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Healthy Living on a Budget

Apps That Encourage Physical Fitness

Make getting your daily exercise a game with just a few taps on your smart phone.

The hit game Pokémon GO has a side benefit: Players are on the move, in a quest for virtual creatures. Here are other apps that encourage fitness by making it fun or by offering financial rewards or penalties.

With Habitica, set goals, such as exercising daily. Complete tasks to move up to higher levels and unlock new features. Lose points when you miss a goal or succumb to a bad habit (and admit to it), such as eating junk food.

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-- Pact pays you an amount that the app determines, typically 30 cents to $5 a week, when you exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, or log meals; how often is up to you. If you fail, you pay an amount that you set (at least $5). Use the stick approach with StickK by, say, donating to a cause you dislike if you don’t meet a goal.

-- Bet on losing weight with HealthyWage. Reach your target, verified by video or other means, in the period you set, and you could win money. The amount depends on your weight, the time frame, your wager and other factors. Fail, and you lose the money you bet.

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