Download this: Sweatcoin’s app lets you cash in exercise for actual prizes

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Image: Getty Images/Westend61

If you’ve ever struggled to get into better shape then you know getting motivated to start is often the hardest part. But a new app may just be able be able to sweeten the deal.

Sweatcoin combines fitness tracking and micropayments, paying out rewards when its users actually exercise.

The premise is relatively simply: the app taps into your phone’s motion-tracking capabilities and keeps tabs on how many steps you take throughout the day. Make it to 1,000 steps and you’ll earn your first sweatcoin. Earn enough, and those in-app coins can be redeemed for gift cards, airline credits, televisions, and other prizes. 

Seriously. You can get a new TV or a $1,000 Delta airline credit just for doing something you should be doing anyway.

Before you start lacing up your shoes: you might want to consider training for a marathon. Big ticket items cost 20,000 sweatcoins, which would take more than a decade to earn even if you walk 10,000 steps a day. 

And even if you do take enough steps, they may not add up as quickly as you think. Sweatcoin doesn’t count any “indoor” steps so your treadmill time and gym classes won’t count. Also, the app typically counts far fewer steps than other fitness-tracking apps (the company says this is to deter potential cheaters).

Despite its limitations, the app has been a hit with users. It’s been in the App Store’s top 10 for weeks and is currently sitting at the number one spot, despite some user complaints about the above issues. 

It just goes to show: we’ll do anything for a “free” prize.

Read more here: http://mashable.com/