Cycling commuter turns BetterPoints into pounds for local advice service
16 February 2017
28 April 2016-
I wanted to get into walking as part of my rehabilitation after being diagnosed with cancer in May last year. After my surgery, I wanted to start building up my physical activity in a gentle way, but also have something to motivate me to do it. BetterPoints was perfect for that.
I earn BetterPoints through walking, and I mainly use them if I’m doing a commute from my house to the tube station. If I’ve got work meetings in London, I’ll do a walk then too. At the weekends, it helps me stop lazing around the house and get out into a park and have a walk around.
It motivates me because I want to earn the points, to build up the total, and I want to save up for the vouchers. Also, if I don’t go for a walk, it makes me feel like I’ve let myself down, so it drives me personally to do it. You are competing with yourself, and it pushes you get out of the door, even if it’s a bit cold, or you might not feel like it. When you see that you’ve earned 50 points or 100 points, it makes you feel good, and it makes you want to do more.
One of the great things is that it’s a simple way to map out routes and know the distance that you’re doing. If I set myself a target of trying to walk 3 miles 5 times a week, then I can work out routes and the distances, and then I’ll know how far I’ve walked rather than just guessing it. It’s quite surprising how simple everyday routes actually do count towards that distance. People think if you need to walk 3 miles, it’s got to be like a racetrack! But it isn’t, it can be part of your day-to-day routine, in your daily life. BetterPoints has shown me how those distances can add up to the totals that you set yourself.
It helped build up my fitness, when I needed it for my health, and I don’t think I would have walked so much without it. Because it really was something new to try, and it made walking more interesting. There was an end-point to it, setting yourself the total of how many points you might want to get. It's way to map out your activity, plan and monitor your activity and a way to challenge yourself to do more. It makes you go for that extra walk!
I usually build my points up until they’re worth £10 and redeem them for a £10 voucher. I’ve redeemed points for Debenhams, or Amazon, to treat myself to something I might not ordinarily have had as part of my budget, or go towards a larger purchase that I needed to buy. There’s something for everybody, you could even save them up to get a voucher as a gift for somebody else, as there’s a lot of choice there.
The great thing about BetterPoints is that it’s suitable for any age, anyone who’s got a mobile phone, and it’s a way for getting more activity into your daily life, and to keep you doing it. It’s so easy just to get motivated and then let it slip away but as it’s always on your phone, it’s just a way to keep it top of your mind and on your agenda, and keep you fit!