iPhone App Offers Rewards at Sephora, GNC for Exercising

The Nexercise iPhone app is taking the benefits of exercising to the next level by giving away rewards in the form of free and discounted merchandise for a person's workout efforts.

If the health benefits and improvements to your physical appearance weren't enough to get you off the couch before, the creators of the Nexercise app hope that giving out additional rewards will increase your motivation.

"We're trying to create a lifestyle – not a quick fix," said the apps' co-founder, Benjamin Young, in a report by Reuters. "We don't focus on how many miles you ran or how many pounds you've lifted. You get points in the game for healthy behaviors."

The apps developers also recently teamed up with a San Francisco-based company, Kiip, which gives users access to more rewards including those from company's like Sephora, 1-800-Flowers.com and GNC. Users are also eligible for items like Amazon Gift cards, and the program is compatible with several other fitness-tracking apps as well.

App users can accumulate points based on healthy exercise habits. It doesn't work like a Chuck-E-Cheese, however, where people can redeem tickets for prizes of their choosing, though the more points a person accumulates the more likely they are to win a prize.

Young says that, at the lowest level, app users can earn prizes like coupons for health products or gift cards ranging from $5 to $250 in value, though the more points a person accumulates the bigger the prizes they might get. Those at the lowest level have about a 25% percent chance of winning a prize, he says.

The idea for this kind of application came from Young's own struggle with his weight after leaving college. He and co-founder Gregory Coleman both yo-yoed between healthy and unhealthy habits, and they came up with the technology to help people struggling with the same issues.

“Even walking the dog counts” as exercise, Young said.

The app is free to use, and the creators are more concerned about getting people motivated and moving than it is getting them into a grueling workout program. Users choose the activity they're about to do, hit start, and then the app measures the movement of the device to prove that the person has actually worked out.

Users can also make a game of it by competing against their Facebook friends who also use the app. Nexercise will then track the activity of users and will show how they rank among their friends.

Nexercise is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, and can be downloaded through Apple's App Store.