A fitness rewards program has been recently launched in the U.S. by Apple. According to the program, it will pay the users who use Apple smartwatch for fitness activities. Currently, Apple has signed up with four fitness outfits in the U.S. — YMCA, Orangetheory, Basecamp Fitness and Crunch Fitness, to offer incentives and rewards for those who use Apple Watches. Some of the gyms let the Apple Watch users rack up to 22,000 INR savings on the gym membership over a period of two years.
This is quite helpful considering the cost of some of the gym membership packages. Apple and Nike gift cards are offered at Orangetheory for those who track their workouts with an Apple Watch. Essential reading: Apple Watch Series 5 in-depth fitness test Details on how to unlock the Apple fitness rewards are not too clear. But let us for the time being assume that the more you workout and they are tracked by an Apple Watch, the more rewards you will earn. The Apple Watch Connect has only limited users at the moment even though four gyms have signed up for it. But the popularity seems to be going up slow and steady. There have been enthusiastic uptakes of similar schemes from other companies like Vitality, which offer cups of coffee and gift cards for those who achieve fitness goals. For example, if you take 12,500 steps in a day, two times a week, you will earn a Starbucks drink. For an alliance with Apple’s reward program, the gyms should fulfil certain criteria like the gym members should be allowed to pay via Apple Pay for the classes and sundries and also the gyms should have an app with details of class timings and with the facility to make bookings.
If relevant, they should also have GymKit enabled equipment which is the technology that enables users to tap on their Apple Watch to connect it to a machine thus enabling the tracking of the workout on the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch will feed biometric information to the machine, for example, the machine will display your heart rate without having to clip on any sensors. The first gyms are ready to kick start this project within the next couple of weeks. You can expect more to join in 2020.