Only a few days to go until I participate in my next half marathon, the Brighton Vitality, on Sunday 28 Feb! I have my race outfit planned and a physio session booked in for the day before, to get one final stretch and then strapped up with K-tape. My fridge is full of pasta parcels and the travel element is mapped out. Am excited and nervous, but not over-thinking it. Am also feeling fit and healthy and have really been enjoying my weekly Insanity classes, my Zumba DVD and the odd spot of yoga, continuing with two runs a week on top. I’ve been doing the Bootea Detox since the start of January, and am still using my Nutribullet daily. I’ll write up a race review next week. Fingers crossed for the event!
My boss is a fellow health and fitness nut, and directed me to something he’d spotted online called Bounts (bounts.it/). It’s a free fitness rewards system; just link it to your fitness tracker or smartphone app, and you’ll earn points when you walk, exercise, go to the gym etc. Once you’ve gained enough points, these can be exchanged for vouchers to be used at retailers and restaurants such as Amazon, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Pizza Express, M&S and Cineworld. So if you’re doing even relatively minor exercise (7,000 steps a day) it’s easy/free money. On the basic level, just with walking alone, in eight months you’d accrue £5 at Tesco, Argos, New Look and others – but if you do a bigger variety of exercise or upgrade the app it will be much quicker.
It was founded in 2011 by a team that says its mission is to help motivate people to exercise at least once a day, and is supported by Oxford University. Though it’s a commercial app making money (it has ads and a premium subscription option for users), it’s linking with the fitness industry to encourage exercise – a decent aim. Sport and fitness organisations pay to use Bounts to increase physical activity and participation for their communities. These organisations include governing bodies such as the Lawn Tennis Association and the Rugby Football Union, and gym/leisure centre groups such as Everyone Active. Bounts users are incentivised to engage in these. The idea being, that if you’re getting rewarded, you’ll dust off the tennis racket and play more, or squeeze into some spandex and head to the gym more often.
I think it’s a great idea and am paying a mere £9.99 per year on a Premium plan (I started off with the Free plan, but you earn points a lot quicker on the Premium plan) and have already clocked up significant points. Looking forward to cashing these in for vouchers! I completely understand the irony of spending money to accrue free vouchers, but it genuinely incentivises me to exercise more and have a long walk at lunch time, to increase my steps. I’ve been known to run up and down the stairs at home and around the garden at night, when my app tells me I need 1,000 or so more steps to reach daily target!
It’s connected remotely to both my Jawbone and RunKeeper app, and is so easy to set up and use. If you fancy joining, please use my referral code (it will work out well for both of us!): lauraplane45836. Happy Bounting!