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App Review: Charity Miles

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By: Karen Yontz Center Staff

Exercise can be an area we struggle with at times. We know it’s crucial for our bodies (and especially good for the heart), but between working, raising children, and other life demands, exercise sometimes gets pushed to the background. We feel good when we’re done exercising, but we need motivation to get moving sometimes. Because after a long day at work and then more work at home, it’s so much easier to sit on the couch and watch TV, right?

If you need motivation to get moving or just want to help a larger cause, consider using the Charity Miles App. Charity Miles is a FREE mileage tracker app that donates money to charities based on the number of miles you walk, run, or bike (indoors and outdoors). For every mile biked, 10 cents is donated. For walking and running, it’s 25 cents per mile. Money donated comes from the app’s corporate sponsors, so there is no cost on your part. You get to choose from over 40 different well-known charities (including Feeding America, Stand Up to Cancer, World Wildlife Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior Project and more). You can choose a different charity each time, switch it up weekly or monthly, or stick with the same one. The app works like a pedometer and uses your phone’s GPS to track your route and measure your activity, whether indoors or out. After only using this app for outdoor walking, it seems fairly accurate in estimating distance (maybe even overestimating somewhat).

This app is super easy to use. Once the account is created and the charity is chosen, simply open the app, click on one of the 5 activity tabs (Outdoor Walk/Run/Bike, or Indoor Walk/Run), and start your activity. Once the corporate sponsor’s ad appears, start moving. When done, simply hit FINISHED. You can use this app to accumulate miles for yourself or with others (family, friends, coworkers) as part of a team.

There aren’t many downsides to this app, but there are a few notable ones. It does track and collect your location and it also shares your email with the charities you select. You’ll also get an email after every activity you log, leading to more emails in your inbox. If these bother you, you might want to choose a different app as there is currently not an “opt out” option. Some people are bothered by the corporate ads on the app during the activity, but it’s up to you if you want to click on any of the information on the screen. They may offer you deals on products or upcoming events (Companies are in the business of making money and the app is advertisement for them). We haven’t found this to be a nuisance. You do need a place to put your phone during the activity. While this might be easy enough for walking or running, for biking, a phone bike mount near the handlebars may be needed or a small bag near the back of the bike seat for logging distance.

The bottom line is this is a free app that is easy to use and may get you motivated to exercise, knowing money is donated on your behalf for every mile you walk, bike or run. You can’t really beat that.

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