Fit and Flex
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Stepbuck Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates an incentive-based fitness app Stepbuck, has raised angel funding, its founders Siddharth Lodha and Rita Makharia told VCCircle.
The capital was raised from Sreekanth Lapala, an entrepreneur and the founder of Dextara Digital, a digital transformation services company focused on building deep functional and technical expertise in Salesforce technologies.
Stepbuck, which was launched last year, will use the funds to develop new features on its platform and for marketing. Part of the funds will also be deployed to launch a renewed subscription model program and for business development purposes.
The startup combines the potential of both fitness and e-commerce into its product. Its platform tracks and records a user’s steps and converts them to a virtual currency of sorts called “Stepbucks” at a prescribed ratio. The earned currency is stored in a user’s wallet and can be used to purchase coupons, products and services on the e-commerce portal on the app – Stepshop.
Stepbuck also plans to partner with corporates and other businesses to offer its product as a tool to keep their employees healthy and engaged.
“The core idea behind Stepbuck is to motivate users to get fit and we realized that savings or a financial benefit is the best way to encourage people to work harder,” the cofounders said.
Lodha also said that the plan going forward is to reward users for all physical activities and all efforts made by its users to become healthy.
“This will be through integration with fitness wearables and a more comprehensive and integrated mobile app,” he said.
Lodha, who claims to be a regular distance runner himself, previously worked in the real estate space in Mumbai. Cofounder Makharia leads the tech at Stepbuck and has an experience of 20 years in the IT sector.
“There seems to be great potential for growth and scalability in this domain as more and more people are being health conscious and are willing to spend their money on good apps to stay fit,” said the investor, Lapala.
The retail value of the health and wellness market in India was estimated at $8.4 billion in 2018 and this was forecast to reach nearly $16 billion by 2023, according to data firm Statista.
The health and wellness space has also seen a slew of funding in India.
For instance, Cure.fit, founded by Mukesh Bansal (co-founder of Myntra) and former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori, has raised over $400 million in total.
Earlier this week, VCCircle reported that AroLeap Fitness Pvt Ltd, a fitness-focused startup, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round led by Chiratae, Sauce.vc, and Whiteboard Capital.
Benefits of physical exercises
It banishes the bugs
The more physically fit and active you are, the less likely you are to catch a cold, flu and other infections. Researchers have found that sedentary people took twice as many sick leaves in four months as compared to those who walked briskly almost every day. “ When you sweat it out, your body is able to flush out toxins.
It cuts stress
Physical activity such as walking and running releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine- all of which together create a sense of euphoria. These happy hormones overpower the stress hormone cortisol( that dilutes the action of our fighter cells), helping create a feeling of well-being.
It helps you live longer
Physical exercise forces you to breathe deeply, allowing unrestricted movement of air through your entire body.Whether you are walking or running these exercises are one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health and longevity.
It keeps heart healthy
Running strengthens heart, slashes risk of cardio-vascular disease, reduces risk of blood clot, and lowers cholesterol levels. One should try to walk to work and take the stairs rather than the lift.
It increases life expectancy
Running is one of the best things you can do for your health. A recent scientific study found that going for regular jogs increases your life expectancy by three years and helps build strong bones, strengthens muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness.
It improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to destress after a stressful day? A brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
It promotes better sleep
Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep
You don’t need to be a gym junkie or adopt a radical diet to get in better shape. Modest changes are easy to achieve. Trot up the escalator rather than riding it, get out of a lift one floor early . Taking six flights of 12 step stairs three times a day could burn 450 calories in a typical week. That’s the same sort of burn you’d get from a strenuous exercise class.The small additional challenge to your leg muscles, lungs and heart could have a massive impact on your long-team health. One Swiss study found that people who climbed stairs around 20 times a day over three months showed a significant improvement in fitness, and reductions in blood pressure, weight and cholesterol.
Give up short car journeys
Get a local map and draw a one kilometer circle around your home, then put in place a family rule: if any destination is less than a kilometer away, walk it.
A one kilometer walk burns around 62 calories and regular walking has been shown to prevent dementia, depression and heart problems. In a study of over 334,000 people for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, researchers found that taking a 20 minute brisk walk each day could reduce the risk of premature death by between 16 and 30 percent.” This is a simple message,”says professor Ulf Ekelund, one of the lead researchers. “ Just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive”