Instead of fat shaming and lamenting the cost of inactivity and obesity, let’s encourage and reward those who are active and those who want to be active. Let’s give them the tools, show them the way and let’s reward the journey.
This is a message that I regularly share via my Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine posts and the reason why I am delighted to be a Brand Ambassador for Health Rewards.
Health Rewards are one of a new breed of businesses who are recognising the need for a different approach. Bounts is another wonderful app that I use and you can read all about it here, at the blog of my friend and fellow National Fitness Day ambassador, Mollie Millington.
But first, let me tell you about Health Rewards and Vitality. As a Brand Ambassador, I will, of course, be proclaiming how good it is (and it is), but I will also share my thoughts on how it could be improved. Yes, this could be the shortest lasting ambassador role ever.
Vitality is a life and health insurance policy that rewards an active and healthy life. It does so by giving free cinema tickets, coffees and iTunes along with substantial discounts on Virgin Active gym membership, running shoes from Sweatshop, bikes from Evans Cycles and even flights with British Airways and Spa weekends. The video below explains more.
I’ve been using the cinema reward for the past few months and I’ve saved several hundred pounds. I have also had to endure Minions, Inside Out and a few Marvel movies with the boys. I say endure, but as a fully-fledged man-child, I am secretly delighted. As are my boys.
To get the cinema tickets, I have to accrue 9 Vitality Points (more about them later) in the previous week and download codes from the Member Zone which I then copy into Cineword’s website. I can get any combination of standard seats for each member of my family, including a double bill of 15 movies, when the boys were away. The process is seamless and the value more than pays for the cost of the policy. If you are a single adult, you get only one ticket each week and you will need to benefit from the other rewards to make the policy pay.
The other reward that I have used, to great effect, is the Sweatshop 50 % discount. You can shop instore, but I simply emailed Sweatshop the product code of the shoes I wanted, along with my Vitality details and they sent me a discount code, which I then used on their site. Another £65 saved (I like expensive running shoes) and with each member of my family getting a pair each year, it’s another chance to save some considerable cash…..which I will no doubt just spend on more running shoes (well, I do have to use my Bounts vouchers).
I have also received monthly iTunes downloads and this has been disappointing. The site says that the rewards vary from a single song download right up to £20 credit. Can you guess what I have received each month, for the past four months? Yep, single song downloads.
Another reward is free Starbucks coffee, in participating Starbucks (always check first). It’s only one per week per adult (no caffeine for the kids) and as I don’t drink coffee I am building up credits. It seems that you can use more one Starbucks credit per visit, so I’m looking forward to sharing my rewards with friends.
I have yet to use the Evans Cycles discount, but I am looking forward to adding to my bike collection as I train to be a triathlete and I will report back on the other rewards as and when I use them. I do like my gadgets and a new Garmin or Polar at 50% off is tempting. The range of trackers and watches are good, but not brilliant and the pre discount RRP is off the current market prices. With a 50% discount you can still get an excellent Garmin Vivofit 2 or Garmin 220 Forerunner for a great price.
And you really have to. To activate most of the rewards you have to earn Vitality Points. You can earn points from getting health checks, stopping smoking, losing weight, running at parkrun (need to get them to add Great Run Local) and recording steps or your heartbeat.
The two latter ways require an activity tracker or a heart rate monitor and you can gain a maximum of 40 points this way each and every week. Given that you can earn 10pts from walking 14,000 steps, I do wish I wasn’t limited to 40 each week as it would mean a quicker rise to the higher levels of Vitality (it goes from Bronze to Platinum) and greater discounts on certain rewards. More importantly, it could encourage people to be active every day.
However, as a Vitality customer, I am more than happy with my policy and I couldn’t think of a better broker to be involved with than Health Rewards.
Health Rewards do not just sell insurance policies and they are not just helping me become a triathlete, they also support athletes, sports clubs and communities across the UK and they take extra steps to help you take extra steps. Each day they have personal trainers, nutritionists and psychologists providing advice and answering questions via live video. They are building a community and are investing in their policy holders.
That’s the kind of business I like doing business with.
And, if you want to get rewarded for being active AND get yourself a free Garmin, simply call 0800 881 8666 and quote SM when you take a policy. Get active, get rewarded and get Vitality.