​Get paid to get fit with the Apple Watch Connect fitness rewards program

Apple has signed up gyms to offer fitness perks
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Apple has launched a new fitness rewards program in the US, with financial incentives to use your smartwatch for fitness.

It’s signed up four US outfits – YMCA, Orangetheory, Basecamp Fitness and Crunch Fitness – to offer incentives and rewards for those using an Apple Watch.

At some of the gyms, Apple Watch Connect-ers can rack up to $300 savings on memberships over a two-year period, which is pretty helpful given the cost of some of the packages. Orangetheory is offering Apple and Nike gift cards for those that track their workouts with their Apple Watch.

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Details are a little sketchy on how exactly you unlock these rewards, but for now we’ll just assume it means sweating a lot and tracking it on your smartwatch.

Apple Watch Connect is getting a pretty limited rollout right now even with the four gyms that are signed up – but we can see this being seriously popular.

There’s been enthusiastic uptake of similar schemes from the likes of Vitality, which offered cups of coffee and gift cards for those who hit fitness goals. Just hitting 12,500 steps in a day twice a week would earn you a Starbucks drink, for example.

To get on-board, gyms have to fulfil a number of criteria. They must offer customers the chance to use Apple Pay for classes and sundries, and they should have an app to check class times and make bookings.

If relevant, they should also have GymKit enabled equipment – that’s the technology that enables users just to tap their Apple Watch to a machine to start tracking a workout on the watch. And the Apple Watch will feed biometric information back to the treadmill, for example, and display your heart rate without needing to clip on any sensors.

The first gyms are rolling out in the next couple of weeks – and expect more in 2020.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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