3 Apps to Encourage Walking and Running

Updated on April 17, 2017

It can be very difficult to get up the energy and ambition to go for a run or to reach 10,000 steps a day. But sitting for long periods of time is very bad for us. It can lead to organ damagem bad back, and even slow brain function. So how can we get more exercise in? Here are three apps that help with that.

Charity Miles

Just by walking around you can help change the world for the better with this app. Charity Miles uses your phone's GPS and motion sensor to monitor your distance walking, running, or biking. For every mile ran or walked, the app donates $0.25 to a charity of your choice. For every mile of biking, the app donates $0.10. There's several well-trusted charities to choose from for a variety of causes.

You can help get clean water to developing countries or provide funding for cancer research just by walking around. I personally like to donate to DoSomething.org, an nonprofit that gives scholarships for various volunteer work activities. The money comes from corporate sponsors who advertise on the app while you work out.

10,000 steps is roughly four miles, which is about a dollar in donations. So by using Charity Miles while trying to get your 10,000 steps, you can get your exercise in, and donate an extra $365 to your favorite cause.


If donating for charity isn't enough encouragement, then maybe earning money yourself will be. Achievemint is an app that hooks up to fitness apps you already have, like Apple Health and FitnessPal, to let you earn points for your healthy habits. This includes steps and other exercise as well as sleep, keeping track of your food, and weighing yourself. Once you have 10,000 points, you can cash it out for $10. It might seem like a lot of work for $10, but you can get points for a lot of healthy habits, not just steps. And this is all stuff that you should be doing anyway.


If getting money isn't enough motivation, then losing money might be. With the Pact app, you basically bet on your healthy habits. This app gives you a lot of flexibility. What you do is put in a goal, like working out three times a week, and bet at least $5 that you will stick to that goal. If you break your pact, then you pay up. But if you don't break it, then you get a little bit of money from other people who did break their pact.

If you're not sure about putting up money, then you can try it anyway. You can be a trial user and still participate in Pacts without having money at risk.

Pact offers three basic categories: eating more fruits and vegetables, tracking what you eat, and going to the gym.

I have not looked at the first two categories that much, but I'm a huge fan of the third one. Even though it's called "going to the gym", you don't have to actually go to a gym to get it to count. Yes, checking in at a gym for a 30 minute workout is one of the options, but you can also use the motion sensor to record a 30 minutes workout at home, or reach 10,000 steps.

Exercising is very important for a lot of things, but most of us must make an effort to incorporate enough exercise into our routines. These three apps help provide the motivation to get up and go when all we want to do is sit on the couch.


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