start considering all the possible ways that technology can be utilised to “give back” to the user, the athlete, the driver, maybe even the chef?

It only remains to be seen in what new ways FinTech can give a bit of colour and bring a bit of a disruption to what we have thus far considered to be standard, everyday routine.

*The Lympo App is currently available to download on iPhones and Androids in the USA and South Korea, more regions to be announced soon. Come on Lympo, Europe is pretty fit too!

 

Do you know of any other groups or start-ups that have launched any similar concepts? We would be thrilled to find out more and look them up. 

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