New Philly-Based Fitness App Makes Incentivizing Workouts Its Mission

This new app gives you a reason to hit the Schuylkill River Trail (you know — aside from an endorphin rush).

A workout without added incentive — you know, aside from the endorphin rush — is a workout many people probably (definitely) won’t end up doing. So added workout incentive is just what the new Philly-based app Vea Fitness, launching this weekend in conjunction with the Philly Free Streets event (who else is excited??), is aiming to give folks.

As Vea co-founder Jonathan Maxim, a former graphic designer who started putting his all into the app about two years ago, tells us, “I was really inspired by my own fitness journey and realizing how much fitness does for your confidence, wellbeing and state of mind. I wanted to be able to share workout motivation on a grand scale.” And what’s the way to do that nowadays? Software, he says.

So, how exactly does the app provide motivation? Well, essentially, it bribes you. (Hey, if the method ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?) The app offers challenges, ranging from .5 to five miles of biking, running and hiking, that, once completed, get you discounts on everything from outdoor gear to free RockMyRun memberships and more. You get to choose the challenge you want to complete that day, and once you complete it (the app functions like a fitness tracker in some ways, tracking distance traveled, speed, calories burned, calculating splits, and tracking your route with GPS), you can redeem your reward at the retailer. Some of the app’s most notable partners are Snap Kitchen, New Balance and Saucony.

So long story short, you could tackle three miles of the Schuylkill River Trail for nothing but the thrill of an endorphin rush (STILL a perfectly good reason to strap on your running shoes), OR you could tackle three miles of the Schuylkill River Trail and get 15 percent off your next pair of running shoes. BOOM: Added workout incentive.

The app, for iOS and Android, has been in the app store in pilot mode for about four months, allowing the folks at Vea to take in feedback and adjust accordingly. It will be launching officially this Saturday with Philly Free Streets, the 10-mile open streets event slated to have plenty of fitness programming on the route. As Maxim explains, the app, which is the official app of Philly Free Streets, will feature a Philly Free Streets scavenger hunt challenge on Saturday, September 24th. Each check-in at at a scavenger hunt point on the course will enter you into a sweepstakes drawing.

Maxim suggests downloading the app before you head to Philly Free Streets, just so you can take it out for a spin beforehand. You can find it here. Happy (incentivized!) sweating!

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